Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which causes chronic inflammation of the joints. When an individual has an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells of their body, causing the inflammation that is indicative of rheumatoid arthritis. Because other organs can also be affected by this illness, rheumatoid arthritis is often known as systemic illness or rheumatoid disease.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. Researchers believe there may be a genetic predisposition to developing RA. Another theory is that some individuals may be particularly susceptible to triggers, such as certain infections or environmental factors that can activate the immune system. Environmental factors may include tobacco smoke, which some scientists believe increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Whatever the cause, the attack of the immune system leads to the inflammation of joints as well as various other organs such as the lungs or eyes.
The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be inconsistent depending upon the amount of inflammation, and when inflammation flares up. An individual can go for months or even years without any signs of the disease. Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include: