Rheumatoid Arthritis Complications

Health Window logo

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)  is a disease that can put you at risk of developing serious complications, particularly if it’s poorly controlled.

If RA is not managed well, the inflammation in joints could lead to significant and permanent damage. Your joints can become so damaged that you develop permanent joint deformities. This can make it very difficult to carry out your daily activities at home and at work.

In addition to joint problems, RA can affect multiple organs. These include:

  • Skin and blood vessels – red nodular rash, nail changes, ulcers, gangrene of the fingers or toes
  • Eyes – dry and painful eyes
  • Digestive system – symptoms usually occur due to side effects from medication
  • Lungs – usually damage to the lining of the lungs, causing breathing difficulty
  • Heart – increased risk of heart disease, including heart attacks
  • Kidneys – long-standing inflammation can eventually lead to kidney failure
  • Nerve damage

You can reduce your risk of developing these complications by ensuring that your condition is well controlled. Make sure to prioritize the following:

  • Stop smoking
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take your prescribed medication and do not miss doses

Speak to your doctor if you are struggling with uncontrolled symptoms or side effects of your medication. Do not stop your treatment unless recommended by your doctor.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

Reference: Scott DL, Wolfe F, Huizinga TW. Rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet. 2010 Sep 25;376(9746):1094-108


Content Disclaimer:
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Dis-Chem website or app are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All of the content provided on the website, are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to establish a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. You understand and acknowledge that you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. You also understand and acknowledge that you should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained in or transmitted through the website. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this website or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.
Back to top