Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means it's a disease of the immune system.
Your immune system works to protect your body against attacks by bacteria or viruses. But when it's not working correctly—such as with rheumatoid arthritis—your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body, specifically at the joints. This can cause the pain, swelling, and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Only a doctor can diagnose rheumatoid arthritis. If you're not sure you have rheumatoid arthritis, please talk to your doctor.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease. So it's important to slow the progression of joint damage as well as reduce the signs and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
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