Your frequently asked questions about rheumatoid arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a very debilitating autoimmune disease that affects between 0.3% and 0.8% of the world population (source WHO). Resulting from immune dysfunction, the disease is characterized by inflammation and progressive destruction of the joints. As a reminder, inflammation is the system allowing the body to defend itself against external aggressions. In the case of polyarthritis, this inflammation is overexpressed and causes joint pain sometimes causing permanent lesions. Therapeutic progress now makes it possible to better control the disease, but the latter is still considered complex by its origins and mechanisms. Chronic disease, polyarthritis progresses throughout life with, for the patient, phases of relapses and phases of remissions

Is rheumatoid arthritis treatable?

Polyarthritis is treated by prescribing medication; Today, thanks to a treatment that is targeted and optimized according to the patient's biology, the chances of achieving lasting remission are greater. Remission of rheumatoid arthritis is the doctor's ultimate goal for his patient The patient is considered in remission when his DAS28 (an indicator of disease activity) is less than 2.6. Complete cure of the disease, that is to say, prolonged remission without recurrence despite stopping treatment, is still rare and concerns recent forms that have been treated quickly with an adequate medication.

How to treat rheumatoid arthritis?

It is necessary to differentiate remission and cure from rheumatoid arthritis. The major clinical objective is to achieve lasting remission of the disease, that is to say, putting it to sleep so that it no longer causes symptoms, pain and joint destruction. A distinction is made between symptomatic treatments which improve symptoms but do not treat the disease, and disease-modifying treatments which, in turn, act on the control and progression of the disease. Symptomatic treatments and DMARDs are often combined

Can you spot rheumatoid arthritis with a blood test?

To date, there is no marker exclusively specific to rheumatoid arthritis, but the presence of certain rheumatoid factor (RF) type antibodies (anti-CCP or anti-citrulline antibodies) can be identified through a test.

What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

Several symptoms can be considered the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis:

  • The individual is woken up at the end of the night by joint pain and in the morning he feels stiffness in the joints for at least 30 minutes as well as numbness.
  • He has been experiencing these symptoms for at least six weeks
  • Joint pain occurs in the wrists, hands and / or fingers
  • The pains are symmetrical, that is to say they are found in the right and left joints, at the same level
If you experience all of these symptoms, consult your doctor to carry out the necessary examinations and thus quickly establish a diagnosis.

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Everyday Life?

Beyond the physical aspect, rheumatoid arthritis affects the daily life of the patient in several ways. The patient with the pathology has difficulty using his hands, suffers from fatigue, preventing him from performing certain daily activities and causing a feeling of frustration

How Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect the Body?

Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the synovial membrane. This phenomenon called synovitis causes pain and swelling in the joints, and most often affects the hands and feet.

How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?

There is no test that can specifically diagnose polyarthritis, but the combination of different factors will allow the rheumatologist to draw conclusions. To do this, the latter will perform several checks

  • Joint examination
  • Blood tests to check for the presence of inflammation or antibodies that may suggest RA or the presence of "rheumatoid factor"
  • A radiographic assessment

What are the statistics for rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis affects between 0.3% and 0.8% of the world's population according to WHO. The pathology most often occurs between 35 and 55 years old and affects more women than men In France, more than 300,000 patients suffer from it and several thousand cases are recorded each year

What Are the Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

The origin of polyarthritis is still uncertain. Several avenues are mentioned and can be categorized into 2 main parts: genetic factors and environmental factors: Certain factors are considered to be triggers of the disease such as smoking.

Does coronavirus (covid) affect more with rheumatoid arthritis?

To date, there is no evidence that patients treated for rheumatoid arthritis are at greater risk than others. However, barrier measures must be applied in the same way as everyone else to protect themselves from the virus.

What are the treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?

It is necessary to distinguish symptomatic treatments and basic treatments. The first attack the symptoms but do not prevent the progression of the disease. Symptomatic treatments are intended to control the disease and to consider clinical remission. Symptomatic and basic treatment are often combined.

Quelle est la différence entre polyarthrite et arthrite ?

Polyarthritis is a form of arthritis that has the peculiarity of affecting several joints (more than 3 joints), most often located on the hands and feet. It is also distinguished by a proliferation of cells of the synovial membrane more important than other arthritis