Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that manifests as painful swelling with prolonged morning stiffness .
Rheumatoid arthritis is common in Vietnam as well as in many countries around the world. Many patients do not find it early or mistaken for common musculoskeletal pain.
The identification feature of rheumatoid arthritis is the painful swelling of many joints accompanied by stiffness in the morning. Symptoms are more pronounced when the weather changes or the climate is wet.
According to medical studies, rheumatoid arthritis occurs in all races and ages. In it, most common with people 30-50 years old, accounting for 73 to 85%. Women are 2-6 times more likely than men to be infected . Men tend to be worse than women.
In fact, signs of rheumatoid arthritis are often overlooked because the patient thinks that due to the normal reaction of the body due to the weather or the consequences of overwork. The disease progresses slowly so it is easier to ignore the first stage of symptoms of pain, swelling but not too big, subjective patients do not go to the doctor immediately. When the disease is severe, seriously affecting daily activities of new patients coming to the hospital for examination.
Previously, arthritis was dubbed the "problem of the elderly". The disease is now found in many young people. The Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy has just received a 34-year-old female patient in District 2 with this disease. The woman often works with computers more than eight hours a day. Half a year ago, her right knuckles began to swell and ache when she moved, so she could not type on the keyboard. The weather changes more and more. She buys oral pain medicine, initially aches and pains but when she stops taking drugs, symptoms are swollen, aches and pains, stiffness increases.
Dr. Cao Thanh Ngoc, Head of the Joint Musculoskeletal Unit, Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, diagnosed patients with rheumatoid arthritis. X-ray images show joint destruction. Doctors warn patients without treatment, the risk of joint adhesion, joint deformity leads to very high disability. It also affects the whole body and damages other organs in the body, seriously affecting health and quality of life.
In this case, Dr. Ngoc recommends that people with joint pain should not arbitrarily buy pain relievers because they cannot cure the etiology of the disease but also delay time and make the disease worse. by Dr. Ngoc, among patients who visited osteoarthritis problems, about 10% were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Most of these cases have entered a period of severe progression and the appearance of joint dislocations, joints, and deformities. Thereafter, the treatment becomes more difficult and longer because the patient does not respond to the common antihypertensive drugs but needs to use biological drugs.
The doctor explained that biologic drugs are different from synthetic antiretroviral drugs at much faster analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects and are still safe for health. This is considered a new step in medicine to help patients recover faster and quickly return to daily life. However, the cost of this drug is relatively expensive so the treatment will be more expensive.
Dr. Ngoc recommends that for rheumatoid arthritis, early diagnosis and treatment is important because damage to joints can occur very soon. Therefore, patients need to be examined early when signs such as joint pain or frequent stiffness in the morning, persistent joint pain, more severe over time, joint swelling, heat, symmetrical pain, joint pain, tired. Some patients may have a fever, limiting exercise. Especially the swelling of joint pain lasts more than two months in middle-aged women.