Polyarthritis

The most common inflammatory joint disease in Germany is polyarthritis. It hurts in the joints and it is difficult to move the hands and feet. With such restrictions, everyday life quickly becomes a challenge. We from the Saxon state baths give you an overview of the disease and tell you how radon as a natural remedy positively supports the treatment.

What is Polyarthritis?

Polyarthritis – also called chronic polyarthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis - belongs to the inflammatory autoimmune diseases. It is not only very well known in Germany due to its widespread use. It is also quite common worldwide. If the joint pain occurs without inflammation, then it is arthralgia, not arthritis.

In polyarthritis, several joints are affected by joint inflammation. In addition, organs, bursa and tendon sheaths can also be affected. If only one joint is inflamed, it is monoarthritis; if two to four joints are inflamed, it is oligoarthritis. The “poly” means that several joints are always affected by inflammation – if there are five affected areas or more it is referred to as polyarthritis.

Although the disease is often diagnosed in seniors, younger people can also develop polyarthritis. The risk of developing the disease is particularly high between the ages of 40 and 60. In Germany, around 700.000 people suffer from the autoimmune disease, just under one percent of the total population.

The joint disease can cause great pain, severe swelling and redness. For example, it is difficult to move fingers and hands. Running or bending your knees also becomes torture. The cause of the symptoms is inflammation. If the arthritis is acute, the inflammation goes away after days or a few weeks. Chronic arthritis is only referred to after a period of six weeks.

Since the inflammation occurs again and again, the affected joints are destroyed over time, and sometimes the adjacent bones as well. This results in deformations and misalignments of the joints. Mobility and grip strength suffer from these consequences. If neighboring nerves are affected by the disease, numbness or abnormal sensations may occur. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a classic example.

Symptoms of polyarthritis

In general, the symptoms of polyarthritis are similar to those of conventional arthritis. However, there are differences, but be careful when making assumptions. These deviations are not always easy to detect. Diagnosis can sometimes be a challenge, even for a professional.

Below we give you an overview of the most important key symptoms:

  • severe joint pain
  • Joint swelling
  • Pressure on the joints
  • Joint redness
  • Feeling of heat in the joints
  • Feeling weak
  • morning stiffness
  • exhaustion
  • anorexia
  • fever

The symptoms occur particularly during periods of rest and can be alleviated with exercise. Therefore, those affected often complain of pain at night. The fingers and wrists are most commonly affected by the disease. Not all of the symptoms listed have to occur, but they are an indication of the autoimmune disease. The disease often manifests itself in the form of tendonitis in the hand, as the inflammation can spread to the tendon sheaths and bursa. In particularly severe cases, a tendon can even rupture.

So-called rheumatoid nodules appear in 30 percent of all polyarthritis patients, which form in the area of ​​bone protrusions, ligaments and tendons. The size depends on the severity of the inflammation.

The symptoms mentioned usually occur chronically. But acute – and therefore usually stronger – attacks also sometimes occur. During an acute attack, additional symptoms may appearthat you have not previously discovered. Even depression and weight loss due to loss of appetite are possible.

If you notice signs of possible polyarthritis on your fingers, hands, toes or feet, it is best to act immediately. The faster rheumatoid polyarthritis is recognized, the better treatment methods are effective. However, if the disease remains untreated, it spreads and systematically affects other joints: first the metatarsophalangeal joints, then knee joints and wrists, ankle joints, toe and elbow joints up to the cervical spine.

Causes of polyarthritis

To date, the exact causes of polyarthritis have not been clarified. Various theories regarding the development of the disease are being researched. On the one hand, it is assumed that genetic factors and heredity play a role, as polyarthritis tends to run in families.

On the other hand, the disease can be a side effect of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, Ross River fever, Crohn's disease or Whipple's disease. Acute polyarthritis cannot be ruled out even in infections with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, Epstein-Barr and rubella. It can be triggered by a parvovirus B19 infection, especially in young women who have frequent contact with small children. The disease occurs less frequently in ulcerative colitis.

Since it is a Autoimmune disease acts, the body's own immune system attacks its own cells. It is therefore a faulty reaction of the immune system, which is normally supposed to protect us from outside invaders. Many patients carry the HLA gene DR4/DRB1, while only 25 percent of the healthy population have this gene variant. HLA, Human Leukocyte Antigens, mark cells as self or foreign, allowing the immune system to know which structures to attack. If this distinction does not work correctly and your own cells are marked as foreign, the immune system attacks the body's own structures. This is called an autoimmune reaction. In polyarthritis, the cartilage is particularly affected. This is where inflammation occurs, which is responsible for the symptoms.

