Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with the primary target being medium and small joints. The most common time to develop rheumatoid arthritis is between ages 30 and 50 years and more women contract the disease than men. However anyone can develop rheumatoid arthritis at any age. The most common manifestation of the disease is swelling and pain at the wrists, joints of the fingers, and the joints at the base of the toes. At times, the affected joints may be warm and red. Other joints may be involved, but surprisingly the small joints at the ends of the fingers and the low back are spared. This disease is usually accompanied by long lasting morning stiffness. In some instances, the disease can attack other parts of the body including the lungs, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, eyes and skin. Fortunately now there are very good medications available to treat rheumatoid arthritis and most individuals with this disease can be treated effectively. At this time there is no cure for this disease, but this is an area of intense research.