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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation of joints, resulting in joint damage and loss of joint mobility.
What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis appear gradually. They include pain, swelling, stiffness and deformity of the joints. The skin overlying an affected joint can look red. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect any joint; it usually affects joints …
What causes rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The exact trigger is not known but it is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Once triggered the immune system attacks the lining of joints, known as the synovium. This, in turn, leads to …
What happens if I have rheumatoid arthritis and am pregnant?
If you have rheumatoid arthritis and are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, it is very important that you speak to your doctor, as many medications for rheumatoid arthritis can have a negative impact on your baby. You may be …
Who gets rheumatoid arthritis?
The risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include: Gender - women are three times more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis; Genetics - people with specific variants of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are more likely to develop rheumatoid …
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis is based upon identification of clinical features, such as swelling of three or more joints for six or more weeks, swelling of the same joints on both sides of the body, and appearance of rheumatoid nodules. …
How is rheumatoid arthritis treated?
A range of treatment options are available for rheumatoid arthritis, including: medicines to reduce inflammation, such as disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic medicines and corticosteroids; pain-relief medications, such as …
Will rheumatoid arthritis clear on its own?
It is very rare for rheumatoid arthritis to stop (go into remission) without treatment.
Can rheumatoid arthritis be prevented?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent rheumatoid arthritis, but you can reduce your risk by not smoking. Treatment also slows down the progression of disease by minimizing inflammation that causes damage.
What is the outcome for rheumatoid arthritis?
Progression of rheumatoid arthritis varies between people. It can steadily worsen or may sometimes go into remission. Symptoms tend to fluctuate. Treatment during the early stages can reduce symptoms and the damage caused to joints. Remission …
What increases the chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis?
The risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis include: Gender - women are three times more likely than men to develop rheumatoid arthritis; Genetics - people with specific variants of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are …
About this article
Author: Jonathan Meddings BMedLabSc (Hons)
First answered: 26 Nov 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Votes: 1566 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Rheumatoid arthritis