Corticosteroids are medicines that reduce inflammation and
pain. They work similarly to natural
hormones produced in the body. Sometimes one or more
corticosteroid injections are used to reduce pain in a hand affected by
injection usually is used only for people in the early stages of Dupuytren's
disease when they have pain and do not yet have a lot of bending of one or more
fingers (contracture). Corticosteroid injections weaken the
tissue where they are injected and so are not used frequently. In rare cases,
corticosteroids may also cause side effects, including fluid retention,
elevated blood pressure and blood sugar, and bone thinning (osteoporosis).
In addition to symptoms and a doctor's exam, blood tests and X-rays are commonly used to confirm rheumatoid arthritis. The majority of sufferers have antibodies called rheumatoid factors (RF) in their blood, although RF may also be present in other disorders. A new test for rheumatoid arthritis that measures levels of antibodies in the blood (called the anti-CCP test) is more specific and tends to be only elevated in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or in patients about to develop rheumatoid arthritis...