Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease. The immune system normally identifies and destroys foreign substances in the body, such as viruses and bacteria; in an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes the body's own cells for invaders. In RA, the immune system attacks the synovia, the membranes lining the joints.
I Want to Get the RA Facts
This video featuring Dr. Paul S. Auerbach will give you the facts you need to make healthy, informed RA choices. Whether you're newly diagnosed or looking for new treatment options, we have you covered.
I Want a Basic Understanding of RA
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis still isn't known, but scientists are looking into a number of factors that may trigger the condition. And genetics may be one of them.
RA is an autoimmune disease, which means the body's immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissue. If you have RA, you may be asking "Why me?" But the answer is quite complex.
It isn't easy to prevent something that doesn't have an exact cause. But the good news is there are steps you can take to help treat RA and decrease your chances of getting RA.
Rheumatoid is much more common in women than in men some evidence suggests hormones may play a role. Find out what the latest science says about the relationship.
I Want to Know About Ra Symptoms
Knowing the early signs is one thing, but as RA progresses it means bigger changes in your life. So what does it actually feel like to have RA, and how does it affect your activities?
People with RA can experience symptoms other than joint inflammation. Rashes are common in RA, as well. In fact, RA can come with many different types of rashes that require unique treatments.
Juvenile RA is the most common type of arthritis in kids under 16 and can develop as early as infancy. Looking out for signs of JRA early on can help your child’s wellbeing and possibly prevent complications.
I Want to Know How It's Diagnosed
When doctors needed a subjective measure of how RA affects each person individually, they came up with the RA severity scale. Find out what it takes into consideration.
Because RA shares some symptoms with other conditions, it takes time and work to diagnose. That's why doctors use a handful of different blood tests to check for RA.
If you have a chronic inflammatory illness like RA, you may have an elevated level of C-reactive protein in your blood. The test isn't perfect, but it may be a step toward diagnosis.
I Want to Learn About Treatment Options
RA affects people around the globe. Many cultures have developed unique methods for fighting joint pain. Find out about these unique remedies and discover how well they work.
Methotrexate is a drug that wasn't developed for rheumatoid arthritis, but it was found to share some properties with drugs that do treat the disease. Find out if it works better, or if it works at all.
If you prefer a more natural route to treating your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, check out this guide to anti-inflammatory herbs, vitamins, and supplements.
DMARDs, or disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, are often used early on in RA treatment. TNF-alpha inhibitors are used to quell the faulty immune system response. How well do they work and who are they for?
Depending on your symptoms and how far RA has advanced in your body, your doctor may prescrible a combination of medications to help you fight RA. One of these combinations is called triple therapy.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a surgical therapy that involves sending a probe into your body that sends radio waves into your nerve tissue to block pain signals. Find out how it works and who it's for.
Unfortunately, RA medications can come with many side effects. Get the rundown of what each drug type does and what side effects it can produce.
Compare the costs of the most common rheumatoid arthritis treatments, and find out how you can reduce your prescription costs with patient assistance programs.
I Want to Know How My Diet Affects RA
Traditional RA treatments can lead to unwanted and uncomfortable side effects. More people with RA are beginning to turn to alternative treatments, including changes in diet.
The paleo, or "caveman", diet, involves eating the types of foods our Paleolithic ancestors ate. Paleo autoimmune protocol operates on the assumption that grains, legumes, and dairy are linked to autoimmune diseases such as RA.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of healthy fat that you can only get through your diet. They may help reduce inflammation in your body, including inflammation caused by arthritis.
Food is important in controlling inflammation. We've put together a full week of recipes using foods that are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Manage your RA with these recipes.
I Want Tips for Living with RA
Your prognosis will depend on many factors, like rheumatoid factor, your age, and overall health. Know which healthy life choices make the biggest difference.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects just about every part of your body, and causes constant pain in many sufferers. The discomfort of having RA and the stress of the disease can also lead to sleep problems.
Depression can make living with RA much harder. It can even make RA symptoms worse. The good news is that depression is both treatable and curable.
Research has found that RA patients exercise less than their healthy counterparts. Yet, exercise is critical to joint function and pain relief, as well as prevention of muscle wasting and weakness.
I Want to Connect with the RA Community
If you suffer from RA, take comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Meet up with others online who are going through the same struggles by checking out these forums, Facebook groups, and online support groups.
I Want to Know How RA Relates to Other Conditions
Lupus and RA are both autoimmune diseases. In fact, the two diseases are often confused because they share many symptoms. But they have important differences too.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a lung disease that leads to scarring and damage on your lung tissue. Many different health conditions can cause pulmonary fibrosis, including RA.
Different kinds of arthritis can cause a painful swelling of your fingers and toes. Because of the way it makes your digits look, this symptom is sometimes called “sausage fingers.”