Rheumatoid Arthritis

rheumatoid arthritis

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
  • Weakness
  • Constant fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping due to pain
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hard bumps or modules under the skin near the affected areas
  • Fever

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.