Thursday, January 3, 2013

How Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects The Lungs

Despite it's name Rheumatoid Arthritis doesn't just affect the joints.  It can damage the tissue around the joints, as well as your eyes, heart, and lungs.  It should actually be called Rheumatoid Disease.  It can damage the entire body, besides the joints, the heart and lungs are most affected.  It isn't known why it causes other organs to suffer.  Lung complications of RA can be extremely serious.  Estimates vary, but lung complications cause up to 20% of deaths due to RA.  Rheumatoid arthritis - associated interstitial lung disease, or RA-ILD, is the most serious lung disorder for people with RA.  The illness can be hard to detect, but occurs when lung tissue becomes inflamed and eventually scarred.  Risk factors, symptoms, and treatment include: 

  • Risk: Men are at higher risk than women.
  • Risk: Smoking increases the risk, although non-smokers can develop it.
  • Symptoms: Can cause breathlessness and dry cough, but in many cases there are no symptoms at all.
  • Treatment: Nothing at this point, although there are drug trials going on.
Other lung complications with RA include: 

  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Nodules
  • Pleurisy
  • Effusions
Best out look for this, don't smoke and have regular check ups! Stay Informed!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this info Christine!!! I appreciate it so very much!!!!!