Vasculitis

Facts About Arthritis and Vasculitis

Rheumatoid Arthritis and vasculitis can often appear in conjunction with one another due to the fact that arthritis is an immune system disease that can cause damage to blood vessels, causing vasculitis.  When rheumatoid arthritis attacks blood vessels vasculitis can often result, causing visible damage to the skin.  While this has not been proven those with vasculitis often already have arthritis, hence the conclusion therein.  Vasculitis can be a symptom of an immune system disorder, while rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disorder.  This cause and effect relationship is the hallmark of a patient having both disorders at once.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an immune system disease that affects the joints of a person’s body initially and then has the potential to move into the organs.  While most people think that arthritis is exclusively responsible for aches and pains in all actuality it is much more than that.  Arthritis causes a patient’s immune system to act against their body, causing damage to various systems and even organ failure (possibly death).  Joint pain is the primary symptom many think of when considering whether or not someone has arthritis.  Rheumatoid Arthritis has no known cure, it is treated by either suppressing a patient’s immune system with medications or treating the symptoms caused by arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA is the most painful and sometimes deadly form of arthritis because of the immune system malfunction that occurs within a patient’s body.  Organ failure and other problems that arise from an immune system disorder are often life changing events, this is why those with RA should stay up to date on what the disease is doing so that they can receive the proper medical care.  Lupus can occur alongside RA causing hair loss, renal failure and respiratory problems.

Furthermore the more serious disorders attributed to arthritis and other less serious (although extremely painful) disorders such as gout fall under the umbrella of arthritis.  Gout may not be life threatening (as RA can be), however it can be debilitating in light of the fact that it can cause joints to swell to the point that they cannot be used, rendering some immobile since gout often occurs in the feet.  Psoriasis is another form of arthritis and much like RA is an immune system disorder than causes a body’s immune system to attack its own cells.  Psoriasis can eventually lead to psoriatic arthritis, causing pain in skin and joints as well as organ damage.

Arthritis is the most common disabling disease in the US.  There are over 20 million people living with the pain of arthritis every day.  Arthritis is the number one reason for lost wages and medical visits to free clinics, it is the most expensive and common chronic illness in America.  Many of those who develop arthritis no longer wish to work or leave their homes, often they apply for Social Security or other social programs.  Arthritis is a condition that if cured the whole world would stand to benefit, a good deal of people are guaranteed to develop the condition as they become older.

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