Many arthritis patients have a hard time understanding many of the terms used by medical professionals during consultations. Here are many definitions of many of the terms associated with Arthritis that you may encounter during a visit with a doctor or rheumatologist. Each term has a basic definition beside it. To find out more about any of the arthritis terms just click on the work and it will take you to a more detailed page.
Acute - When a doctor uses the term acute it means that the disease or condition developed suddenly.
ANA - ANA stands for anti-nuclear
Antibody - a protein produced in the blood which destroys bacteria, viruses and other substances that inter the body.
Antigen - A substance that when introduced into the body stimulates the production of an antibody. Antigens include toxins, bacteria, foreign blood cells, and the cells of transplanted organs.
Autoimmune - referring to the development of an immune response to one's own tissues.
Bouchard's Nodes - an abnormal swelling of a knuckle. It usually occurs in wasting diseases of the joints, as osteoarthritis.
Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursae, fluid-filled sacs that ease friction between tendons and bones (and tendons and ligaments), causing swelling and pain.
elastin: Stretchable protein found in connective tissue.
Lupus: A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Patients with lupus have unusual antibodies in their blood that are targeted against their own body tissues.
Rheumatoid arthritis : An autoimmune disease which causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases occur when the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with these diseases have antibodies in their blood which target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. While rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness (meaning it can last for years) patients may experience long periods without symptoms
rheumatoid factor: An antibody found in about 85 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis; also appears in other diseases and sometimes in healthy people.
Systemic lupus erythematosus : A chronic inflammatory condition caused by an autoimmune disease. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Patients with lupus have unusual antibodies in their blood that are targeted against their own body tissues.
Titer - Titer is a way of measuring antibodies in a persons blood.
Vasculitis: A general term for a group of diseases that feature inflammation of the blood vessels. Each of these diseases is defined by characteristic distributions of blood vessel involvement, patterns of organ involvement, and laboratory test abnormalities. The causes of these vasculitis diseases are usually not known, but immune system abnormality is a common feature.
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