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What causes rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that is autoimmune , which means it's caused when the immune system attacks healthy body tissue RA causes pain, stiffness, swelling, and loss of function in the affected joint(s). There are two types of rheumatoid arthritis: primary and secondary. Primary rheumatoid arthritis occurs without any known cause. Secondary rheumatoid arthritis is caused by some other condition.

1. Symptoms

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary depending on where in the body the inflammation takes place. In the case of hand arthritis, the hands become swollen and painful. Swelling may occur in the wrists, fingers, knuckles, elbows, shoulders, knees, ankles, feet, toes, or jaw. Pain may occur in the same area as the swelling. Joints may feel stiff and sore. Other symptoms may include fatigue, fever, weight loss, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

2. Causes

No one knows why the immune system malfunctions, which leads to RA.

In RA, the immune system attacks the membrane lining of joints. When this happens, the cells proliferate. Resulting in Pain and inflammation result. There is no single cause of rheumatoid arthritis. However, certain factors increase y our risk of developing the disease. These factors include genetics, age, gender, race, family history, smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and exposure to chemicals.

3. Treatment

Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis includes medications and physical therapy. Medications may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). NSAIDs relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Corticosteroids decrease inflammation and help control pain. DMARDs slow down the progression of the disease. Physical therapy helps strengthen muscles and improve flexibility.

4. Prevention

Prevention of rheumatoid arthritis involves avoiding triggers that may lead to the disease. Triggers include tobacco smoke, secondhand smoke, chemical exposures, infections, trauma, and emotional stress.


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