Do you have pain, stiffness and swelling in small joints of your hands and feet? You could be suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. According to the PGI doctors, RA is one of the types of 100 types of Arthritis and is common among the people. “There is no awareness about this type of arthritis. It is a very common disease and people usually come to us at mid and late stages,” said Dr Aman Sharma, from the Department of Internal medicine, PGI.
He alongwith other doctors on Monday addressed the media to share information about the disease, which he said, can be easily treated. Doctors said that RA is usually found in people between 20-40 years of age. “Seventy percent of the patients who come to us are in this age group only,” said Sharma.
He said that around most of the people don’t know if they are suffering from this disease. “We have seen patients coming to us after years. They visit several doctors who too don’t know that the patient is suffering from this disease,” he said. Dr Sanjay Jain, another doctor, said that the disease can be treated and with very less cost. “Every week, our clinic runs twice and we see around 500 patients in which 200-300 are new,” he said, adding that they treat at least 40,000 patients in a year.
Jain said that there are less number of doctors in the country who are specialised in treating Rheumatoid Arthritis. “The number of doctors is not much as compared to the patients. There are selected centres, which provide treatment for this disease,” he said, adding that PGI which started the Rheumatoly clinic long back also provides testing facilities for this disease.
About the symptoms, doctors said that stiffness seen in active RA is typically worst in the morning and may last anywhere from one to two hours to the entire day. A few other symptoms of RA RA include loss of energy, low-grade fevers, loss of appetite, dry eyes and mouth and others. To build awareness among the people, doctors said Rheumatology wing of the department of Internal Medicine will be organising a walkathon on Tuesday at 6 am.