The etymology of the word arthritis derived from the Greek word “arthro” which literally means joint and “itis” means inflammation. There are almost 100 types and forms of arthritis found today. Arthritis is the disorder of joints; rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune and systemic inflammatory disorder. Generally arthritis happens due to wear and tear of joints. In case of rheumatoid arthritis the symptoms more or less matches to arthritis but can affect multiple organs. Rheumatoid arthritis affects lungs, kidneys, blood vessels, heart, skin, eyes, and joints etc. Sign and symptoms although pretty same in both the diseases but can get a bit different in the RA disease, as it affects more organs. Onset of these diseases can happen between weeks or within months. Affected locations for arthritis are the main weight bearing joints, like, hips, spinal cord, knees, and elbows. RA mainly affects hands like, proximal interphalangeal and metacarpohalangeal joints, Wrists and ankles also do get affected. Treatment can differ with the symptoms and the actual disease.
Both arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis’s causes are not conclusive. Researchers string down many factors for the actual reasons, but not yet completely successful. Treatment for RA depends, but normally physicians prescribe NSAID (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs). Other than modern medications, researchers are trying to use supplements and alternative medications for these diseases. Methotrexates, Ibuprofen, Nabumeton, Diclofenac, and Indomethacin are some notable NSAID. With the dosage dosages of these drugs, increased risk of side effects prevails. Remissions in both forms of diseases are observed, but there is no complete cure for either of these diseases. With both rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis have some common symptoms, but in case of RA the list of the symptoms gets lengthy, because of RA’s tendency to affect multi organs. But some common symptoms for both the arthritis are:
APETITE LOSS: Loss of appetite might decrease the body mass suddenly, which can effect nutritional wise.
MUSCLE ACHE: Mild cramping and pain can be felt; this symptom persists for a long time.
MORNING SYMPTOMS: Usually after getting up in the morning from the bed it can be felt, with mild pain and stiffness in joints. Mobility of joints does get affected. It can last for an hour or two.
FATIGUE: Tiredness and un-necessary exertion can be felt in this symptom. Mentally and physically it can drain out lot from a person.
TENDERNESS: Pain and sudden level of discomfort will be experienced, if some affected area get hit or touched.
MALAISE: Uneasiness and discomfort can be experienced throughout the day.
Apart from the common symptoms, RA have many other symptoms like; Rheumatoid nodule, Fibrosis of lungs,Caplan’s syndrome (lung nodules), Atherosclerosis (thickening of artery walls), Scleritis(eyes), AIHA(auto immune hemolytic anemia), Hematological disorder(blood), Peripheral neuropathy, Mononeuritis multiplex(neurological).
What is the difference between arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis? The simple answer for this question should be, there are more than 100 types of arthritis found today, and amongst it RA is one of it. The differences are many, yet it is similar in one way, both are chronic diseases which have no cure. Prognosis is really tough for both the diseases; one must say there is no ultimate prevention. One can lead a healthy life for less chance to get affected with these diseases.