eLast week was World Arthritis Day. Arthritis affects millions across the world, and its most common form, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), reduces life expectancy by 10 to 15 years. India has 10 million people with RA.
Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints and its symptoms include pain, swelling and stiffness with limitation of joint movement.
Alert signs for RA:
Insidious onset, aching and stiffness poorly I localised to a few joints
Prolonged morning stiffness (for 6 weeks or longer)
Swelling of the involved joints (for 6 weeks or longer).
Slowly progressive pain, tenderness, redness and heat in multiple joints (for 6 weeks or longer).
Symmetric joint involvement.
Impact of RA on women:
Higher incidence of disiease in women of child-bearing age
Disease tends to go into remission during pregnancy and to flare after giving birth.
Use of contraceptive pill adds some protection against later development of disease