Rheumatic Diseases – Causes and Symptoms
Rheumatic diseases are very painful conditions that are caused due to swelling, inflammation or pain in the muscles and joints. Diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus are result of inflammation in the connective tissues. Some other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are result of hyperactive immune system, and thus called autoimmune diseases. The following article gives the causes and symptoms of rheumatic diseases, also known to be rheumatism.
Rheumatic Diseases – Causes
Both genetics and the environment play a huge role in the development of rheumatic conditions. For instance, a person may be born with a genetic problem that can make him/her susceptible to a disease. But that susceptibility depends on the surrounding environmental factors which play a role in triggering the disease. Let us look at some examples.
- Osteoarthritis is caused by repetitive strain or stress forces on the joint that eventually cause the cartilage layers to get depleted.
- In autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus etc., a particular gene variation has been observed that leaves these patients vulnerable to an autoimmune attack. Lupus can also be triggered due to the virus Epstein-Barr.
- One can also observe that certain rheumatic conditions are more common in a particular gender than the opposite one. For instance, fibromyalgia, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are more common in women. While gout is more common in men.
Rheumatic Diseases – Signs and Symptoms
There are more than a 100 rheumatic conditions that are known. The signs and symptoms of each condition could vary but, there are a few signs and symptoms that are common in most of these conditions. They are-
- Joint(s) swelling
- Early morning stiffness
- Chronic joint pain
- Joint tenderness
- Restricted and painful joint motions
- Joint redness and heated feeling around the joint
Based on the above signs and symptoms, a physician will be able to understand that a patient is suffering from a rheumatic condition. But it is very tough to say, which one of the several rheumatic diseases that the patient is exactly suffering from, as the signs and symptoms of most of these conditions coincide.
Rheumatic Diseases – Treatment
Treatments vary and apart from medications, one should follow a strict treatment regime. This helps in controlling the symptoms and therefore the overall disease. When medications are the primary treatments, the secondary include:
- A balanced diet
- Complete rest
- Regular physical exercising
- Stress reduction
You need to seek a help of the rheumatologist for the right treatment.