World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2023
World autoimmune arthritis day 2023 is honored on May 20th annually to raise awareness about immune system-related arthritis among the people living with this condition. This day is celebrated to educate the public about the symptoms, causes, treatment, and diagnoses. World autoimmune arthritis day was first established by the International Foundation For Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Arthritis (IFAA) on May 20th, 2012. After that, world autoimmune arthritis day is observed. In today's blog, learn about the early signs of autoimmune arthritis and get diagnosed accurately.
What Is Autoimmune Arthritis?
Autoimmune arthritis can occur when our immune system attacks the body's healthy cells, causing joint damage, swelling, or inflammation. This disease not only occurs in the joints; it can also attack multiple organs such as the eyes, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and skin. Autoimmune arthritis involves many progressive diseases that predominantly affect the joints.
Different Types Of Autoimmune Arthritis
This World autoimmune arthritis Day 2023, become aware of the common types of autoimmune arthritis and stop the misconceptions.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoinflammatory disease that affects more than one joint, with symptoms occurring on both sides of the body.
- Psoriatic arthritis develops gradually after psoriasis, a skin condition characterized by rashes that cause scales or patches over the skin. If the psoriasis is left untreated, it can turn into psoriatic arthritis approximately within a decade.
- Reactive arthritis frequently strikes people of the age group 20-50 years. It develops as an outcome of an infection caused by bacteria. The bacteria involved with reactive arthritis are salmonella, shigella, and campylobacter. Reactive arthritis causes symptoms like rashes over the soles and palms and eye redness.
- Ankylosing arthritis is common in those with HLA-B27 gene mutation. Ankylosing arthritis, also called ankylosing spondylitis, majorly affects the spine and pelvis.
Did You Know?
Although osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis share similar symptoms, such as joint stiffness in the morning right after waking up from bed, osteoarthritis is not as exact as rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is degenerative due to cartilage wear-out, and rheumatoid arthritis is autoimmune arthritis. In the case of osteoarthritis, the morning stiffness occurs for a few minutes, in contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, where the joint stiffness happens for a prolonged duration; it can even last for almost an hour.
Many different symptoms can occur in autoimmune arthritis. But the following are common symptoms.
- Joint pain with stiffness (especially in the morning)
- Deformation of joints
- Warmth and swelling over joints
- Loss of appetite
- Drastic weight loss
- Decreased range of motion
- Lumps under the skin, especially on the hands
- Changes in the nails
- Low-grade Fever
Causes Of Autoimmune Arthritis:
- Obesity: It is one of the main factors for rheumatoid arthritis since being overweight can worsen inflammation.
- Gender: Women, especially postmenopausal women, are subjected to autoimmune arthritis at a higher rate than men due to the influence of estrogen.
- Smoking: Cigarettes and smoking tobacco can increase the risk of autoimmune arthritis by triggering inflammatory mediators.
- Hereditary: There are specific genetic factors that run through the family. You are likely to develop arthritis if you have a family history of this condition.
- Age: Although autoimmune arthritis can occur to anyone of any age. However, as a consequence of aging, it is common in people in the age group between 49- 60 years.
Diagnostic Tests Involved In Autoimmune Arthritis
- Blood tests that involve erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) to determine the inflammatory status because high levels of these parameters are suggestive of arthritis or autoimmune diseases.
- Rheumatoid factor and Anti-CCP antibody blood tests will be done to evaluate rheumatoid arthritis; if either of these results tests positive, it indicates rheumatoid arthritis. Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) test will be involved because these antibodies appear in many people with this condition.
- Imaging tests such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be taken if you are suspected of autoimmune arthritis since these diagnostic tests can detect damaged or deformed joints.
- Tissue sampling: In the case of suspected psoriatic arthritis, tissue samples from the skin lesions will be collected to confirm and identify psoriasis's existence.
Treatment for Autoimmune Arthritis:
- DMARDs are disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs that reduce inflammation and pain and slow the progression of autoimmune arthritis.
- Biologics used in treating autoimmune arthritis work by inhibiting the immune mediators that trigger the autoimmune reaction. In some cases, biologics can be added along with DMARDS to control the disease. It is prescribed only if DMARDs turn out to be ineffective.
- Surgery: Surgery will be performed to correct the deformed joints and joints that are badly affected; most commonly, surgeries involve synovectomy, hip, or total joint replacement.
- NSAIDs are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents that help in subsiding pain and swelling for a temporary period.
- Steroids generally involve corticosteroids that help ease the pain and inflammation. However, steroids can be taken only briefly as they are associated with many systemic adverse effects.
- Physiotherapy: Physiotherapy can improve joint stability and mobility. Physiotherapy can aid in reducing pain and eases joint flexibility.
Tips To Fight Autoimmune Arthritis
- Exercise regularly for a minimum of 30 minutes daily. Include exercises that put less stress on the joints, such as cycling, swimming, and walking.
- Keep your weight under control to lower the pressure on the joints.
- Practice meditation and yoga daily as it can help relax your muscles.
- Using assistive devices such as splints, braces, or walking aids can lower joint stress and improve mobility.
- Apply hot and cold therapy to the affected joint to relieve pain and inflammation.
Autoimmune has various types of disease. On World Autoimmune Arthritis Day 2023, campaigns are launched to raise awareness of autoimmune arthritis, encourage its early detection and treatment, and push for better support and research. It is a chance for the entire world to exchange stories, offer assistance, and raise money for projects and initiatives to develop better treatments. Millions of people impacted by these illnesses can live better lives if we raise awareness and encourage cooperation. Show your support by uploading your images on social media using the hashtag #WorldAutoimmuneArthritisDay to raise awareness and promote solidarity.