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Posted on May 20, 2020


What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that over time degrades and erodes many of the body’s systems including the joints, eyes, lungs, skin, and blood vessels. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues of the body rather than an external threat. Rheumatoid arthritis damages the lining of the joints, causing severe swelling, pain, fatigue, and sometimes the deformity of the joints and limbs.

The chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis is the cause of the degradation of other body systems beyond the joints. It is also inflammation in the joints that causes the synovium (joint membrane) to thicken. This results in an abundance of synovial fluid leading to ligament and tendon expansion and weakening causing deformity in the joints and limbs of individuals suffering from this condition. Prolonged inflammation causes the loss of elasticity in the cartilage as ligaments stretch and weaken.

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