Complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis prove to be more fatal than the disease itself, as it shortens the life expectancy of an individual by few years. Disease is categorized in Type 1 and Type 2 according to its complications. If diagnosed in its inception and better treatment is provided, it may help in forbidding some progression and complication of this disease, but the latter type 2 becomes incurable. So it is readily advised to seek the help of a doctor, if a person finds any of the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, in order to avoid further complication, which may lead to mortality.
The prime complication of rheumatoid arthritis are found in the synovial joints like fingers, wrists, elbows, knees, etc where some sort of fluid is accumulated in the synovium, leading it to pain and inflammation and some sort of disability to the joints. If not treated initially, it will lead to some other complications, affecting other parts of the body like lungs, skin, stomach, kidney, heart, and causing some types of cancer.
From the inexhaustible list of the complication of rheumatoid arthritis, some are defined as follows:
- Osteoporosis– Using drugs and steroids for rheumatoid arthritis can lead to a condition called osteoporosis, a type of condition that makes the bones to wear and tear and making them more prone to fracture.
- Heart problems– Patients of R A are more prone to heart diseases as it blocks the arteries and inflames the sac that encloses the heart, and challenges a patient to mortality.
- Peripheral neuropathy– In this complication, the nerves of hands and feet are affected, which results in numbness and pain.
- Skin problem– Some skin complication like rash, lumps under the skin, ulcers, blisters, etc may be seen, especially in the fingers, elbows, nails, and in other body parts also.
- Scleritis and Episcleritis– In this condition the blood vessels in the eyes gets inflamed, resulting in corneal damage and it may lead to loss of vision. Redness, burning, and itching sensation may be some of its symptoms.
- Anemia– It is very common complication of rheumatoid arthritis. In this situation the red blood cells count decreases, leading a patient to some sort of breathing problem.
- Infections– Patients have a higher risk of infection with R A, as their treatment includes some immune suppressing drugs like DMARDs, Anti-TNF, and Costecosteroids.
- Vasculitis– It is a rare complication found in R A patient, and causes swelling, weakening, thickening of blood vessels and also causes ulcers in mouth, nerve disorder,etc.
- Kidney damage– Damaging of the kidneys is also a rare case. Some drugs used in this treatment which can damage the kidneys.
- Pregnancy– Complications of rheumatoid arthritis befalls more on pregnant patient, as it increases the risk of premature delivery. During this pregnancy period they are more prone to develop hypertention, and these complications of rheumatoid arthritis may get remit during pregnancy but may re-occur after birth of child and may prove more severe.
These complications of rheumatoid arthritis vary from patient to patient, so it is advised to have proper diagnosis and aggressive treatment in order to avoid these complications.