Rheumatoid Arthritis : A Systemic Autoimmune Disorder

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Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disorder. There are more than 100 different types of Arthritis, yet it is estimated that it affects approximately 1% of the population in the Western World. The disease is generally diagnosed in middle aged adults and the elderly. In rarer cases, children can also develop the disease and it is called Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Women are three times more likely to have rheumatoid arthritis than men. (Stevens) Many people living with Rheumatoid Arthritis appear to be healthy individuals, but suffer internally. Today, I will discuss what rheumatoid arthritis is, how it is diagnosed, and how it affects the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a part of the lymphatic and immunity system. It is a form…show more content…
Morning stiffness is a common occurrence. (Stevens) A physician will often ask questions such as, “When do you feel your pain”, and “how often do you feel pain”, in order to help determine the severity of your condition. Once you have answered the questions, the doctor will do a “Range-of-Motion” test in his or her office. This consists of stretching-type motions to check for pain while moving, and to see if there is limited movement within the joint. He will then examine all of your joints and “note how many of your joints are affected, this is called a joint count”: (RA 101) to check for deformities and inflammation in the joints. After this is done, they will perform lab work to make sure you may not have any other conditions. When performing the lab work, they will be testing for five things. If C-Reactive Proteins are detected, this indicates the sign of inflammation in the body. Your erythrocyte sedimentation rate will be checked, as with rheumatoid arthritis, this is generally raised. Your Rheumatoid Factor will be checked as well, because “about 75% of people with rheumatoid arthritis are RF positive” (RA 101). Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide will be tested, as “About 98% of people with RA have these antibodies in their systems” (RA 101). And lastly, an antinuclear antibody test would be done to make sure you do not have a
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