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Rheumatoid Arthritis


      Arthritis is inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints and can cause inflammation of tissues in other areas of the body (such as the lungs, heart, and eyes). Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of chronic arthritis that occurs in joints on both sides of the body (such as both hands, wrists or knees). This symmetry helps distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other types of arthritis.
      The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint pain and swelling; stiffness, especially in the morning or after sitting for long periods; and fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis affects everyone differently. In most patients, joint symptoms develop gradually over several years. In some people, rheumatoid arthritis may progress rapidly. Other people may have rheumatoid arthritis for a limited period of time and then enter a period of remission.

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