Healthcare experts alert early intervention for RA as it is emerging as new lifestyle disease in India

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Healthcare experts have cautioned and advised people to have early intervention for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) disease, as it is emerging as a widely affecting autoimmune lifestyle disease among Indians.

Dr. Rajkiran Dudam, managing director and consultant rheumatologist at Hyderabad Rheumatology Center, while expressing concern about the growing cases of people suffering from RA, revealed that RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints causing inflammation in the synovium membrane surrounding the inner lining of the joints. The inflammation causes painful swelling, and if left unchecked can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.

Adding further, the rheumatologist observed that RA typically impacts people in the age group of 30-50 and is more prevalent in women than men. The typical symptoms of RA include painful swelling, stiffness, and limited movement in the joints. “If we look at the trend, over the years, the incidences of RA in Hyderabad have been gradually increasing. Recent studies have revealed that more than 180 million people in India are suffering from acute joint pains. The main reasons for this are fast changing life style of the people and other environmental factors like infections, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, pollution, smoking etc. I see more than 200 patients every week with RA and new patients with first time diagnosis are getting added,” says Dr. Dudam.

Particularly the women folks in the age group of 35-50 and above are more prone to developing RA than in men. Apart from environmental causes, genetic background is also regarded as another important cause for RA. However, the RA expert opined that the arthritis disease is still largely remains an idiopathic.

People who also have obesity with RA are at a higher risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure. The inflammation that occurs with RA can make daily activities challenging, therefore, it is important for RA patients to immediately seek medical intervention on experiencing the signs and symptoms of RA.

RA experts revealed that on a case wise basis, RA treatment can be largely divided into two categories, modifying symptoms and modifying disease pathways. Medication can be prescribed both in orals and injectables based on patient’s disease history, observed Dr. Dudam.

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