Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that develops when certain cells of the immune system are not working properly and begin to attack healthy joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis cause by an autoimmune condition.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not fully understood, however there are certain risk factors that play a role such as – although it can develop at any age it affects women more than men, Those with a family history of RA have a slightly higher risk and those who smoke. The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are pain, stiffness, and swelling in your joints. The smaller joints are typically the most affected, such as your knuckles, and the joints in your feet.
Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include: Anemia (low blood count), Detection of rheumatoid factor, Antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides, Inflammation in the joints caused by an elevated sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein in the blood.