A Study on Rheumatoid Disability and its Effects on the Society

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A Study on Rheumatoid Disability and its Effects on the Society


Disabilities make individuals to be seen as minors and disadvantaged people in a societal setting. This is especially in relation to their access to certain facilities, services and products with which they could be victims of prejudice due to their disabilities. There are diverse forms of disabilities, ranging from physical to mental disorders that can cause victims to be segregated in social settings such as learning institutions, places of work, and hospitals (Dogramtzis 335). Rheumatoid arthritis is a persistent seditious disorder that affects the small joints in hands and fee. This may result in a painful swelling and eventually result in wearing down of the bones and joint malformation. The disorder is triggered by the mistaken attack of the tissues of the body by an individual’s immune system (Maria, Elaine & Carol 84).

The effects of the rheumatoid arthritis disorder cannot be understated, as individuals are socially, emotionally and even physically affected by their stature caused by rheumatoid arthritis. This has an insinuation that a comprehensive analysis of the symptoms, causes and effects of the disorder on the people (victims and their interactions with others) ought to be extensively assessed (Kirsten & Karch 225). This research paper is aimed at giving detailed information concerning rheumatoid arthritis as a human disability, its effects on people, how it can be triggered off and the postulated treatment mechanisms. It is imperative to note that rheumatoid arthritis, though sometimes overlooked as a disability, is a serious disorder that ought to be treated without delay so as to evade its tremendous effects on the lives of people in different environments.

Statement of the Problem

This research paper is aimed at examining the causes, symptoms, and suggested treatments methods of rheumatoid arthritis. The effects of this medical disorder will also be highlighted so as to endorse the exploration of appropriate preventive or curative methodologies that can be used so as to evade its immense effects on the lives of people (Barnard 11).

Theoretical Framework

There are two popular theories on the subject of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). For instance, it is noted that the T-cell, through its contact with unknown antigen, is the primary cell responsible for initiating the disease as well as for enhancing the chronic inflammatory process. The other theory is affirms that thought the T-cells could be responsible for initiating malady, chronic inflammation is self-perpetuated by fibroblast and macrophages (Griffiths 181). Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are said to have lower cellular potassium content that normal and high plasma copper content. Though there has not been a scientific research affirming this theory, rheumatoid arthritis should not affect who take vegetables instead of grains. However, the reason why potassium is often overlooked as a basis for testing rheumatoid arthritis is attributed to its presence in almost all foods in large amounts (Oleske 241).

It is worth noting that rheumatoid arthritis has immense effects on the lives of people and is triggered by a variety of factors. Some theorists affirm that it is caused by bacterial infection or viral attacks. Others state that it could be a genetic complication that could be passed on in families. However, there are environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle that could also be a cause, for instance smoking (Kirsten & Karch 232). The disease is also stated to be caused by hormones; as the malady is more prevalent in women than men. Irrespective of these theoretical assertions, it can be asserted that the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are unknown as not one factor has actually been established to be responsible for the disease. The disease could be caused by a series of many factors and may vary from person to person.


This research project utilizes an evidence-based research methodology to analyze information obtained concerning rheumatoid arthritis. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used in the collection of data on the disability, its causes, and effects and how it can be controlled (Dogramtzis 371). The primary data collection methods applicable in this context are questionnaires and interviews. Secondary sources of data from Rheumatoid Arthritis Centers, journals, books and health magazines will act as supplementary sources of data collection. This means that combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection; from primary and secondary sources of data collection will aid in making concrete and valid inferences concerning the rheumatoid arthritis as disability to people (Oleske 259).


