Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is defined as a systemic disorder characterized by chronic joint inflammation.

 

RA is predominantly occurs between 35 to 45 years of age, and is more common in women (female:male = 3:1) but after the age of 50, the sex difference is less marked.

 

Unfortunately, the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is idiopathic (unknown).

 

The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Gradual onset with early symptoms of fatigue, weakness and/or anorexia
  • 4 of the following 7 criteria are present (according to the American College of Rheumatology):
    • Morning stiffness for more than 1 hour
    • Arthritis in ≥ 3 joints with swelling
    • Symmetrical arthritis
    • Rheumatoid nodules
    • Changes typical of RA found on an x-ray
    • Positive serum rheumatoid factor

 

The diagnostic assessment tools and results that are used to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Increased rheumatoid factor (RF)
  • Possibly mild anemia
  • Increased CRP (C-reactive protein) and increased ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
  • Mildly elevated WBCs (white blood cells)
  • Turbid joint fluid
  • X-ray imaging

 

From a Naturopathic standpoint, Dr. Moira Kwok ND will obtain a very thorough medical history in order to put all of your "puzzle pieces" together to form a whole picture of everything that is going on from a health perspective.  From this holistic approach to treatment, she will put together an individualized treatment plan based on a combination of dietary and lifestyle recommendations, supplements, botanicals, acupuncture and/or IV therapy that is based on your specific case.

 

References

  • Ferri FF.  2007.  Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment.  Mosby Elsevier: Philadelphia, PA.
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