Susan’s RA Glossary

Susan’s Glossary

I am learning as I go. Here is my list of terms at this point in my own, personal science experiment. That really is my perspective on this chronic disease.  And dealing with the doctors (aka mad scientists) seems to be a part of the overall equation.

All comments, additions and suggestions are welcome. There is always more to learn and to define correctly.

Analgesics (painkillers) are a staple of RA treatment. Mild to moderate RA pain can usually be treated with non-opioid analgesics. Severe pain is treated with opioids and opioid combinations. 
Biologic Agents
Biological drugs are proteins that are manufactured using recombinant DNA technology. These agents are immunosuppressants that target and block the action of cells or chemicals that enable the immune system to cause inflammation and other symptoms of RA.
Chronic Disease
A chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear.
Corticosteroids are synthetic versions of anti-inflammatory chemicals normally produced in the body.
Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs (DMARDs)
DMARDs can relieve the pain and inflammation of RA as well as alter the course of the disease and help stop some of the damage from getting worse. DMARDs include biologic drugs as well as non-biologic drugs. 
Janus Kinase (JAKs) Inhibitors
JAK inhibitors are the newest class of drugs used to treat RA. They work by blocking Janus kinase JAKs) enzymes located within stem cells and other cells. JAKs enzymes are involved in stimulating immune responses that contribute to symptoms of RA.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body).
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications  (NSAIDs)
This class of drugs is also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They work by inhibiting and/or interfering with chemicals in the body that cause inflammation. 
Pleurisy (pleuritis) is caused by inflammation of the linings around the lungs (the pleura). Pleurisy is frequently associated with the accumulation of extra fluid in the space between the two layers of pleura. This fluid is referred to as a pleural effusion. The pain fibers of the lung are located in the pleura. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it results in a sharp pain in the chest that is worse with breathing. Other symptoms of pleurisy can include cough, chest tenderness, and shortness of breath.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joints. Rheumatoid disease can also involve inflammation of tissues in other areas of the body, such as the lungs, heart, and eyes. Because it can affect multiple organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness. Also known as rheumatoid disease

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