1. What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease affecting joints and joint related structures.
2. Is Rheumatoid Arthritis same as Rheumatic fever?
i. No they are two different illnesses.
3. What are the clinical features of Rheumatoid arthritis?
i. Usually Rheumatoid arthritis present with pain and swelling of small and large joints. Mostly it will involve the hand joints.
4. Who can develop Arthritis?
i. Anybody can develop Arthritis. When it is seen in young children it is known as Juvenile arthritis. In adult it is Rheumatoid Arthritis. Female are more commonly affected with this illness.
5. What cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. Rheumatoid Arthritis is a defect in immune system. The body’s defense mechanism becomes abnormal leading to destruction of joints.
6. Is Rheumatoid arthritis related to infection?
i. Rheumatoid arthritis is not a infectious disease.
7. Is Rheumatoid Arthritis related to region/ religion?
i. People in cold climate have more chance of joint pain. But there is no absolutely increased risk in relation to region /religion.
8. Is Rheumatoid Arthritis related to food?
i. No particular food intake has any relation to Rheumatoid Arthritis.
9. What is the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. The treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis is multifactorial If detected earlier (within 6 months) and treated the outcomes are good.
10. Will I become crippled with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. No. Not all Rheumatoid will become crippled. If properly treated they can lead a normal life.
11. Should I take rest when I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. Resting a joint will lead to more damage and aggravation of disease. Take a proper medical advice.
12. Is steroids / pain killer are the only treatment options for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. There are multiple modalities of treatment and Rheumatoid Arthritis can be treated without steroids.
13. What are the recent advances in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. There are newer and newer drugs and the treatment is based upon the disease severity.
14. Can I become pregnant with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
i. The role of pregnancy is limited in the Rheumatoid Arthritis. And you can become pregnant with safe drugs and safe outcome.
15. Is Rheumatoid Arthritis hereditary?
i. No Rheumatoid Arthritis doesn’t run in families but due to certain factor rarely more than one person in the same family can be affected with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
16. Is there a cure for Rheumatoid arthritis?
While treating early can lead onto better disease control- the chances of cure as of now is only 5-10%
Systemic lupus erythematosus
1.What is SLE?
SLE is a disease of immune system.
2. Who will get SLE?
SLE can affect anybody from new born children to old people. Usually a disease of young female of age 15 – 35.
3. What are the clinical features of SLE?
SLE can involve head to foot. It can involve skin, joints, kidney, heart and brain and any other systems in the body.
4. When to Suspect SLE ?
Young female(15-35 years)with joint pains , skin rash, sun burns, unexplained fever, oral ulcers, multiple organ involvement , leg swelling. Facial swelling.
5. How is SLE diagnosed?* SLE is diagnosed based on certain clinical features and supporting labs.
*Delay in diagnosis and over diagnosis is also harmful.
*It is essential that the diagnosis is done by qualified people with experience in management of SLE.
6. What is ANA?
Anti Nuclear antibodies are antibodies directed against body’s own tissues, normally antibodies are directed against foreign things like infections, allergens. But in certain diseases the body produces antibodies against its own tissues. It is like your own dog barking against you and the familiar persons.
7. My ANA is positive – do I have Lupus?
All ANA positive are not lupus, anti nuclear antibody can be positive in multiple other diseases and it requires expertise to decide the same.
8. My ANA is negative – does that mean I don’t have Lupus
ANA is positive in SLE is 90%- 95% of peoples but still ANA can be negative in SLE.Reporting a
ANA requires a good expert lab; and also depends on the Methodology
9. Will ANA become negative?
Normally ANA will not become negative. However it again depends on the expertise of the lab.
10. Will I have to undergo multiple tests to diagnose SLE?
SLE can be diagnosed based on the clinical features and supporting minimal investigations alone.
However depending upon the clinical features you may need to undergo multiple tests.
11. Will my SLE be cured?
Unfortunately until how there is no cure for SLE, but people can live a normal life like people with diabetes, Hypertension do.
SLE can largely be controlled with newer medication and correct treatment.
12. Can I get married with SLE
Getting married with SLE depends on your mindset. While SLE can increase during pregnancy and you need to be under medical care for successful pregnancy.
13. What are the diets I should avoid?
There is no need for dietary restrictions, you need to eat healthy foods and stay healthy.
14. Will my children develop Lupus?
Usually SLE doesnot run in families , but there are uncommonly some families with lupus.
15. What can I expect from the treatment
The treatment is largely to prevent further damage and to live a happy normal life. In general the
intensity of the disease is more during the initial periods (first 5 years ) and subsquently it will be of less severity .
For further doubts / query
Department of Rheumatology
PSGIMS & R
E.firstname.lastname@example.org, Nagaprabu@psgimsr.ac.in, Rheumatology@psgimsr.ac.in