Rheumatoid Arthritis is, unfortunately, a common inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disease. This diseases affects 1% of the population and it tends to run in families.
Many people think arthritis only affects old people. This is not true, especially for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). The peak for the onset is between 30-50 years.
RA is an autoimmune disease. Normally, your body’s immune system helps fight off infections, keeping you healthy. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the lining of the joints. This leads to inflammation and joint damage. If left untreated over time, it can result in permanent joint deformity.
Written by Dr Herman Lau, this guide is an overview of RA to help demystify your condition. RA is not "just arthritis". Early referral to a rheumatologist is critical to help manage the condition. Ongoing efforts with diet and exercise can also make a world of difference to your quality of life.