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Rheumatoid arthritis: the first signs, symptoms and treatment

Some diseases are caused by hereditary predisposition, however, some predisposing factors are required to activate the pathological process. One of these diseases is rheumatoid arthritis.


Rheumatoid arthritis - what is it?

Rheumatoid arthritis - what is it? Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease of the connective tissue that develops in individuals with a genetic predisposition, after exposure to the body of some provoking factors. The disease is most common in women older than 40 years and is characterized by the development of irreversible degenerative and inflammatory processes in small joints, as a result of which their normal functioning is disrupted.

Rheumatoid arthritis is seropositive (occurs in most cases) and seronegative. In the first case, the rheumatoid factor is present in the patient's blood, the development of the disease is gradual.

When a seronegative RA is detected, the rheumatoid factor is absent, the clinical picture of the disease develops quickly, begins with inflammation of the joints of the wrist or the knee joint.

According to ICD 10, rheumatoid arthritis is designated as M05 (seropositive), M06 (seronegative) and M08 (youth) - a detailed table of codes at the end of the article.

Often, rheumatoid arthritis is confused with arthrosis or normal arthritis. These are completely different diseases, although in both cases joint damage is observed, which distinguishes rheumatoid arthritis from arthritis in the table:

Rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis: the differences


Rheumatoid arthritis


How is the pathological process

The pathological process develops as a result of exposure to the body of any factors, against which the immune system begins to produce antibodies that destroy the tissue of the joint

Degenerative processes in the joint occur as a result of prolonged disruption of its blood supply

The age at which the disease most often occurs

Arises at any age

In most cases, it occurs in the elderly, especially those who have subjected the joints to intense stress.

Are pathologies related to each other? Can develop against arthritis as a complication.

Develops on its own

The reasons

Autoimmune diseases;

Allergic reactions;

Transferred infectious diseases.

Injuries received;

Genetic predisposition;

Increased load on the joint;

Hypothermia of the limbs against the background of which the inflammatory process develops;

Circulatory disorders in the joints.


Pain, aggravated by joint loads;

Local hyperthermia, swelling over the joint.

Joint pain during exercise, which subsides at rest and increases with changing weather conditions. When the movement of the joint is heard crunch and clicking.

Laboratory Diagnostics Indicators

Revmoproby reveal the presence of inflammation in the joints

There are no deviations from the norm.


Anti-inflammatory drugs do not cure the disease completely, but somewhat reduce the clinical manifestations.

Anti-inflammatory drugs relieve pain.

If the integrity of the cartilage is not compromised, chondroprotectors are prescribed in the joint.

Causes of disease

Causes of rheumatoid arthritis The cause of the development of rheumatoid arthritis can be many factors, the most common of which are:

  • Heredity - in patients in whose family there have been cases of this disease, there are genes in the body, the immune system begins to produce antibodies for them;
  • Infectious diseases - rubella, herpes simplex, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis and others. These diseases most often provoke the further development of rheumatoid arthritis.

The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis

Most often, rheumatoid arthritis develops during the cold season, hypothermia, past viral or infectious diseases, operations, and food allergies can be a triggering factor.

At the initial stage of development, the disease may not manifest itself as a pronounced clinic, patients with rheumatoid arthritis are worried about common symptoms:

  • Excessive sweating;
  • Muscle weakness even at rest;
  • Minor jumps in body temperature, not due to viral infection;
  • Fast fatiguability;
  • Weight loss

As the pathological process progresses, pain in the area of ​​the joints is added, which is aching, periodic, permanent.

After the slightest physical exertion or during treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, the pain syndrome increases, a symmetrical lesion of the small joints appears.

The inflammatory process in rheumatoid arthritis of the joints is accompanied by fever, lethargy of the patient, general weakness, muscle pain.

A characteristic sign of rheumatoid arthritis of the hands is the appearance of stiffness in the morning, mostly after sleep. The patient can not perform the usual actions with the fingers, they seem to disobey.

