Rheumatoid Arthritis Test
Over 200 forms of arthritis exist today, affecting the old as well as the young. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and juvenile arthritis are the three most common forms. Osteoarthritis (OA) causes the cartilage in the joints to break down which results in the bones rubbing against one another, hampering movement and causing chronic recurrent pain. Juvenile arthritis (JA) is a form of arthritis that occurs only in children under the age of 18 years. Around 295,000 children are affected by JA in the UK today.
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by an inflammation of the joints and is known as an autoimmune disease. It is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK and can lead to disability, chronic pain and loss of function as a result of the long-term joint damage it causes.
Causes and symptoms
Rheumatoid arthritis causes the bodyís own immune system to attack its own tissue, specifically the synovium which is the thin membrane that lines the joints. As the synovium wears away, the bones rub against one another, further increasing the pain. As a result, excess fluid is created in the joints by the body to counteract this attack, which causes the inflammation and leads to pain throughout the body. It is a chronic disease, which means it canít be cured. In most people, it flares up over time which means that they may experience a period of remission with little or no pain before the condition is active again. In others, it causes continuous symptoms and pain.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually differ for different people and often change daily. The most common symptoms of the condition can include:
- Inflammation and stiffness of your joints
- Pain and swelling around your joints Ė fingers, knees, hips, spine, knees, elbows, etc
- Decreased range of movement
- Joints feel warm to the touch
Because this condition is symmetrical, if you experience pain in your right hand you are likely to also experience pain in your left hand, for example. Itís also likely that rheumatoid arthritis will leave you feeling tired or anaemic, and it may cause a loss of appetite or a slight fever.
Long-term side effects
The long-term side effects of rheumatoid arthritis can differ from person to person. The most commonly reported side effects of this condition include damaged ligaments and cartilage, joint disability and deformity or rheumatoid nodules. These nodules appear as lumps of tissue underneath the skin and are primarily focused on the areas where joint pain is the worst. Once the inflammation that is characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis gets into your system, it can have an effect on your internal organs over time.
Tests and treatment
An early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and aggressive treatment as soon as possible is the best treatment for this condition which causes disability and permanent joint and organ damage. If you think you have rheumatoid arthritis, or if you are at risk, itís advised that you seek treatment or medical advice as soon as possible. Common early warning symptoms of the disease are
- Regular joint stiffness or pain in the mornings
- Swollen or hot joints
- Persistent pain in the joints
Taking a rheumatoid arthritis test early on is the best way to test for this condition. TestDiagnostics offers an accurate and confidential Rheumatoid Arthritis finger prick test online. You can take the test in the comfort of your own home at any time, and simply post your completed test sample to our accredited partner laboratory for processing. The test checks for levels of Citrullinated Protein Antibodies (CPA) and Rheumatoid Factors (RF) in your blood, which are early indicators of the condition, and can provide you with a 99.9% accurate test result. If you receive a positive result for this test, it may also indicate early warning signs for the onset of RF up to five years before infection, which can be extremely helpful in ensuring you get a preventative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis early on.
- What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a type of joint disorder that is characterised by pain and inflammation of the joints. There are over 200 different types of arthritis around today.
- How does rheumatoid arthritis differ?
Rheumatoid arthritis differs from osteoarthritis or juvenile arthritis, for example, in that it is characterised by specific chronic pain and inflammation in the joints. It causes the synovium to wear away, leaving bare bones to rub against one another, can ultimately causing pain, swelling and inflammation.
- What are the main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
The main symptoms of this condition include hot or warm joints, painful joints, difficulty moving and lumps or nodules on the joints.
- How is it diagnosed?
Rheumatoid arthritis is easily diagnosed. If you are normally healthy and then start waking up in the morning with continuous pain in your joints, swelling, heated joints or a slight fever, itís likely that you have RA. A simple test or visit to your doctor can confirm this diagnosis and itís important to start treatment as soon as possible.
- How do I test for RA?
This condition is easy to test for. You can either choose to visit your doctor or local hospital, or you can order a quick and painless test online. A rheumatoid arthritis test involves a simple finger prick blood sample collection, which is then sealed and sent to an accredited lab for processing.