Rheumatoid Arthritis is a systemic disease. Early on, rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first, particularly the joints that attach your finger to your hands and your toes to your feet.

As the disease progresses symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders.The small joints of the hands and feet are first involved in 75 percentage of cases. Synovial membrane of the joint is first affected. In some people, the condition can change a wide variety of body functions including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.

Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body's tissues.The onset is gradual, though occasionally it may be acute. Remissions are common within a period of two to three months, followed by a similar episode after an interval. Increasing stiffness and deformity may occur and may continue for many years.

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Signs and symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis may include:

  • General malaise
  • Latitude
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Low grade fever
  • Lymph node enlargement
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have persistent discomfort and stiffness in your joints.

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