What Is Felty’s Syndrome?

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Felty’s Syndrome is a serious autoimmune disorder of a rare kind, involving three conditions including an enlarged spleen, a low white blood cell count and rheumatoid arthritis. While some individuals may be asymptomatic, others may experience a range of symptoms like discoloured patches on the skin, weight loss, fever and recurring infections and fatigue. Symptoms can be reduced, if a healthy lifestyle is maintained. Felty’s syndrome can be treated with a continued rheumatoid arthritis treatment.

Other specific symptoms that may be experienced include pale colouried skin, eye discharge, general discomfort, appetite loss, deformities, stiffness, swelling and pain in joints. Enlarged liver and ulcers are other additional symptoms that may be seen though it differs from case to case.

Cause of the disease is not yet known however it is believed that the condition is genetic. The disease develops due to one abnormal gene. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for a long time are at greater risk of developing Felty’s syndrome. People with inflammation of tissues lining the joints, Caucasians and people older than the age of 50 could also suffer from Felty’s syndrome.

Diagnosis is done by the doctor by physical examination to check swollen lymph nodes, spleen or liver, or ordering a complete blood count and abdominal ultrasound.

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Treatment of Felty’s Disease includes getting rheumatoid treatment and taking additional medications including methotrexate. In some cases the spleen is also removed surgically to get relief. Infections can be reduced by taking a flu shot yearly, avoiding crowded places during the flu season, avoiding injuries and washing the hands thoroughly. To decrease symptoms, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary besides following the course of treatment advised by the doctor.