Rheumatoid patients in care

The term "rheumatism" does not exist in the medical vocabulary. It comes from everyday language and can refer to a variety of different rheumatic diseases (more than 100 different ones).

What diseases/disorders can be titled with the term rheumatism?

In short, all diseases that are listed under the rheumatic forms, such as z. B.

I. Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. It affects more women. Usually occurs between the age of 40. and 70. on at the age of.

What is the cause of rheumatoid arthritis??

What triggers the disease of the joints is not yet 100% clear. Scientists ame that the trigger of rheumatoid arthritis is a misregulation of the immune system (autoimmune disease). The human immune system attacks the articular cartilage and destroys its substance. If rheumatoid arthritis is not treated, the disease may also affect organs (such as. B. pleura, eyes, pericardium, etc.) and affect blood vessels.

What are the different forms of rheumatoid arthritis??

– At Style's disease not only the joints, but also the heart and liver are affected. This form of rheumatism is closely related to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Caplan syndrome (Silco arthritis)This form of rheumatoid arthritis always occurs in conjunction with silicosis (pneumoconiosis) and mainly affects workers who have worked in the mining industry. Age-related rheumatoid arthritis: Old-age rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects people over the age of 60. In the second year of life. With this form of the rheumatism only very rarely large joints are affected.

Worth knowing

If the patient is affected by senile rheumatoid arthritis, various symptoms and complaints may appear, such as z. B. Loss of body weight, fever, muscle pain and/or a marked drop in performance.

Felty's syndromeFelty's syndrome is a rheumatism with a particularly severe course. This complication (keyword: polyarthritis) mainly affects men. A typical sign of the disease (Felty's syndrome) is a decreased number of platelets and leukocytes in the blood. In addition to inflamed joints, Felty's syndrome can also affect the spleen. – The juvenile rheumatoid arthritis affects mainly children. It has not yet been scientifically proven why this disease occurs.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis??

In the early stages, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are rather non-specific, such as z. B.

– fatigue – fever – depression – exhaustion – loss of appetite

Attention

During the early stages, rheumatoid arthritis is often not recognized because the symptoms of the rheumatoid disease are often completely misinterpreted. Only in the progressive stage rheumatism-typical symptoms appear.

– The small joints of the hands and feet swell and ache (Usually there is a symmetrical affection). Gaenslen's signWhen a person with the disease holds his or her hand a little tighter, he or she experiences severe pain. Morning stiffnessThe affected joints feel stiff for a short time after getting up. During this stage, the patient's dexterity is extremely poor. He will even have trouble holding something large, like a coffee cup. – Rheumatoid joint disease can lead to circulatory problems in the fingers. – Initially, rheumatoid arthritis affects only the small joints, but it can progress to affect large joints, such as z. B. cervical spine, knee joint, shoulder joint, elbow and co. affect.

Worth knowing

Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis usually do not have lumbar and thoracic joints affected. Caution, rheumatoid arthritis can also damage other structures in addition to the joints.

– Secondary Sjorgen's syndrome (sicca syndrome): the function of the lacrimal and salivary glands are disturbed. – Carpal tunnel syndrome – Baker's cyst: fluid collects in the back of the knee, preventing the affected knee from bending properly. – Sulcus ulnaris syndrome: The elbow is irritated. – Rheumatoid nodules: Rheumatoid nodules can form at prere points or on the tendons. Rheumatoid nodules are nodule-like formations/structures that have formed in the subcutaneous fatty tie.

What secondary diseases can rheumatoid arthritis cause?

– Glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation) – Heart valve changes – Liver fibrosis

II. Arthritis psoriatica

Arthritis psoriatica is also a disease that belongs to the so-called rheumatic group of forms. To be more precise, this is an inflammatory joint disease that occurs in episodes and is associated with psoriasis. In case of arthritis psoriatica disease, the attachments of tendons may also be. The spine may be affected by inflammation. As a rule, psoriatic arthritis occurs before the actual inflammation of the joints. Only in rare cases do the symptoms of both "diseases" appear at the same time (psoriasis/arthritis).

Arthritis psoriatica: The cause

The cause that can lead to the onset of arthritis psoriatica has not yet been 100% determined. However, scientists believe that viruses and bacteria are the reason why the immune system overreacts and attacks its own body. In addition, it can be amed that genetic predisposition also plays an important role in the onset of the disease.

Worth knowing

Men and women can be equally affected by arthritis psoriatica. The age of the patient does not play a role.

III. Bekhterev's disease also falls into the category of "rheumatic diseases". Is likewise often called "rheumatism" in the vernacular. In ankylosing spondylitis, the spinal column is mainly affected, which can lead to significant restrictions in the patient's movements, e.g. B. due to severe pain, stiffening, malposition of the joints, etc.

