What is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints. An autoimmune disease is one where your immune system, which usually fights infections, becomes confused. It mistakes aspects of you for an external invader and tries to overcome it.

In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the cells that line the joints.

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include pain, swelling of joints, stiffness of the joints – particularly in the morning or after rest – rheumatoid nodules on the hands and feet and fatigue. Women are more likely than men, to experience rheumatoid arthritis; the female hormone oestrogen has been cited as a possible reason for this.

Note collectionHere’s a Resource Guide

where you can find more information on RA



Arthritis Research UK has information on what rheumatoid arthritis is, common symptoms, how it’s diagnosed and available treatments

NHS Choices includes an introduction to Rheumatoid Arthritis.

NICE Guidelines –  the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides guidance to doctors.  This guideline covers the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults.  It’s a bit of a long read.

8 Affordable Assistive Devices for Rheumatoid Arthritis – devices that can make writing, opening jars and doors and cooking a little easier

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