This research paper is aimed at exploring the following hypotheses;

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by many factors and this implies there is a need to examine the activities and foods taken by people so as to curb it.
  2. Rheumatoid arthritis has immense negative effects to people in social, psychological and economic contexts (Great Britain: National Audit Office 21).
  3. Regardless of the severity of the disease/disability, there are appropriate solutions that can be adopted to reduce its effects.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

This project explores rheumatoid arthritis by laying more emphasis on its causes, symptoms, effects on people in a society and explorations on the possible treatments for the disorder. The paper has limitations in terms of data collection, not all victims of the disease are interviewed and this implies that the conclusions generated from the study could have minor inefficiencies. Regardless of this, much effort is put in place to collect relevant information and make valuable conclusions (Griffiths 172).

Significance of the Study

The topic under analysis in this research paper is exceptionally vital since less research has been conducted on this malady. It gives comprehensive information on rheumatoid arthritis, its causes, incidence and risk factors (Griffiths 154). For example, this disorder is said to occur at any age though with more prevalence in people in their middle ages of growth. Women are also perceived to be more susceptible to the disorder than men. The paper explores the effects of the disease in the society and links it with social, economic and psychological aspects of the victims and the people they interact with.

Review of Literature

This section of the research paper gives detailed background information on causes and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, its effects on people in the society and possible solutions that can be used to control it (Julie 79). Information is derived from the documented sources such as journals, books and health magazines so as to comprehensively cover information on the effects of this disability to the society.

Causes and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

As affirmed previously, rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that damages the joints of the body due to the swelling of the joint lining tissues. There have been diverse statements from medical practitioners on the causes of the disorder (Barnard 76). Deficiency of food nutrients such as potassium, environmental factors such as diet, smoking and the general lifestyle of a person, hormones (especially in women) and genetic causes (passing through a family) are some of the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis. Essentially, there is no single factor that has been accepted by health specialists and medical researchers/practitioners to be the main cause for this disorder in people. This information implies that the causes of rheumatoid arthritis are many and vary from person to person, depending on the environmental factors, gene make up and hormonal effects, especially in women (Kirsten & Karch 295).

Rheumatoid arthritis causes soreness, inflammation, rigidity and loss of function in a person’s joints. These effects are common in the wrists and fingers though it can affect any joint on a person’s body. It has been statistically proven that more women than men get rheumatoid arthritis and is more common in individuals within the ages of 25 and 55 years. The disease can be short lived or a people may live with it for the rest of their lives; thus, posing a great danger to their emotional, social and economic facets. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis have difficulties carrying out normal activities of daily living, such as walking, standing, dressing, cleaning, using the bathroom, cooking and other household tasks.

The assertions presented in the preceding paragraphs imply that the disease makes individuals to have problems in executing tasks at their places of work. For instance, as many as half of those victims of this disorder are not able to work about 15 years after their status is medically diagnosed (Great Britain: National Audit Office 18).  On average, the life expectancy of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis is somewhat shorter than for the rest of the people. The disorder is not in itself a lethal disease though it can be coupled with many impediments and treatment-related side effects than can lead to untimely death. This disease does not only affect the joints, it affects all other parts of the body and is thus, called a systemic disorder.

Effects of RA on the Society

The disease can affect the heart muscles, lungs and the skin, the kidneys, eyes, digestive tracts and the blood vessels. These are vital body parts and their impairment may insinuate the presence of major risks to the people affected by the malady and their dependants/ individuals they interact with (Barnard 93). People with the disability are faced with difficulties in executing their normal routine tasks, and this implies that they become burdens in the society. This is so especially among the aged victims. This means that they feel inferior since activities that they could performs initially before the attack by the disorder seem difficult to be done. People become psychologically disturbed and emotionally restless due to these effects linked to rheumatoid arthritis (Kirsten & Karch 234).

People with rheumatoid arthritis could be discriminated or prejudiced at their places of work and other social settings such as learning institutions. This is attributed to their incapability to execute certain tasks; this has lasting trauma to the victims and reduces their economic productivity as they lose their job opportunities (Julie 103). The disability has long term physical effects to the victims that may involve permanent joint damage, deformity, loss of joint function and mobility. This has an implication that the goodness and quality of life of the individuals is lost. All these effects are linked to the social, psychological and economical facets of the lives of the affected people. This can .............

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