Health Check: What Rheumatoid Arthritis Does to the Body

Elderly woman's handsAlthough rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease of the joint, it affects not just your bones. In fact, some people who suffer the problem struggle with symptoms that seem to be unrelated to the condition. Here’s how this disease affects other parts of the body:

It Causes Dry Eyes

The inflammation caused by RA results in tear glands having limited fluid secretion. You probably notice this often happens at the latter part of the day. That’s because this is usually when the fluid in the tear glands have already evaporated.

As an autoimmune disease, RA is also closely associated with another autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome. This causes dry eyes. In other instances, patients struggle with eye pain and redness as well. This is often brought about by scleritis or the inflammation of the white part of the eye. Over time, if the problem isn’t addressed immediately, it could lead to vision loss.

It Hurts the Heart

You’re more at risk for developing heart diseases when you have RA. This is due to the fact that the inflammation caused by RA hardens the arteries. This is the reason treatment and help with rheumatoid arthritis that South Jordan specialists offer are geared towards managing RA’s inflammation through medicines and lifestyle changes.

Gentle exercises that don’t put a strain on joints can reduce the risk for heart disease. At the same time, eating inflammation-fighting food, such as fish, citrus fruits, and beans, can help. Ask your doctor about a healthy diet and workout routine to follow to manage RA and risk for heart problems.

It Affects the Lungs

The airways in your lungs can be inflamed as a result of worsening RA. Lung complications are more common in men than women, especially those who have a history of smoking. Patients often experience coughs, shortness of breath, and fatigue. In other instances, people develop nodules in the lungs.

Stay committed to your RA treatment to manage the inflammation symptoms of the disease. Kick the smoking habit as well to reduce your risk to lung complications. A good support network can help you stay on track on your medications and healthy lifestyle.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complex disease that affects the whole body. Get help immediately to prevent the RA’s symptoms from worsening and wreaking havoc on other body organs.