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What to do about rheumatoid arthritis

The disease often affects the wrist joints and the finger joints closest to the hand.American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Clinical Guidelines, Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2002. The Arthritis Foundation Guide to Alternative Therapies, Arthritis Foundation, 1999. The publication describes how rheumatoid arthritis develops, how it is diagnosed, and how it is treated, including what people can do to help manage their disease.About two to three times as many women as men have the disease.It can also affect other parts of the body besides the joints. ”) In addition, people with rheumatoid arthritis may have fatigue, occasional fevers, and a loss of energy.A joint is the point where two or more bones come together.Estimates of the Prevalence of Arthritis and Other Rheumatic Conditions in the United States. Although the disease often begins in middle age and occurs with increased frequency in older people, older teenagers and young adults may also be diagnosed with the disease.In most cases it is chronic, meaning it lasts a long time—often a lifetime. Interestingly, some recent studies have suggested that although the number of new cases of rheumatoid arthritis for older people is increasing, the overall number of new cases may actually be going down.

August 2014 This publication is for people who have rheumatoid arthritis, as well as for their family members, friends, and others who want to find out more about this disease.It occurs when the immune system, which normally defends the body from invading organisms, turns its attack against the membrane lining the joints.It also highlights current research efforts supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and other components of the U. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH).For many people, periods of relatively mild disease activity are punctuated by flares, or times of heightened disease activity. Scientists estimate that about 1.5 million people, or about 0.6 percent of the U. According to the National Arthritis Data Workgroup, the actual number of new cases of rheumatoid arthritis is lower than previous estimates because of changes in the classification for the condition, as cited in Helmick CG, Felson DT, Lawrence RC, Gabriel S, Hirsch R, Kwoh CK, Liang MH, Kremers HM, Mayes MD, Merkel PA, Pillemer SR, Reveille JD, Stone JH, for the National Arthritis Data Workgroup. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in all races and ethnic groups.(See box “Features of Rheumatoid Arthritis.”) For example, rheumatoid arthritis generally occurs in a symmetrical pattern, meaning that if one knee or hand is involved, the other one also is.

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