The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis Attempts to move the fingers are accompanied by increased pain, after about 40 minutes it passes. Morning stiffness due to the fact that overnight in the area affected by degenerative and inflammatory process joints accumulates pathological fluid, which prevents the full movements.

As the pathological process progresses, visible deformities of the limbs appear in the patient - “walrus flippers”, fingers in the form of a spindle and a swan's neck. Other joint lesions include the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Violation and sharp restriction of mobility of the elbow and radioulnar joints;
  • Damage to the shoulder joint - an increase in local body temperature, flushing of the skin over the inflamed joint, pain syndrome, limited mobility, gradual muscle atrophy;
  • Damage to the foot joints, namely, deformity of the fingers, sharp pain during exertion (walking, running), inability to pick up shoes, impaired gait and stability;
  • Inflammation and gradual deformity of the ankle joint;
  • Damage to the knee joint, limiting its mobility;
  • Deformity of the joints of the spinal column (usually in the last stages of the disease);
  • The defeat of the joint of the first cervical vertebra of Atlanta, as a result of which the mobility of the neck is sharply disturbed, severe pains in the back of the head appear, a crunch when trying to turn the head sideways.

In addition to articular lesions, signs of rheumatoid arthritis include other manifestations:

  • The appearance under the skin, the so-called rheumatoid nodules;
  • Excessive dryness and peeling of the skin;
  • Hemorrhages under the skin of a small size (ecchymosis and petechiae);
  • Increased brittle nails;
  • The death of the tissue of the periungual bed;
  • Impaired function of the muscles that are attached to the affected inflammatory and degenerative process of the joints, reducing their tone, gradual atrophy;
  • Minor disruption of the functioning of the digestive tract organs - bloating, flatulence, appetite deterioration;
  • The development of diseases of the respiratory system - dry pleurisy, lung tissue damage;
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system - endocarditis, pericarditis, myocarditis;
  • Severe lesions of the glomeruli of the kidneys, the development of glomerunonephritis.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers

The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers, photo

In most cases, rheumatoid arthritis develops gradually, the first symptoms of the disease are:

  • Signs of general intoxication of the body (fever, weakness, lethargy, pallor of the skin, drowsiness, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fever);
  • Signs of articular lesions;
  • Signs of extraarticular lesions.

A little later, symptoms of joint damage are added to the general signs of intoxication:

  • Swelling and redness of the skin over the joint site;
  • Pain when moving, increasing load, temperature drops;
  • Decreased mobility in the joint;
  • Morning stiffness;
  • Sharp limitation of movement and gradual deformation of the joint.

The first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the fingers are similar to common symptoms, but may be more pronounced:

  • pain when moving;
  • reddening of the skin over the finger joints and swelling;
  • temperature rise;
  • limited movement;
  • morning stiffness of fingers;
  • possible enlargement of lymph nodes and rheumatoid nodules

It is important not to ignore the first symptoms of arthritis of the fingers, but to immediately consult a rheumatologist for diagnosis and prescription of drugs. Launched cases of the disease are much worse treatable and restore all the functions of the joint.

Extra-articular lesions of the body develop against the background of the rapid progression of rheumatoid arthritis, as a result of which blood circulation and nutrition of the tissues adjacent to the affected joint are impaired.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Diagnosis of Arthritis When the above clinical manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis occur, the patient should contact the local general practitioner as soon as possible, who will appoint a detailed examination to confirm the diagnosis.

Diagnosis of RA includes:

  • Medical history of the patient's life - hereditary predisposition, transferred joint injuries, operations, recent infectious and viral infections;
  • Biochemical blood tests - special attention is paid to ESR, C-reactive protein level, creatinine;
  • Complete blood count - examine hemoglobin levels;
  • Urinalysis - characterized by a protein content, an increase in the level of urea;
  • X-ray examination - in the picture clearly visible areas of deformation and inflammation in the joints;
  • Identification of rheumatoid factor;
  • The study of intraarticular fluid.

Timely diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis can prevent numerous complications and significantly improve the quality of life of the patient.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Since the exact causes of the development of rheumatoid arthritis have not been identified, the treatment of the disease comes down to symptomatic therapy and the prevention of further progression of joint deformity.

