What are the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? Dr. Ariel Teitel, a Rheumatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, is here to tell you if your symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis, or a sign of something worse; you will not want to miss this one.
Dr. Teitel: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that results in swelling and pain, usually in the joints of the hands and feet, but it may also affect other areas of the body. In addition to inflammation and pain, destruction of the joint, cartilage and bones may occur, as well. An autoimmune disease is a disease where the body fights itself. White blood cells normally used for the body's normal defense, attack the joint tissue instead. Controlling the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis is important for disease treatment and pain control. Roughly 1%, or 1 out of 100 adults has rheumatoid arthritis. Women are more likely to get rheumatoid arthritis than men. There's two ago peaks for rheumatoid arthritis. Kind of the child bearing years for women, and men as well, so 20's to 30's, and then there's another peak around 50, 60. Typical symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include tender, painful and stiff joints of the hands and feet. Early morning stiffness may be common. A low-grade fever, weakness, and fatigue may also occur. The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can interfere with a patient's ability to work, exercise and enjoy the normal activities of daily life. While there is no treatment that will cure rheumatoid arthritis, several treatments are available that can control the progression of the disease and help to alleviate the swelling and pain.
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