With arthritis joint disorder affecting one in five Americans, the odds are that you or someone you know is dealing with it. Learn about the newest arthritis medical discoveries and how to identify arthritis symptoms. Check out recommendations for arthritis treatment, diet, and exercise from medical experts at ThirdAge.com.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the joints and certain other organs throughout the body. It is called an autoimmune disorder. It is believed that the body's immune system accidentally mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders. The immune system attacks the joints and organs, causing damage.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disease of unknown cause, mainly affecting synovial joints. Typically, the small joints of the hands and feet are involved in a symmetrical pattern, although any joint may be affected. Patients experience pain and symptoms such as fatigue and malaise. Less commonly, there may be involvement of other o...Read more

Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes

RA is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors that trigger an abnormal immune response. Possible causes: Genetic factors-Certain genes that play a role in the immune system are associated with RA development.Defects in the immune system can cause ongoing inflammation.Environmental factors-Certain infectious agents, such as some viruses or bacteria, may increase susceptibility to RA.Other factors-Some evidence suggests that hormonal factors may promote RA development in combination with genetic factors and environmental exposure.
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Arthritis Triggers: Tracking the Arthritis Trigger Those painful arthritis aches -- all too familiar to many a baby boomer -- may be caused by bacterial infections like salmonella, Johns Hopkins researchers say. Arthritis can result when the immune system cells that fight bacteria attack normal cells carrying a protein resembling bacteria, the researchers say in the journal Nature Medicine. "We've...Read more

Rheumatoid Arthritis Risks

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Obesity and Arthritis Obesity and arthritis occur together so frequently that it's easy to see why many of us blame obesity as the cause of arthritis. In fact, there is no scientific evidence that an "obesity gene" is involved in arthritis.What we do know is that being overweight is a risk factor for developing arthritis and is a complication for arthritis. Studies show...Read more

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Joint symptoms usually involve three or more joints. The most commonly affected joints are the wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles. © 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc. Joint symptoms include: Increased pain and stiffness in the morning and after inactivityMorning stiffness and pain that lasts m
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Knowledge of Osteoporosis Symptoms Lacking Would you know if you were suffering from osteoporosis? Would your doctor? Maybe not. According to a survey released by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), knowledge about the disease's most visible symptom -- silent bone fractures -- is lacking among both patients and physicians. Silent bone fractures are &quo...Read more

Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention

There are no guidelines to reduce your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis because the exact cause is not known. ...
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Alternative Remedies for Arthritis QUESTION: My mother is 82 and is suffering from arthritis. She's in very good health except for that. She was on Vioxx until it was taken off the market, and now she is in pain again. What can she take to naturally help alleviate the pain?ANSWER: Natural anti-inflammatory compounds can help replace Vioxx. Look for one that contains curcumin, ginger...Read more

Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

The goals of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis include: Pain reliefMaintaining the greatest possible mobility and functionDecreasing joint deformityImproving quality of life Treatment involves the following: ...
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Glucosamine: Still a Preferred Arthritis Antidote More and more people are trying glucosamine to ease their aching joints. But what exactly is it and can it help?Joints can ache for many reasons, such as injury and overwork, but frequently the aching is due to osteoarthritis.Osteoarthritis can affect anyone, but is more common in people over 50. It is often classed as a disease of old age and wear...Read more
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