Preparations for rheumatoid arthritis are selected by the attending physician, depending on the clinical picture of the disease:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - Nimesil, Nurofen, Ibuprofen, Meloxicam and others - allow you to quickly eliminate pain, relieve swelling, reduce signs of inflammation and restore joint mobility;
  • Glucocorticosteroid drugs - prescribed in the form of ointments or injections into the affected joint - allow you to quickly relieve pain, swelling, inflammation, acute process, restore mobility;
  • Calcium and vitamin D - strengthen the bone, prevent tissue destruction;
  • Chondroprotectors - drugs that contribute to the restoration of the cartilage of the affected and deformed joint;
    Vitamin complexes.

Outside the period of exacerbations of the disease, the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis consists in carrying out exercise therapy, physiotherapy, surgery to correct the deformities of the joint and restore its mobility.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications

Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications In the absence of timely diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, the patient gradually develops complications:

  • Severe depression - occurs as a result of a significant deterioration in the quality of life, inability to self-service, and visible degenerative changes in the limbs;
  • Heart disease;
  • Diseases of the respiratory system;
  • Muscle weakness, reduced tone, gradual atrophy;
  • Decrease in general immunity, propensity to develop infections;
  • Violation of the external state and functioning of the skin and nails - deformation of the nail bed, hemorrhages under the skin, scratching.

Prevention of rheumatoid arthritis

Patients at risk in order to prevent the development of rheumatoid arthritis should follow the simple recommendations of doctors:

  • Perform daily gymnastic exercises;
  • Timely treat viral and infectious diseases;
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle - temper, eat a balanced diet;
  • Do not supercool;
  • Medicinal products should be taken only on prescription.

Rheumatoid arthritis ICB 10

For ICD 10, rheumatoid arthritis is in the headings: M05 - seropositive, M06 - seronegative, and M08 - youthful.

M05 rubric - seropositive rheumatoid arthritis

  • M05.0 - Felty's syndrome (with splenomegaly and leukopenia);
  • M05.1 - Rheumatoid lung disease;
  • M05.2 - Rheumatoid vasculitis ;
  • M05.3 - RA with damage to other organs or systems;
  • M05.8 - other rheumatoid arthritis seropositive;
  • M05.9 - unspecified seropositive RA.

M06 rubric - rheumatoid arthritis seronegative

  • M06.1 - Still's disease in adults;
  • M06.2 - rheumatoid bursitis;
  • M06.3 - rheumatoid nodule;
  • M06.4 - polyarthropathy;
  • M06.8 - Other specified rheumatoid arthritis;
  • M06.9 - unspecified rheumatoid arthritis.

M08 rubric - juvenile arthritis

  • M08.1 - juvenile ankylosing spondylitis;
  • M08.2 - juvenile arthritis with systemic onset;
  • M08.3 - seronegative juvenile polyarthritis.
Frontl IMr
2017-09-18 06:24:28
I treat rheumatoid arthritis with only balms and gels based on badger fat — this is Sustam gel. It is a good anesthetic and relieves inflammation and swelling. I still have fat capsules for immunity.
2017-09-22 05:25:03
I also used this gel. True helps.
2017-09-28 05:57:50
Wow, I didn’t know that when RA can be treated with balm badger fat? .. you can certainly try it, by means of "war" all means are good, since this disease cannot be cured, then you can use natural products that are more harmless to the body.?.
2017-12-22 07:54:29
what capsules?
doctor Daria
2017-12-26 12:26:44
Nadia, good afternoon. Badger fat is not a complete drug. This dietary supplement, without proven effectiveness, is all the more doubtful that fat can relieve inflammation (fat contains polyunsaturated acids and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat will make your skin smoother in the area of ​​the joint, but will not relieve pain and swelling) It is better to use physiotherapy procedures - magnetic therapy , uz-treatment, avoiding warming the joint. It will also be useful to conduct massage and exercise therapy.

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