What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes pain and swelling in your body’s joints. As an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis occurs when your immune system begins to mistakenly attack bodily tissues. If left untreated, the inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can cause debilitating damage to other parts of the body such as both shoulders and both feet. This symmetry helps set the condition apart from other types of arthritis by its unique symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Often seen in patients between the ages of 30 and 50, rheumatoid arthritis can occur in people in their adolescence. Signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may include but are not limited to fatigue, fever, weight loss, swollen joints, and joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity. Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first, particularly in your fingers and toes. As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles