Rheumatoid Arthritis

Article published on 27th July 2008

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Continuing to look at the critical illnesses most often covered by critical illness insurance (CII), this time we will be looking at rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic, systemic autoimmune disorder, the cause for which is still unknown. Autoimmune diseases are when the sufferer has a defect in his or her body's ability to distinguish foreign and invasive molecules from the body's own, causing the body's defences to turn on the body itself. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes the immune system to attack the joints of the sufferer. This causes inflammation and deterioration of the tissue.

In advanced cases rheumatoid arthritis can be an exceedingly painful and disabling condition, as it can lead to a considerable loss of limb functionality and general mobility. Severe RA in the hands can not only render the hand unusable by pain, but can also disfigure them to such a degree that they cannot be used at all. Rheumatoid Arthritis can be diagnosed by blood tests and X-Rays.

There is as yet no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, although there are many different types of treatment that can alleviate symptoms and/or to modify the disease process. Although there are some anti-rheumatic medications available, also named DMARD, which are designed to tackle some of the long-term degenerative symptoms of RA, rest and physical activity are also important factors in managing the condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis would probably have to be quite advanced before it would cause an amount of time away from work for a Critical Illness Insurance policy to kick in. Check with your insurer for details.

Sources:

http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/articles/article.aspx?ArticleID=321

http://www.rheumatoid.org.uk/



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