Worth knowing

Ankylosing spondylitis can occur in people of different ages. As a rule, however, 20-30 year olds are affected more frequently.

Ankylosing spondylitis: The symptoms

– Back pain (persisting for at least twelve weeks or longer. The patient describes this back pain as deep seated) – If the affected person moves, the back pain gets better. They increase again during periods of rest. – The back pain radiates to the hips, thighs and buttocks. – Heel pain – Fatigue – Early morning night pain – Fatigue – The back feels very stiff especially in the morning. – If the patient is given an anti-inflammatory medication without cortisone, their symptoms improve very quickly (within 48 hours). – The individual joints show an asymmetrical inflammatory pattern. – The patient has chest pain. – The iritis (iris) is inflamed.

Worth knowing

The course of ankylosing spondylitis can be completely different depending on the patient.

IV. Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica (synonym: arteriitis cranialis, arteriitis capitis, arteriitis temporalis)

Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis are rheumatic diseases that both fall into the category of "autoimmune disease". Predominantly people over the age of 50. People who have been affected by giant cell arteritis or polymyalgia rheumatica before the age of 18. The cause, why it comes to the occurrence of both illnesses, is not investigated up to now yet.

Worth knowing

Polymyalgia and giant cell arteritis usually always occur in combination. Inflammatory and pathological changes occur in the large blood vessels and the muscles.

Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica: symptoms and complaints

During the initial stage of both diseases, rather unspecific symptoms occur, such as. B.

– Fever – Weight loss – Night sweats – Feeling unwell – Sudden loss of vision. have disappeared.

As both conditions progress, additional symptoms may appear.

– visual complaints, z. B. The muscles in the pelvic region-. Shoulder girdle pain. – Chewing is extremely painful for affected patients.

Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis: diagnostics

If there is a suspicion that a patient is affected by giant cell arteritis, a specialist (rheumatologist) should be consulted immediately. An appointment is not absolutely necessary for this, as affected patients are considered emergency patients by the physician. (This should explain the urgency of seeing a doctor.) For diagnostic purposes, the rheumatologist will use imaging techniques such as. B. PET-CT, MRI and/or ultrasound.

Worth knowing

To confirm the diagnosis, a biopsy of the temporal arteries is sometimes performed.

Giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica: treatment and therapy

For the treatment of both diseases, affected people are treated with glucocorticoid (cortisone) on a long-term basis. However, this can lead to the development of other diseases due to the long-term administration of cortisone, such as. B.

Giant cell arteritis and/or polymyalgia rheumatica patients are always treated with methotrexate if glucocorticoid therapy proves not to be effective enough.

Currently, scientific studies are being conducted with a drug that blocks the inflammatory messenger "interleukin 6. In the treatment of other rheumatic diseases, the first successes have already been recorded with the interleukin 6 blocker as a therapy.

Worth knowing

Other forms of vasculitis that may be colloquially referred to as rheumatism include:

– Kawasaki syndrome – Panarteritis nodosa – Takayasu arteritis

V. Sjogren's syndrome

Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune rheumatic and systemic connective tie disease that mainly affects women. The disease leads to a slow destruction of the exocrine glands.

Worth knowing

Sjogren's syndrome is not only a disease in its own right, but can also occur as a concomitant disease in lupus erythematosus or rheumatoid arthritis.

Sjogren's syndrome: the symptoms and complaints

– Chronic conjunctivitis and/or burning, itching, red, watery eyes (doctor cannot determine a specific cause!) – Fatigue – Salivary glands are swollen – Joint pain – Sensitivity to light – Dry cough – Intolerance to medications and/or foods – Genital area is constantly dry – Headache – Difficulty concentrating – Fever – Fatigue – Muscle pain – Vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels)

What is the cause of Sjogren's syndrome??

Sjogren's syndrome is not contagious. It mainly affects patients with a corresponding genetic predisposition.

Sjogren's syndrome: diagnostics

If it is suspected that a patient is affected by Sjogren's syndrome, either a rheumatologist, an internist or an ophthalmologist should be consulted. Blood is drawn from the patient for testing. This is examined for the so-called antinuclear antibodies.

Sjogren's syndrome: treatment and therapy

Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, Sjogren's syndrome can be treated in several ways.

– Eye drops and other means to relieve the dryness of the mucous membranes. – Basic rheumatic drugs – Cortisone – Immunosuppressants

VI. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE for short)

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is also classified in the group "rheumatic diseases". This disease not only affects joints, but can also affect the lungs, nervous system, skin, and other organs.

