Rheumatoid Arthritis Consciousness Week_ 5 myths in regards to the autoimmune illness everybody must cease believing

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It’s straightforward to dismiss rheumatoid arthritis as an almost-inevitable a part of ageing. However the truth is, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, isn’t linked to ageing, and is an usually very misunderstood situation.

That’s the message from the Nationwide Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS; nras.org.uk), which is utilizing this Rheumatoid Arthritis Consciousness Week (September 12-17) to focus on the various myths surrounding the illness, which, opposite to widespread perception, doesn’t simply have an effect on the joints.

Because the NRAS factors out, RA is a systemic situation which may have an effect on the physique throughout. Though joint ache is the most typical symptom, it may additionally have an effect on organs – together with the eyes – in addition to the nerves, blood vessels and muscular tissues and trigger widespread issues similar to fatigue and flu-like signs. Different points can even develop as a result of RA – like vasculitis, which happens when blood vessels turn into swollen.

“This yr, RA Consciousness Week is trying to dispel the myths that encompass rheumatoid arthritis, a hidden situation that’s fairly misunderstood,” says Stuart Munday, director of promoting on the NRAS.

“The RA group, their households and carers and healthcare professionals are solely too conscious of the misconceptions folks have about inflammatory arthritis, which is why we’ve created the #RAFactOrFiction quiz to share with others and unfold consciousness.”

So what are a few of these myths? Listed below are 5 issues about rheumatoid arthritis everybody must cease believing…

1. Rheumatoid arthritis is brought on by put on and tear on the joints

One other widespread sort of arthritis – osteoarthritis – is brought on by joint put on and tear and is related to ageing. However RA is totally different and happens when the immune system assaults the liner of the joints, inflicting ache, swelling and stiffness.

“RA is an autoimmune situation that’s a results of the immune system responding inappropriately,” explains Munday. “The immune system doesn’t know when to cease doing its job so mistakenly assaults the synovial membrane across the joints, inflicting ache and swelling, and can even have an effect on different organs.”

2. Solely older folks get rheumatoid arthritis

Though it’s acquired a distinct identify, youngsters can get a type of inflammatory arthritis just like rheumatoid arthritis, often known as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Throughout maturity, RA can doubtlessly have an effect on folks of all ages.

As Munday says: “The most typical age for folks to develop RA is between 40 and 60, or a bit older for males. Folks can get it at any age and there are different types of inflammatory arthritis, however RA is the most typical.”

3. Rheumatoid arthritis is extra widespread in males

This isn’t true. In truth, it’s believed RA impacts roughly two to 3 occasions extra girls than males, says Munday.

4. Solely people get rheumatoid arthritis

Pets like cats and canine can get a type of arthritis referred to as immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA). Munday says: “Research have proven that sure animals may be affected by immune-mediated polyarthritis (IMPA). RA is a type of IMPA in folks.”

5. Smoking doesn’t have an effect on it

Smoking can injury well being in many alternative methods, and certainly one of them is by growing the chance of RA. “Smoking can doubtlessly double the probabilities of creating RA,” stresses Munday. “As soon as recognized, if somebody continues to smoke, it may scale back the effectiveness of treatment by as much as 50%, resulting in elevated joint ache and irritation.”