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Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease process which causes pain and swelling of the joints. The body’s immune system normally fights off infections to keep us healthy, however for someone with an autoimmune disease, their immune system starts to attack their healthy tissues.
In Rheumatoid Arthritis, the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, which causes inflammation, and damage to the joints. This most commonly occurs in bilateral joints (both sides), in hands, feet, shoulders, hips and knees.
Symptoms are often including joint pain, swelling, warmth to touch, stiffness particularly in mornings. There is often a Family History of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and patients will need a blood test to look at their Rheum-Factor to rule this in or out.