What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Diagnosis and Management of this Common Autoimmune Disease

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder of connective tissue; this tissue is the basis of muscles, joints, ligaments, blood vessels and much else. Being autoimmune in nature means that RA involves the formation of antibodies which then proceed to destroy the connective tissue.

No one knows quite why this happens but there seems to be a genetic link in some people. Women are three times more likely to suffer from the disease than men, particularly in the younger age groups. Some people only develop the disease mildly and for a short period, in others it can take a more severe and prolonged course.

The most obvious manifestation of RA is in the joints. These initially become stiff and painful followed later by swelling and inflammation. If the disease progresses the joints may become deformed and permanently damaged.

Joints Most Commonly Affected in RA

Usually a number of joints are affected, commonly those of the hands and feet but any joint is susceptible such as the knees, elbows, shoulders, hips and spine.

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Other Tissues Affected in RA

Because RA attacks connective tissue which forms the basis of almost every tissue in the body, virtually any part of the body can be, but is not always, affected.

  • Rheumatic nodules: these small lumps commonly form in the tendons.
  • Skin: erythema (redness), vasculitis (inflammation of the small vessels of the skin), ulceration of the skin.
  • Heart: pericarditis, heart valve disease.
  • Lung: fluid in the pleural cavity, hardening of the lung tissue
  • Eyes: irritation, nodules.
  • Nerves: these may become trapped by swollen and thickened tissues resulting in nerve pain, numbness and altered sensation.


  • Drugs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be tried initially if the patient can tolerate them. Steroids are used when NSAIDs are not working. Other drugs used are; sulphasalazine, penicillamine and methotrexate.
  • Physiotherapy: mobilisation of joints, strengthening muscles, exercises.
  • Occupational therapy: patient education on coping with daily activities, provision of aids splints and braces.
  • Surgery: fusion of unstable neck joints, reduction in pressure on nerves from thickened tissue, joint replacement.

Alternative Treatments

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that needs to be diagnosed by a specialist physician and confirmed by laboratory tests. If RA is present it should be managed by a specialist. This needn’t stop you considering alternative treatments, especially if you cannot tolerate the usual drugs; however you should only do so in consultation with your physician.

  • Acupuncture: some people find this helpful in reducing pain and inflammation, especially in the early stages of the illness.
  • Herbs: Willow is the classic herb for joint pains. It contains salicylic acid which is a precursor to aspirin so if you can’t tolerate this drug you may have trouble with willow. An infusion of coriander applied to the joint is said to be beneficial. If you want to get deeper into herbs it’s probably best to consult a professional herbalist.
  • Diet: some people have found that certain foods can exacerbate their arthritis; major culprits seem to be wheat flour, dairy and meat. The only way to find out is by trial and error. It’s been said that fish oils in the diet are also beneficial- worth a try because they are useful in other ways such as protecting against heart disease. In the same vein, a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruit and low on saturated fats is always worth adopting.

Metamorphic Rocks Facts – What are they made up of?

It is known as a fact that rocks are composed of minerals. Even though a ton of these rocks may come with the same form of minerals, they may be classified differently as well. This is going to occur in knowing how such rocks were formed. This is important to ponder upon. This is also the reality of metamorphic rocks. Many metamorphic rock facts would say these such rocks have been exposed to pressure and heat. These are all found within the deep surface of the earth. There are still other interesting facts about the mentioned. What are these?

Slate and marble have always been the best example of metamorphic rocks. These are all formed under extreme pressure. These are combined over time. These are also called the way they are because they started as another kind of rock. However, eventually, they changed. As the slate forms, some of the clay coming from the original rock was placed through the mineral mica. Needless to say, the metamorphic rock originated not solely on the igneous and even that of sedimentary rock, but also with other kinds of metamorphic rocks available around.

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As contact metamorphism takes place, pieces of rock have been broken down. These are all situated on the surface of the Earth. These are at some point, being altered by magma. As for the so called regional metamorphism, rocks are usually being buried deep within the Earth. These on the other hand will be modified by the chambers of the magma.

When it comes to parallel brands of grain, foliated rocks would definitely come into place. Do not get this wrong because there are also non-foliated rocks known to many. These do not come with any sort of arrange, or even brands at all. Another kind of rock is marble. This came from limestone.

On the other hand, schist is also known. This originates from the slate. This is another kind of metamorphic rock again. From the name itself, the word metamorphic denotes to change. The metamorphic rock, or even that of slate, may come from clay, mudstone or even shale. Taj Mahal became popular because of the various types of marble it features. It originated from metamorphic rock.

Another type of metamorphic rock is called the serpentine. This came from igneous rock peridotite.

All the time, extreme pressure and heat are all responsible in the change of metamorphic rocks. Usually, the pressure may originate under the surface of the Earth. This may occur as well. This may also be brought by magma. Even intense collisions, and that of friction are held responsible. Erosion and uplift always bring the metamorphic rocks on the surface. This is very evident in the existence of marble, quartzite, anthracite, gneiss, granulite, schist and even that of slate.

There is a kind of coal in anthracite. This goes out with a very high carbon count. There may be impurities even with high luster by they are just about the features of such rock.

Artichoke Nutrition Facts – Does it promote healthy diet?

There is nothing wrong with being food conscious these days. This is somehow mandatory because of the fact that the rate of obesity is rising. Truth be told – it is not just about the figure talked about here. This is a topic that encompasses the entire health of an individual. With that said, being picky with the food you eat is just fine. This may be the start. However, this should go beyond that. You must also be knowledgeable with various Artichoke Nutrition facts available over the web and the like. These may be of great help.

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Artichoke will be considered popular. It is most especially during the winter months. These bud flowers are most likely to bud in the Mediterranean. This is not a revelation because that is its origin. In Greek, it is referred to as the Ankara. This utilized vegetable is well-known even in the ancestors of Romans. The mentioned has been pursued and advocated because of its qualities related to the health of the person. Botanically speaking, it belong in the family of thistle. It comes with a scientific name of Canada scholiums. Its genus is identified as the Ciara.

This globe artichoke has the ability to grow until 1.5 to 2m tall. It may arch with the presence of its lobed, and green leaves. These may also be of 0.5 m long. Whenever they are being left alone, they have the capacity to illuminate in beautiful pink color. There are instances when they even develop purple flowers which are always equipped with their large head. These are considered to be the edible buds that everyone may witness once in a while. Apart from this, the bud may be comprised of triangular scales which are arranged accordingly. These are undertaken in a whorl-fashion which are all around a center called the choke.

Every artichoke globe can measure from 6 to that of 10 cm. It may also weigh for around 150 g. The center of the bud will always be dubbed as its choke. These can somehow become inedible as it gets older. This is also true as it turns into a large flower. Most of the edible portion of the buds are made up of the freshly lower portions which are on their involucre bracts. The base in this juncture is called the heart.

If there are related species to such, it will be the Cardoons. But then, as compared to artichokes, where the flower buds are always being eaten, the edible portions of them are the blanched leafy-stalks. These are also found in the cardoons alone.

The health benefits

Artichoke is good for people pursuing diet because it is low in fat and calories. The flower bud of it only comes with 47 calories. With that said, the claim about it being rich in dietary fiber and even that of anti-oxidants is true. The fiber may help in the controlling of conditions which are connected to constipation. These may also decrease the presence of LDL.