Rheumatoid ArthritisView All Arthritis Types
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory disease that can affect multiple joints in the body. Although its cause is still unknown, RA is believed to be the result of a malfunctioning immune system.
With RA, inflammation manifests in the lining of the joints causing pain, swelling, joint damage and deformity. It can occasionally involve other internal organs, such as the nerves, eyes, lungs or heart.
The symptoms and progression of RA vary widely from person to person. In many cases RA starts in a few joints then spreads to other joints over a few weeks to months. However, RA can also progress extremely rapidly; some people report that one morning they just could not get out of bed.
The earliest symptoms of RA can be non-specific, including feeling unwell or tired, soreness in or around joints, low-grade fever, and weight loss/poor appetite. As time goes on, RA can involve more and more joints on both sides of the body, often in a “symmetrical” pattern.
View All Arthritis Types