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Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where a person's immune system attacks and
targets the healthy connective tissue surrounding joints in the body.
It affects approximately 1% of the population.
Rheumatoid Arthritis most commonly affects individuals aged between 30 to 60, however
onset can occur at any age.
Women have more than double the chance of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Other risk factors include having a close relative with Rheumatoid Arthritis and smoking.
When the immune system attacks the connective tissue surrounding a joint, this causes inflammation.
Patients experience swollen, stiff, and painful joints, which can feel warm.
Symptoms are worst in the morning and after periods of inactivity.
The most common joints affected are the small joints of the hands, feet and ankles - however
larger joints may also be affected.
Symptoms usually occur symmetrically on both sides of the body.
This initial inflammation can lead to long term joint damage and joint deformities, so
early management is key. 
People living with Rheumatoid arthritis experience “Flare Ups” of more severe symptoms which
can last from a few days up to a month.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is mostly managed with medications targeting the immune system, which
aim to decrease the inflammation and damage to the joints.
Other medications are given for initial symptom relief however these do not combat disease progression.
Intramuscular injections can provide relief from symptoms, especially during flare ups.
If the condition is allowed to progress, it can lead to permanent joint damage consisting
of cartilage destruction and bone erosion.
Depending on the severity of the joint damage a patient may choose to avail of joint replacement
surgery which serves to ease pain and increase joint mobility.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is known to cause fatigue - however,
keeping active is shown to benefit patients.
Regular low impact exercise can strengthen muscles and keep connective tissue healthy
providing better protection against flare ups.


類風濕性關節炎是什麼? (What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? | RA Awareness Day 2017)

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alex 發佈於 2018 年 5 月 13 日    陳美瑩 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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