Worth knowing

This autoimmune disease predominantly affects women.

What causes Lupus Erythematosus?

What leads to the occurrence of SLE has not yet been 100% clarified. However, it has been observed that the use of medications, such as. B. Isoniazid (TB drug) hydralazine and procrainamide (both heart drugs) may also contribute to the development of lupus erythematosus. However, with the discontinuation of the medication, the symptoms of this disease disappear very quickly.

The SLE symptoms

– Tiredness – changes in blood count – fatigue – blood clotting disorders: The risk of thrombosis increases! – Fever – Anti-phospholipid syndrome – Weight loss – Secondary Sjogren's syndrome – Reddening of the skin (mostly butterfly-shaped) – Raynaud's syndrome – Pleurisy – Joint pain – Joint swelling – Inflammation of the heart muscle – Muscle inflammation – Pericarditis – Stroke – Migraine – Seizures – Depression and even psychosis – Concentration disorders

VII. Reactive arthritis

Reactive arthritis is an inflammation of the joints that can be caused by infections outside the joints. Not infrequently, such infections were not noticed by the patient at all.

What infections can lead to reactive arthritis??

Reactive arthritis can be triggered by bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, intestines, urinary tract, and genital organs.

What is the cause of reactive arthritis??

What exactly leads to the occurrence of reactive arthritis is unknown as of yet. However, there are some ideas and theories about the mechanism that is thought to promote the development of this rheumatic disease.

Reactive arthritis: the symptoms

The first symptoms of reactive arthritis occur shortly after the triggering infection has occurred.

– Frequent urination – Vaginal/urethral discharge and/or burning – Diarrhea – Cough – Sore throat – Arthralgia (mild joint pain) – Burning with urination – Arthritis (severe joint pain)

Attention

The symptoms can often be very mild, which means that they are often not understood as the warning signal they actually are.

Worth knowing

Reactive arthritis is usually well curable. No existing joint damage remains after therapy.

VIII. Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)

SSc, systemic sclerosis, is an inflammatory rheumatic systemic disease. Collagenosis causes hardening of kidneys, skin, connective tie, digestive tract, blood vessels, lungs and other organs. In addition, the joints can also be affected.

What causes scleroderma?

Especially women can be increasingly affected by systemic sclerosis. The cause of this disease is not yet 100% scientifically clarified.

What are the symptoms of patients suffering from systemic sclerosis?

– Bluish discolorations on the hands – Diffuse and slight swellings on the hands – Skin thickening – The patient feels as if he is wearing "too tight" gloves. – Skin folds can be lifted with difficulty – Dry ulcers can appear on the fingertips. – Shortened lingual frenulum – Decreased ability to open the mouth – Calcification of the connective tie – Raynaud's syndrome – Joint swelling – Joint stiffness – Joint pain

IX. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is also one of the diseases popularly known as rheumatism.

Worth knowing

In addition to the above-mentioned diseases, there are a number of others that belong to the rheumatic spectrum, such as. B. Fibromyalgia etc. Rheumatoid diseases are divided into the following categories:

– Soft tie rheumatism – Special metabolic diseases z. B. Gout – Inflammatory diseases of the spine and joints – Degenerative changes of the spine and joints – Systemic connective tie and vascular diseases

What is the right diet for rheumatism?

Omega-3 fatty acidsFatty fish should be a regular part of the diet of people with rheumatism, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Alternatively, a daily fish oil capsule can help to alleviate rheumatism symptoms (review study University of Surrey). Other important suppliers of omega-3 fatty acids are:

Who suffers from rheumatism, should reduce the consumption of meat to a minimum. Meat contains large amounts of arachidonic acid, which increases the inflammatory process of rheumatism, or. can accelerate.

antioxidants to relieve joint inflammationFree radicals promote inflammation of the joints. Therefore, they should be made harmless as much as possible. Best with the help of a diet rich in vitamin E, selenium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. The antioxidants mentioned are contained in various foods, such as. B.

– Soybean oil – Rapeseed oil – Fruits – Red vegetables – Fish – Legumes – etc.

Also the regular consumption of foods, such as z. B. Parsley, bananas, peas, cabbage, lettuce and spinach is beneficial for rheumatism patients. The foods mentioned are in fact rich in vitamin K. The human body depends on sufficient vitamin K to produce the proteins it needs for bone repair.

Attention

Rheumatism patients should enjoy alcohol only in moderation.

Reducing excess weight is an important measure for rheumatism patients, which provides noticeable relief for the joints. Furthermore, the breakdown of fat cells prevents them from releasing messenger substances that not only promote inflammatory processes in the joints and organs, but can also intensify them. So another reason to fight excess pounds.

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