What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known, but it is classified as an autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system mistakes healthy tissues as dangerous to the body and attacks them. This results in inflammation that can eventually destroy joints and damage blood vessels and organs.
What are the risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis?
A number of factors may increase your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Not all people with risk factors will develop rheumatoid arthritis. Risk factors include:
Being a woman
Having a family history of rheumatoid arthritis or autoimmune disorders
Reducing your risk of rheumatoid arthritis
You may be able lower your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by not smoking.
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an ongoing, progressive disease that affects the joints of the body with episodes of painful inflammation. It is an autoimmune disease that can also cause inflammation and damage to blood vessels and organs.... Read more about rheumatoid arthritis introduction
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary greatly from person to person and can be mild, moderate or severe. At the onset of the disease, the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are often vague and develop slowly. Symptoms may not include the classic symptom of joint pain that people often associate with rheumatoid arthritis. These indistinct, early symptoms may include:... Read more about rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment plans use a multifaceted approach and are individualized to the stage of advancement of the disease and your age, medical history, and coexisting diseases or conditions. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but with early recognition and treatment, it is possible to minimize or delay joint damage and complications of the disease, such as chronic pain and disability. Because rheumatoid arthritis is progressive and chronic in nature, treatment usually needs to be continuous, even lifelong in some cases.... Read more about rheumatoid arthritis treatments