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Rheumatoid Arthritis 101 – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that typically affects a patient’s joints. However, the condition can affect other parts of the body as well including, but not limited to eyes, blood vessels, skin, and lungs. Just like all other autoimmune disorders, Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.

Unlike the gradual wear and tear of osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of the joints rather than the cartilage. This leads to painful swelling which, if left unchecked, can result in bone deformity and erosion.

This article will serve as an introduction to rheumatoid arthritis, outlining what causes it, what the symptoms are, and what treatments patients can opt for to manage this autoimmune condition. So let’s get into it!

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Causes

Your body’s immune system is meant to protect your body against external threats like infections. Like in other autoimmune disorders, the immune system of a rheumatoid arthritis patient mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues. Most commonly, it tends to attack the healthy tissues that surround the body’s many joints.

While doctors do not know what causes autoimmune disorders, they believe it most likely has a genetic component that becomes triggered due to environmental factors like an infection. Having said that, below are some of the common risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Sex – women are more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis
  • Age – although the disease can occur at any age, it most commonly occurs in middle-aged people
  • Family history – if your family has a history of autoimmune disorders this will make it more likely for you to develop it during your life
  • Cigarette smoking – cigarette smoking increases your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis especially if you are already genetically predisposed to develop autoimmune disorders.
  • Excess weight – People who are overweight are at a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Below are some of the most common signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

  • Tender, swollen joints.
  • Warmth emanating from joints
  • Joint stiffness following periods of inactivity
  • Fatigue, fever, and loss of appetite

During the early stages of the disease, smaller joints like the ones found in your hands and feet, tend to be affected first. As the disease develops it tends to spread to larger joints like the wrists, knees, elbows, shoulders, hips, and ankles.

Moreover, Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects joints on both sides of the body. Therefore, if a patient has joint pain in their left knee, the same pain will probably also develop in their right knee. This is one of the key ways in which physicians differentiate between rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis like osteoarthritis.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

While there is no available treatment to reverse rheumatoid arthritis, there are ways to manage it. Treatments usually involve pain management and controlling the inflammatory response. Doing so effectively can even help a patient go into remission.

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Medications
  • Dietary and lifestyle changes
  • Exercise/physical or occupational therapy
  • Natural and organic pain relief formulas like Gramp’s Natural Arthritis Pain Relif Formula


Rheumatoid arthritis is a very difficult condition to live with and if left unchecked or untreated the disease gradually worsens and tends to affect many parts of the body. Thankfully, your healthcare provider should be able to recommend you a treatment that helps you manage the pain in your everyday life and reduce the pace at which the disease worsens.

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*This product does not contain the oil of any snake.

**This article is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to be a diagnosis for any medical condition. For a complete diagnosis of your condition see your health care professional.

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