Rheumatoid arthritis can be a life-changing diagnosis. But is rheumatoid arthritis fatal? It’s important to understand what this diagnosis means for your long-term health. In this article, we’ll help you understand your prognosis with this disease- and how you can manage your symptoms throughout your journey.
Rheumatoid arthritis (also known as RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder. RA patients have immune systems that attack healthy joints and connective tissues, resulting in pain and inflammation. While the disease starts with tenderness and swelling, it can progress to joint deformities, bone loss, and more.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, and symptoms can get progressively worse over time. So is rheumatoid arthritis fatal? RA itself is not fatal. However, studies have shown that RA can shorten a patient’s lifespan. This is because RA can cause dangerous complications and inflammation, which affect your overall health.
While RA can shorten a patient’s lifespan, there are plenty of patients who continue to live long, healthy, and active lives with RA. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preventing complications and staying healthy. Visit your doctor if you notice any RA symptoms or are at risk for the disease. The earlier you are diagnosed, the better your prognosis will be.
If you have RA, then it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, perform gentle exercises, and keep up with your medications. You might also try alternative therapies- like supplements, meditation, or acupuncture- along with your medication. By staying generally healthy, you can manage symptoms and continue to feel well. Just check with your doctor before trying any new wellness regimen.
Since RA is a lifelong disease, it is important to find a rheumatologist who you feel comfortable working with in the long run. Your doctor can monitor your symptoms over time and make changes to your treatment as your disease progresses. At Houston Rheumatology, we treat each patient on an individual level so that their unique needs are met. Call us today to learn how we can help you manage your RA.