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How can rheumatoid arthritis be treated?

Q: My 33 years old wife is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for the past one and a half years. She is experiencing joint pain every time mostly at night. There is swelling also. How can rheumatoid arthritis be treated? I have heard about new therapy to prevent rheumatoid arthritis. What exercises should be done? She is taking the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in Kolkata. She is having a problem in liver because of medicines, which she is taking during her current treatment. I heard about the Gene therapy. What are the side effects of gene therapy?

A:Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that has a genetic basis. In that sense it is comparable to diabetes and high blood pressure – completely treatable (with complete control of disease, a clinical state called remission) but not curable as the genes cannot be changed as yet. Instead of looking for 'cures' and 'other wonder drugs' - mostly hoax-calls and scientifically unproven claims, I strongly recommend that you consult well trained and experienced rheumatologist (not orthopaedic surgeons - as they are not trained in the evaluation and drug treatment of rheumatoid arthritis). The rheumatologist will guide the treatment looking and evaluating the disease state - over long-periods.

The present-day drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are so good that, if initiated early in the disease course, the patient goes in remission and continues to lead a totally normal life while taking minimal drugs to keep the disease under control.

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