Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQ
What is rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
What are the common symptoms of RA?
Common symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, fatigue, and fever.
How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms, physical examination, imaging tests, and blood tests.
What are the treatment options for RA?
Treatment may include medication, physical therapy, lifestyle changes, and in severe cases, surgery.
Is there a cure for rheumatoid arthritis?
Currently, there is no cure for RA, but early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help manage symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.
Can rheumatoid arthritis affect other parts of the body?
Yes, RA can potentially affect the heart, lungs, and other organs in addition to joints.
Is rheumatoid arthritis hereditary?
There may be a genetic predisposition to developing RA, but it is not directly inherited.
What is the typical age of onset for RA?
RA can develop at any age, but it most commonly begins between the ages of 30 and 60.
Can diet affect rheumatoid arthritis symptoms?
Some individuals find that certain foods can trigger or worsen RA symptoms, but the impact of diet can vary from person to person.
Is exercise beneficial for RA patients?
Low-impact exercise and physical therapy can help improve joint function and reduce stiffness in RA patients.
Can rheumatoid arthritis lead to disability?
In some cases, long-term uncontrolled rheumatoid arthritis can lead to joint damage and disability.
What role does inflammation play in rheumatoid arthritis?
Inflammation in RA is caused by the body's immune system attacking the synovium, a tissue lining the joints.
Are there lifestyle changes that can help manage RA?
Maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and managing stress can all contribute to managing RA symptoms.
What are the potential complications of rheumatoid arthritis?
Complications may include osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, heart problems, and an increased susceptibility to infections.
Can pregnancy impact rheumatoid arthritis?
For some women, pregnancy can lead to a temporary improvement in RA symptoms, while for others, symptoms may worsen.
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