Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and other parts of your body. This long-term disease can cause your joints and muscles to be inflamed, which can result in a variety of symptoms.
The Facts on Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects the whole body, not just the joints
- Rheumatoid arthritis affects woman almost three times more than men
- Rheumatoid arthritis generally occurs between the ages of 25 and 50
- The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown, but researchers believe that genetics play a role
Rheumatoid arthritis may be difficult to diagnose since its symptoms can mimic other illnesses. Common symptoms may include:
- Swelling, pain and heat in the joints, usually after waking up or long periods of inactivity
- Joint pain that is constant
- Joint stiffness, especially in the morning
- Constant fatigue
- Trouble sleeping due to pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Hard bumps or modules under the skin near the affected areas
The goals of treatment methods for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, stop or slow down joint damage and improve function and overall well-being.