Since the immune system is active throughout the body, soft tissues or organs can also be affected - this is where the biggest difference is compared to rheumatism, as this disease only affects the joints. In the case of osteoarthritis, the cause also lies elsewhere: the joint inflammation occurs due to wear and tear. In the case of polyarthritis, wear and tear only occurs due to inflammation.

It is also discussed which substances have a positive effect on the development of polyarthritis - such as tobacco smoke. According to the latest findings, inflammatory hormones, the so-called cytokines, could also contribute to the disease.

When and why and in what form polyarthritis breaks out is still being researched. In addition to environmental influences such as allergies or infections, the immune system is crucial here, as it turns against its own body and produces cytokines that cause pain and swelling as well as signs of wear and tear in the joints.

The treatment of polyarthritis with the natural remedy radon

Ideally, polyarthritis is detected up to four months after the onset of the disease. The sooner treatment begins, the easier it is to relieve pain, fight inflammation and maintain mobility. However, it must be mentioned that unfortunately there is currently no cure. Only the pain-free intervals can be extended and the flare-ups of the disease reduced.

The aim of therapy is to alleviate the symptoms and, in the best case, to almost completely suppress them. Medication is used as a basis. Since every person reacts differently to the active ingredients, the patient is treated individually. As soon as a suitable medication is found, the dose is slowly reduced after an attack has subsided. In this way, the so-called maintenance dose is determined in order to keep the polyarthritis under control and the side effects low.

In addition, the treatment can be supplemented with forms of physical therapy such as physiotherapy and occupational therapy. A diet tailored to the disease is also helpful in alleviating the symptoms.

For further information Improvement in health status carries ours Radon therapy at. The special healing water of Bad Brambach contains natural radon. Due to its high radon content, the Wettin source is considered the strongest radon source in the world. It has been used therapeutically for centuries. In addition to the Wettin spring, there are four other springs in the health resort of Bad Brambach. The unique combination of radon, carbon dioxide and various minerals relieves inflammatory and painful diseases such as polyarthritis.

Are you noticing symptoms of polyarthritis?

Radon – the natural remedy helps!

Radon drinking cure

The radon drinking treatment achieves excellent results as a supplement to the bathing treatment. In addition to external therapy, the natural remedy is also used for internal treatment. The minerals enter the body directly through the gastrointestinal tract. There they develop their healing effects and promote the reduction of inflammatory joint problems.

Among other things, it contains hydrogen carbonate, magnesium and calcium. When combined, these three minerals have an anti-inflammatory effect. The manganese in the healing water also supports the energy supply and strengthens the cells in the body. Many also suffer from an undetected iron deficiency. The iron in the radon source is essential for our immune system and increases general well-being in polyarthritis.

Radon bath treatment

A bath treatment with the natural remedy radon works in two ways. On the one hand, the radon affects the body's largest organ, the skin, and is absorbed through it. On the other hand, you breathe in the noble gas released from the bath water and it enters the organism via the lungs.

Thanks to the exceptionally high proportion of natural carbon dioxide, it has a circulation-promoting effect. The vessels expand so that your body can absorb the radon very well through the skin and activate the cell's own repair mechanism. Therefore, the radon fully develops its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects through the bathing treatment. You need less traditional painkillers.

Diagnosis: polyarthritis

In the early stages, many polyarthritis patients first visit their family doctor. Unfortunately, the non-specific symptoms can often be misinterpreted as a harmless flu-like infection. If you know that there are cases of polyarthritis in your family, be sure to pass this on to your family doctor. Although they cannot make a diagnosis, they can refer you to a rheumatologist. The specialist has the necessary specialist knowledge and experience to make the correct diagnosis and initiate appropriate therapy.

blood test

Further follow blood test and imaging examination procedures such as an MRI. If joint changes have already occurred, these can also be clearly visible on an X-ray.

In the case of polyarthritis, changes in blood values ​​occur:

  • increased C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • greatly accelerated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
  • reduced hemoglobin (Hb)
  • increased ceruloplasmin
  • increased α2 and γ bands in electrophoresis
  • Anemia

Other laboratory values ​​such as rheumatoid factor, CCP antibodies and other autoantibodies can indicate the disease.

