Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes the body's natural defense system to attack the joint. The tissue that lines the joints thickens, and there is not enough fluid made that normally lubricates the joints. They become swollen, stiff, and painful (inflamed). Over time, this inflammation may destroy the joint tissues, cartilage and bone – damage that can’t be reversed and can happen fast. Sometimes RA can even become systemic, causing cardiovascular or respiratory issues. This makes early diagnosis and aggressive treatment of rheumatoid arthritis very important to control the condition or keep it from getting worse. More common in women than men, RA often begins between the ages of 40 and 60. About 1.3 million people in the US have RA, which may run in families.

Treatments for RA
This is an illness requiring lifelong treatment with medications, exercise, and lifestyle changes. It is important that you be treated by a board certified rheumatologist since many of the medicines used to treat rheumatoid arthritis have side effects and need to be monitored for maximum efficacy.

Learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis

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