Rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease is co-related with each. Rheumatoid arthritis is known for affecting the synovial joints in its inception but can affect your lungs too. In fact some sort of symptoms of lung disease is observed before the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms that prevail, when a rheumatoid arthritis patient suffers from lung disease, are breath shortness, formation of lung nodules, pain while breathing, and scarring of the lungs.
Breath shortness- The inflammation that is caused in the lining of the lungs due to arthritis causes some fluid to accumulate around the lungs and the condition is called pleural effusion. This pleural effusion causes shortness of breath.
Formation of lung nodules- A lump of muscles or of some solid or semi solid things may occur in lungs or in other body parts due to rheumatoid arthritis. Though the formation of lung nodules poses no threat to any sort of lung cancer but it can certainly rupture and cause the lung to collapse.
Pain while breathing- Due to rheumatoid arthritis the lining of the lungs gets inflamed. This condition is called pleurisy. While breathing this pleurisy condition can cause severe pain to the lungs.
Scarring of the lungs- Some sort of scaring can be observed by the patient having rheumatoid arthritis. Some symptoms that prevail due to it are dry cough, weakness, fatigue, breath shortness, and patient may also find loss of appetite.
Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and are found with these lung problem are readily advised to seek help of rheumatologist as soon as possible.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease
Symptoms that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis are pain in the joints, swelling, stiffness of joints, and some formation of nodules. Whereas in lung disease the symptoms may be shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness, dry cough, fever, pain in the chest, etc.
Diagnosing of rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease
Diagnosing is very important for rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease that is caused due to it. The diagnosing includes some blood test like that of rheumatoid factor, tumor necrosis factor (T N F), X-rays, C T scan of the chest, bronchoscopy of the chest, echocardiogram of the chest, and thoracentesis of the chest.
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis includes drugs like non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (N S A I D s), disease modifying anti rheumatoid drugs (D M A R D s) and steroids like corticosteroids. In lung disease due to inflammation the air sacs of the lungs gets affected and causes scarred to the lungs.
Due to rheumatoid arthritis and lung disease Thoracic and Pulmonary and Interstitial abnormalities are caused to the lungs. Thickening of the pleural, formation of necrobiotic nodules, effusion of pleural, pulmonary hypertension, are some abnormalities that are associated with Thoracic and Pulmonary condition of the lungs. Patients who are addicted to smoking are more prone to have interstitial lung disease. So patients with rheumatoid arthritis are advised to quit smoking if they are prone to lung disease.