What role does your immune system play?
It attacks bacteria and viruses and keeps us healthy. Other than preventing flu and coughs, your immune system is responsible for your overall being. However, sometimes your immune responses change and it starts attacking its cells.
Yes, this happens and this makes your immune system go crazy. As it destroys your body’s natural cells, the result is many different types of diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are diseases alongside many others. These are called autoimmune diseases and sometimes these diseases travel in your genes.
Autoimmune Diseases – All You Need to Know
Detecting the abnormal immune responses can be of great help in preventing the onset of such diseases. There are even tests for this and an antinuclear antibody test is one such test. My friend was accidentally diagnosed with an early stage of arthritis. We were generally checking after checking the ANA test price and suddenly she decided to go for the test as the condition was common in her family. Little did she know that it would turn into a preliminary diagnosis.
Her diagnosis made us think that the condition is very concerning. But the more we read about it we realized how many misconceptions are around us. So, yes I am writing here to debunk all of the rheumatoid arthritis diseases that can help patients and caregivers.
Some Common Myths About Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Before we begin with the myths let me tell me what made me write this.
1- It only affects weight-bearing joints
This is not true. The myth probably arises from the fact that there are different types of arthritis, each one of them affecting different forms of joints. It is often perceived that RA also affects the weight-bearing joints in your body such as the ones of knees, lower back and hip.
However, the condition is autoimmune and all your body joints are equally affected by the condition. Sometimes the damage can be serious to an extent that it may require joint replacement surgeries. My friend I was talking about earlier, her father had a severe form of arthritis that he even had to go for a surgery done by the best orthopedic surgeon in Islamabad.
2- It only affects older people
No, there is no truth in this. Many people believe that conditions like RA only affect adults. However, the fact is that RA can start anytime. As discussed, RA is caused by an abnormal immune system in your body that has nothing to do with your age. So, yes there is nothing you can do about controlling the onset of disease however, good lifestyle practices can help you manage it effectively.
3- Your diet is responsible for RA
NO, this is completely false. While many people think that poor dietary choices can act as an important trigger for RA. This is not the case. Though we don’t know exactly what triggers or induces RA in the body, your diet is certainly not a disease trigger. But yes the dietary options can determine how you will deal with the disease.
4- Joint deformities due to RA are not preventable
Well, again there is no truth in this. Though this is true that RA results in joint damage all across the body that changes the way your joints appear. This joint damage was unavoidable in the past but this no longer remains true. There are a variety of modern treatment options that can help to minimize the extent of this joint damage and keep these deformities at a bay.
5- You can’t control it with lifestyle changes
Well, this is absolutely a myth that has nothing to do with reality.
Lifestyle changes no matter what play a significant role in the prevention and management of a variety of conditions. This exactly goes for arthritis as well. Yes, you can start following the best lifestyle practices and see how your signs and symptoms approve. Quit smoking, start healthy eating, stay physically active and keep all the problems at a bay.
6- You can leave your medication once your symptoms get better
There are a variety of treatment options against rheumatoid arthritis and the medicines are quite effective in this regard. Many people believe that these medications can be stopped once your symptoms get better. However, there is no truth in this. No matter how much improvement you see, stopping your medication is like calling your disease back.
So, matter what, stick to your treatment plan.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common yet misunderstood condition. However, with the right information and a good treatment plan you can manage your symptoms and live a healthy life. Further, make sure to talk to the doctor about every single thing you want to try or change regarding your treatment and live a healthy life.