Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has no actual cure, it can be managed in such a way that the patient manages to live a normal life (or as near to it as possible). However, the consequences are bad for those who don't seek treatment early, interrupt their treatments or don't follow their doctor's instructions. Here are some of the complications you may suffer from if you don't get your RA treated properly:

You May End Up With Deformed Joints

RA will mess up with your immune system in such a way that the immune system starts attacking the synovium, the tissues that line the joints. RA also inflames the joints, and the inflammation also affects the joints by loosening the ligaments and tendons or even breaking down the joint cartilage. All these things will combine to damage the joints and leave them deformed. For example, the deformity may stiffen a joint and restrict its usual range of motion. The damage can be permanent if not treated early enough.

Your Bones May Weaken With Time

RA has also been linked to heightened risk of osteoporosis, a condition in which your bones experience reduced density and weakens. There are three main possible reasons why RA may trigger osteoporosis. For one, the disease itself can weaken your bones. Secondly, RA causes joint pain, and joint pain often leads to inactivity, which is a catalyst for weak bones. Lastly, some of the medications used in treating RA may also encourage loss of bone mass.

You May Develop Coronary Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the most dangerous diseases there is, and it is saddening to note that it can also be triggered by untreated RA. One reason for this is that the attack that RA is known to make on the synovium may also occur in the tissues lining the blood vessels. The attack here will cause inflammation within the blood vessels, leading to a buildup of plaque deposits. The result is reduced blood flow to the heart as a result of narrow blood vessels, and this is what can damage your heart.

You May Develop Anemia

Lastly, you may also develop anemia if you don't treat your RA in time. Anemia is a condition in which the body experienced a reduced production of red blood cells, which causes the body to be starved of oxygen since it's the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. This happens because RA damages and inflames the lining of the blood vessels, leading to reduced production of red blood cells.

Hopefully, you should get it treated early to avoid the complications. All isn't lost, however, if you are already suffering from RA-related complications; there are specialists who may be able to get your life back on track.

Contact a business like El Camino Center for Sports Medicine‚Äč to learn more.