Rheumatoid arthritis Awareness Day is observed every year on the 2nd of February. This day was started by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation as a campaign to spread public awareness about this chronic medical condition, rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease caused when the body's immune system malfunctions, attacking its own tissues and damaging the lining of joints, resulting in painful swelling. The disease usually affects the hands, knees, and joints. In severe cases, it also affects the internal organs. The inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause bone erosion and joint deformity.
- Spreading awareness means educating people about the disease, and being informed is always beneficial for us.
- Awareness campaigns alert people to go get themselves checked because early detection makes it easier to control the disease and put it into remission.
- On this day, people who are suffering from the same disease get an opportunity to connect with each other and with the people who want to support them.
- As per 2021 news, 1.3 crore people in India suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
- The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is estimated to be approximately 0.5–1.0% worldwide.
- Ages 20 to 50 are when people are most susceptible to RA.
- It is diagnosed in women more frequently than in men.
In early stages, symptoms may not be visible or clear enough to identify the disease, but they may be a clue to RA:
- Joint pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness that last for six week or longer
- Morning stiffness that lasts for 30 minutes or longer
- Same joints on both sides of the body are affected
- Fatigue or low grade fever
Rheumatoid arthritis has no known cure; however, physiotherapy and medication can reduce the disease's progression. Most cases can be managed with a class of medications called anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).