This condition is a combination of Rheumatoid Arthritis and pneumoconiosis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease which inflicts mainly the synovial joints of the body. It is debilitating systemic disease which causes severe loss of function amongst its patients.
Pneumoconiosis, on the other hand is a lung disease which is found amongst the miners and people who have persistent long term or excessive short term exposure to dust. Since it is mostly reported by workers and people working in mines who are exposed to coal dust, asbestos and silica, Caplan’s syndrome is also known as Miner’s disease. This article deals with the various symptoms of this syndrome.
Common Symptoms Of Caplan’s Syndrome
Stiff And Painful Joints
This symptom presents itself due to existence of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The stiffness is maximum in the morning right after the sleep or after a long period of inactivity.
Movements involving joint may lead to mild or excruciating pain depending upon the severity of the arthritis. This happens due to loss of synovial fluid that lubricates the joint and facilitates the sliding of the tendons, bones and muscles without damaging each other.
The Rheumatoid Arthritis is a debilitating and progressive condition. After years of pain and joint stiffness, it begins to soften the bone tissues eventually twisting and deforming the basic structure of your hands, feet or legs. This can cause severe handicap in performing even the simplest of daily activities like walking, eating and in extreme cases may make a person completely bed ridden.
Asthmatic wheezing is a common and widely reported symptom of Caplan’s syndrome. The inhalation and exposure to dust leads to scarring and damage to lungs thereby decreasing their efficiency.
This results in difficulty in breathing and persistent wheezing which looks like an asthmatic attack. This may be coupled with deep cough as well. Wheezing presents itself as a murmur in the lungs when heard with the help of Stethoscope.
Shortness of Breath
Along with persistent wheezing, shortness of breath is another symptom of Caplan’s syndrome. Person suffering from this syndrome may experience shortness of breath without any apparent cause like heavy labour or brisk walking and running. The shortness of breath is caused by the blockages in the lung tissue and partial loss of function in the lungs.
The arthritis in Caplan’s syndrome causes swelling in the joints. The swollen skin is tender to touch and sometimes may reflect redness and warmth.
The swelling may increase with exertion on the joints and pain emanating therefrom. All in all the symptom looks like joint inflammation. It may appear on multiple joints in your body.
This is a result of long term infliction of Rheumatoid arthritis. This condition involves abnormal enlargement of spleen which shows symptoms like Anorexia, loss of Appetite, weight loss, joint deformity, recurrent infections, anaemia, swelling of lymph nodes and low white blood cell count.
Some people also report of extreme drowsiness and fatigue at all times. Spleen is an organ which is located under the rib cage towards the back. It basically helps the body in fighting infections.