What’s rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout your body.
The joint damage that RA causes usually happens on both sides of the body.
So, if a joint is affected in one of your arms or legs, the same joint in the other arm or leg will probably be affected, too. This is one way that doctors distinguish RA from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis (OA).
Treatments work best when RA is diagnosed early, so it’s important to learn the signs. Read on to learn everything you want to know about RA, from types and symptoms to home remedies, diets, and other treatments.
RA is a chronic disease marked by symptoms of inflammation and pain in the joints. These symptoms and signs occur during periods known as flares or exacerbations. Other times are known as periods of remission — this is when symptoms disappear completely.
While RA symptoms can affect several organs in the body, the joint symptoms of RA include:
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. It’s important not to ignore your symptoms, even if they come and go. Knowing the early signs of RA will help you and your healthcare provider better treat and manage it.