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Thread: Rheumatoid Arthritis Question

  1. #1

    Default Rheumatoid Arthritis Question

    What is the life expectancy for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis, will the
    disease itself kill them or the attack and inflammation of an organ?

  2. #2


    I can find no evidence that Rheumatoid Arthritis kills anyone or even
    accelerates death - such as other chronic diseases like PD & ALS that
    inevitably progress no matter what. The life expectancy for anyone with RA
    is about the same as anyone else - the criterium for longevity is looking
    after the condition once they know they have it.
    To quote the US Arthritis Foundation's view on the subject "Take control -
    we can help!". Their pamphlet on RA states:
    "In the US about 2.1 million people have RA. Anyone can get RA. Many people

    who have RA live happy, healthy lives."
    Doctors do NOT know what causes RA. They do know that the body's immune
    system has a part in the swelling and joint damage that occurs in RA. The
    immune system is the body's defence against illness. In RA the immune
    system is overactive and produces swelling in the joints.
    RA can feel different for different people -
    The skin around your joints may be red, and your joints may feel - warm -
    swollen- painful or difficult to move.
    RA can also make a person feel sick all over - you may lose your appetite,
    run a slight fever, have little energy -
    With RA you may also develope rheumatoid nodules (lumps) that form under the

    skin, over bony area, feet or spine.
    To figure out if you have RA a doctor needs - medical history - a Physical
    check up - blood tests and Xrays.
    There is NO known cure for RA but medicines and therapies can help with pain

    and swelling - getting help early is important.
    Health care people (doctors, physios, nutritionists etc.) may suggest a
    number of things you can do to feel better - taking medication - getting
    plenty of rest and staying fit by doing EXERCISES. This can also help treat

    other problems that can arise because of RA.
    Check with the doctor before taking OTC medications that may not be suitable

    for RA especially of you are on medication for other reasons.
    To sum it up - Once diagnosed, anyone with RA can take the responsibility
    for their own condition . Just like a person with a hip replacesment needs
    to take care of not crossing the midline with the legs to pop out a
    prosthesis - If that person looks after their aches and pains and swelling
    around the joints and thier immune system - i.e. not overdoing anything,
    taking medication if it is required; eating, sleeping and, most of all,
    keep moving (exercising) correctly they can live with the condition and have

    every expectation of a normal length for their life. Just don't step in
    front of a bus!!!

    Drusilla Leitch, Certification Director

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