Rheumatoid Arthritis, referred to as RA is an autoimmune disease. It is a chronic disease causing inflammation of the tissue that surrounds the joints. The inflammation releases a chemical that can damage the cartilage that cushions joints and bones. Joint stiffness, inflammation, pain and decreased mobility are all common for patients suffering from RA. Although RA can affect any joint in the body, most often patients experience issues with the smallest joints including feet and hands. RA has also been known to have an impact on a patient’s internal organs. As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, joints can become permanently damaged and misshapen. Also if a patient develops RA in one area of the body such as a knee, they typically will develop RA in the other knee.
The World Health Organization says that more than 30 million people worldwide have rheumatoid arthritis. The disease most often strikes patients between the ages of 40 to 60 years old but can come on at earlier and later stages of life. Those patients with the disease are most often women, about 75%.
Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Morning joint stiffness, lasting a few hours or the entire day.
- Redness and warmth of the skin around joints.
- Low-grade fevers
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- Poor appetite
- Lumps under the skin near hands and elbows called rheumatoid nodules.
For answers to your questions or to make an appointment, call us toll-free at 866-740-3638 to speak with our Patient Care Team.