Imaging procedures

They make a decisive contribution to finding a diagnosis. It is also easier to determine the stage of the disease. During an X-ray of the hands and feet, the doctor can detect changes in the joints that indicate polyarthritis:

  • Cartilage loss
  • Narrowing of the joint space
  • ossification
  • Joint dislocation

Other imaging procedures that can assist in making a diagnosis include:

  • Ultrasonic
  • Scintigraphy
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

anamnese

It is also not easy for the doctor to diagnose polyarthritis with certainty at the beginning of the disease. Because at this early stage there are often no clear indications. The specialist will first examine you and probably apply the ACR criteria at (American College of Rheumatology). According to this method, polyarthritis should have at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Morning stiffness lasting at least an hour
  • Inflammation in three or more joints
  • Arthritis of the hand
  • Symmetrical arthritis
  • Rheumatoid nodules
  • Rheumatoid factors in the blood
  • Joint changes visible on x-ray

The test was carried out by the EULAR, the European Rheumatology Society, because not many symptoms often occur, especially in the early stages. Among other things, a points system is used here. If a patient is assigned six or more points, the diagnosis is polyarthritis.

Actively support the doctor by helping with the diagnosis. If you suspect that you have polyarthritis, prepare thoroughly for your visit to the doctor. Possible questions your doctor may ask include:

  • Do your relatives suffer from polyarthritis or joint inflammation?
  • When do the symptoms become particularly severe?
  • Which joints are affected?
  • How many joints have symptoms?
  • Are your joints very stiff in the morning?
  • Do you have any other symptoms?
  • Have you been or are you exposed to harmful substances or high physical stress in your job?
  • Is your diet varied?

Your doctor will ask you many more questions about previous illnesses, operations, allergies and other areas. Be sure to answer honestly and don't hide anything. If you smoke, mention it because smoking increases the causes of arthritis and could be a cause.

Living with polyarthritis

You have been diagnosed with polyarthritis. Now it's about living with the disease and maintaining your health as much as possible. Therefore is a holistic therapy approach with medication and physical therapies is very useful in order to enable the best possible quality of life. Psychotherapy can also help you cope with the disease, for example if you need to stop smoking or go on a diet.

The general goal is always to provide you with one To enable people to live as painlessly and independently as possible. You can actively contribute to this by leading a healthy lifestyle. This includes exercise, a varied diet and avoiding obesity and avoiding nicotine or cigarette smoke. You feel fitter and healthier and the risk of developing polyarthritis in the first place decreases. With a healthy attitude, you can delay the progression of the disease and live longer without symptoms.

If you as a woman suffer from the disease at a young age, the symptoms often diminish during pregnancy.

If you are overweight, it is worth losing weight. This relieves pressure on the joints and reduces pain. Furthermore, a diet that is as low in meat or vegetarian as possible has a beneficial effect on polyarthritis patients. The arachidonic acid contained in meat and the substances formed from it promote inflammation. A good supply of calcium and vitamins to strengthen bones and joints is advisable.

As the severity of the autoimmune disease increases, you can have grab bars installed on the bathtub. The entire bathroom can also be made barrier-free if there is a greater degree of immobility.

You can also find many in the medical supply store aids such as a rollator or walking stick, dressing, buttoning and gripping aids that make everyday life with polyarthritis easier. Please contact your health insurance company beforehand to find out which aids and services are covered.

It is helpful to apply for a nursing degree. This will give you special care services from the health insurance company for support. Whether you prefer assisted living or home care is entirely up to you.

As is usual with incurable illnesses, the symptoms increase over the years and the symptom-free periods shorten. Surgery and injections into the affected joints may be necessary at some point to correct misalignments and relieve pain.

Which term is correct?

There are several terms circulating in Germany that all describe the same disease. Doctors usually refer to polyarthritis as chronic polyarthritis. The term rheumatoid arthritis is used internationally. You will often find the abbreviation RA or cP in doctor's letters.

How can polyarthritis be prevented?

Preventing the disease is difficult because the causes are not fully understood. Environmental influences can be taken into account. Leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding obesity and smoking reduces the risk of developing the disease.

Who is most commonly affected by polyarthritis?

At the  X-ray On the other hand, changes typical of Bechterew's disease can be recognized in an advanced stage.

What stages does polyarthritis have?

The course of polyarthritis is divided into four stages. Each is characterized by different symptoms. They range from joint swelling and morning stiffness to instability and deformation of the joints.

Are sick people entitled to care allowance?

If you have been diagnosed with polyarthritis, you have a good chance of receiving a level of care. It is best to apply for the level of care, because depending on the level you will receive financial support for aids, therapies and care services. There are five levels of care in total.

What advantages arise from the level of care?

A level of care significantly simplifies the treatment of the autoimmune disease. Nursing care insurance offers numerous benefits. In addition, there is a monthly supply of nursing aids. Find out from your insurance company exactly which services you can claim.

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