4 Causes of Rheumatoid Nodules

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Rheumatoid Nodules:

A rheumatoid nodule is characterized by local swelling or tissue lump which is quite firm to touch, like an unripe fruit. It occurs mostly in association with rheumatoid arthritis. Rarely rheumatoid nodules occur alone in the absence of arthritis and termed as rheumatoid nodulosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a worldwide distribution with an estimated prevalence of 1 to 2%. Prevalence increases with age, approaching 5% in women over age 55. If you are above 55 years and suffering from any such discomfort find the doctor to treat this ailment.


Mostly they are subcutaneous and formed over the joints. Mostly they effect following joints

  • Hands
  • Fingers
  • Knuckles
  • Elbows

But sometimes they may also occur in the lining of some internal organs like

  • eyes (scleritis)
  • gums
  • lungs
  • heart
  • liver
  • kidney


Major causes of this disease to occur are following

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Inflammation of blood vessels
  • Rarely smoking
  • Some people have special immune system substance called rheumatoid factor in their blood which makes them prone for this abnormality.


It is a slowly progressing disease so it shows it symptoms slowly. If you are experiencing any of these, find the best rheumatologist in Lahore or any other major city of Pakistan to help you.

  • First, the patient feels stiffness in joints
  • After that swelling is noticed which increases with time.
  • No pain or sometimes associated with pain.

Some nonspecific systemic symptoms may also be noticed such as


When a physician noticed the apparent signs and symptoms of the nodules he may be advised for further tests to check the severity of the abnormality. Any of following tests may be recommended for this purpose

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP)
  • Rheumatoid Factor (RF)
  • Antibodies to citrullinated peptides including anti-CCP
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • MRI imaging

    Related: Awareness about H.pylori Infection


Mostly these nodules are not painful so they can be untreated but sometimes patients feel severe pain in that case physician treat these nodules by

  • Medication
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Steroid therapy
  • Surgical removal.

But these nodules are notorious to regrow again and again. Even surgical removal is not a permanent way to get rid of these nodules. And simple drug treatment by drugs like methotrexate make these nodules worse even treatment with TNF inhibitors have no reliable and good effect on it.

Preventive measurements:

Drug therapies appropriately control the progression of RA. However, making lifestyle changes may also help to reduce symptoms and make the patient more comfortable.

1: Exercise:

Daily exercise may sound harsh when your joints hurt and stiff. But it can be amazingly effective in reducing fatigue and to regain joint flexibility and range of motion. There are various types of low-impact and easy exercises are generally recommended for patients that can help to reduce RA symptoms, such as

  • water aerobics
  • tai chi
  • biking
  • walking

2: Diet:

Diet changes may also be helpful to manage symptoms and severity of a disease.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain kinds of fish, walnuts, and flaxseed products, may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
  • Foods rich in antioxidant vitamins C, E, and A may also keep your body safe from oxidative stress and cell damage.
  • An improvement in symptoms may be noticed by avoiding the use of dairy, sugar, or gluten.
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Tayyaba Waris
She is a student of Ph.D. molecular biology at Comsats University, Islamabad. She is working on the causes and treatment of male infertility. She has also worked on liver disease and its herbal treatments and has recently got her paper published in the National journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals. At Marham, she writes about hot medical issues and general health problems.