RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS - TPD SUPER CLAIMS - COMPENSATION SOLICITORS
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If you are unable to work because of Rheumatoid Arthritis you may be able to make a TPD claim for a lump sum from the Total & Permanent Disablement insurance contained within your superannuation fund. There is no necessity for you to have been involved in an accident or to have suffered a work related injury to make a TPD claim. If you suffer from total and permanent disability, you may be able to make a TPD claim in addition to receiving your super early as a result of your condition. Our solicitors can advise you in detail as to the requirements of a successful submission, they will prepare all relevant paperwork and will obtain full supporting documentation. Our lawyers will give you advice on the likely success of your claim to a super fund, without further obligation. It costs nothing to use our advice service.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune joint disease that affects nearly all the joints of the body causing joint pain and deformity of the joint. Because it is an autoimmune disease, it can affect other organs besides the joints.
The causes of rheumatoid arthritis or RA are not known. As an autoimmune disease, it is known to be caused by autoimmune antibodies that attack the joint tissue, confusing healthy normal tissue with a foreign substance in the body. In a sense, it is a situation where the body’s immune system attacks itself. Rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age but is more common in women than in men. It affects primarily the hands, wrists, knees, feet, ankles and other small joints. How severe the disease is depends on the number of joints afflicted, whether or not there is secondary infection and hormonal factors. Your genetics plays a role in your getting the disease of RA.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include being tired all the time, having a loss of appetite, having swollen glands, a low grade fever and weakness, which usually precede the onset of joint pain. Then you get morning stiffness, bilateral joint pain and you begin to get a deformity and swelling of the affected joints. Many joints can be affected at one time and the pain can rotate from one set of joints to another set of joints—always bilateral. The joints eventually lose their range of motion and feel spongy to the touch.
Non-joint related symptoms include pleurisy, which is pain on taking deep breaths, burning eyes or discharge from the eyes, nodules under the skin and burning pain, numbness or tingling of the hands and feet.
Doctors can do tests to determine if the symptoms are related to RA. This includes a CBC evaluation, an erythrocyte sedimentation test (which checks for inflammation), a C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation), an ultrasound or MRI of the joint spaces, x-rays of the joints, rheumatoid factor (the definitive test for RA), and an analysis of the synovial fluid.
The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis lasts a lifetime. This is because there is no such thing as a spontaneous cure for rheumatoid arthritis. If you can treat it early enough and aggressively enough, you will find less deformity and destruction of the joints. Medications for rheumatoid arthritis involve disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. These can change the course of the disease. Other medications include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Exercise is also recommended.
Methotrexate is the most common drug used for RA. Another drug called Arava can be used instead. Blood tests must be taken in order to make sure the white blood cell count remains stable during the taking of the medication. You can use these along with NSAID medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. Celebrex is a commonly used COX-2 inhibitor for rheumatoid arthritis and acts as an anti-inflammatory medication.
Medications usually used for malaria, such as Plaquenil and sulfazalazine, are used along with methotrexate for the management of RA. These medications often take weeks or months before you see an effect. Steroids are used for exacerbations but cannot be used for long term use unless nothing else works. Steroids can thin the bones and can cause steroid dependence and stomach ulcers if taken regularly.
Biologic agents have been designed to alter the immune system so that rheumatoid arthritis isn’t as active. It can be given when nothing else works. These medications modulate the white blood cells (Orencia and Rituxan), affect tumor necrosis factor negatively (Humira, Enbrel, Remicade or Simponi) and inhibit interleukin-6 (Actemra).
Biologic agents are good medications for rheumatoid arthritis but can increase the risk of fungal, viral and bacterial infections, can cause leukemia and can cause psoriasis in some people.
Surgery can be used to correct the pain of RA. A synovectomy can be done which removes the joint lining and the joint can be fused to prevent pain.
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