Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive autoimmune disease that primarily affects the joints. It typically results in warm, swollen, and painful joints.
Inflammation of the lining of the joints (the synovium) causes joint damage, which can lead to deformity and loss of function.
RA also can affect other tissues throughout the body, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels. RA affects women three times more often than men.
RA is a systemic disease, meaning it can affect the entire body. The cause of RA is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
There is no cure for RA, but treatments are available to help relieve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
If you have RA, you may be treated by a rheumatologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Treatment for RA typically includes a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. Medications used to treat RA include disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biologic agents.
DMARDs slow the progression of RA by reducing inflammation and joint damage. Biologic agents are a type of DMARD that targets specific proteins involved in the immune response.
Books discussing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Healing ArthritisMar 24, 2023Arthritis has become the top source of physical limitations across the globe, more than both back pain and coronary illness. A particular autoimmune disease called Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is one of its leading causes, affecting 1% of the US population, and almost 68 million people worldwide. Prescription medications prescribed by conventional...Learn more about Healing Arthritis
Experts discussing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dr. Susan Blum, MD, M.P.H.A pioneer in Functional Medicine, author of the popular book, The Immune System Recovery Plan, and founder of Blum Health MD.As an Assistant Clinical Professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Blum is a highly-qualified medical professional in the Department of Environmental Medicine & Public Health (EMPH). She has been board certified in Preventive Medicine and further educated herself with both Functional and...Learn more about Dr. Susan Blum, MD, M.P.H.