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Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Inflammatory and Immune System

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause irreversible damage to the joints andconnective tissue. For reasons unknown, the immune system of a person with rheumatoid arthritis begins to attack the cells that line the joints of the body resulting in tissue damage and deformity. The damage to the joint tissues causing painful swelling and can be quite debilitating. Rheumatoid arthritis often affects the hands, wrists, and feet. However, in severe cases, other tissues in the body may be attacked by the immune system and cause problems in other organs (i.e., eyes, heart, and lungs). Women are two-to-three times more likely to be diagnosed with RA and your risk of getting RA increases with age. If the disease is caught early, the progression of the disease can be slowed down to prevent joint deformity and help to reduce pain and disability.

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