Rheumatoid arthritis flare up

Understanding What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling, and stiffness in your joints. Flare-ups are unpredictable and can be triggered by anything from stress to a cold. Understanding the factors that may contribute to flare-ups can help you manage your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups from occurring.

Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups

The exact causes of rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups are difficult to pinpoint, but several factors have been identified as potential triggers. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Stress or changes in lifestyle
  • Infection
  • Hormonal changes
  • Exposure to cold, damp or dry weather
  • Excessive alcohol or cigarette use
  • Certain medications
  • Obesity

It is important to note that not all of these factors will trigger a flare-up in every individual. It is important to talk to your doctor about the things that seem to be triggering flare-ups for you, so they can help you manage your symptoms.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups

Rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups can cause a range of symptoms. Some common symptoms include:

  • Joint pain, swelling, and stiffness
  • Redness and warmth in the affected area
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Fever or chills
  • Unintended weight loss

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. They will help you manage your symptoms and determine the best course of action.

Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups

Treating rheumatoid arthritis flare-ups requires a customized approach. Your doctor may recommend a combination of treatments that could include lifestyle changes, medication, physical therapy, and even surgery. Common treatments include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Corticosteroids
  • Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Biologic response modifiers
  • Physical or occupational therapy

It is important to keep in mind that RA flare-ups may require more aggressive treatment than just medications, so it is important to work closely with your doctor to determine the best approach for your individual needs.