An inflammation of the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory illness that affects the joints and because it is “systemic” (affecting the entire body), it can affect other parts of the body as well.
Some people will have a mild form of rheumatoid arthritis. This may require only intermittent treatment for minor symptoms and may not lead to misshapened joints. 1 person in 6 affected by rheumatoid arthritis will have a more serious form that can cause painful, misshapened joints.
It is a chronic disease and may last a lifetime. Often, however, people experience periods of remission when the disease subsides. Remissions can last for short periods of time or, for several years. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but advances in scientific research mean people with rheumatoid arthritis can be assured of effective treatment, resulting in much less pain and fewer disabilities.
For more information download a brochure about rheumatoid arthritis or ring 0800 663 463 to speak with an Arthritis Educator.
Sarah knows what it is like to be a young person facing the reality of living with arthritis.
“When my rheumatoid arthritis flares up my joints get inflamed, my body gets stiff and the pain becomes overwhelming. Sometimes I can’t walk or lift my arms; I get totally fatigued and anaemic. It can get pretty horrible.”
Read more of Sarah’s story
Coping With Fatigue
Learn how to effectively deal with fatigue.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and it is sometimes the first sign of inflammation. Fatigue can make it harder to concentrate or deal with pain – it can even make people feel helpless. Like pain, fatigue is a signal that something is wrong. Coping with fatigue can help you feel better.
Fatigue may be caused by inflammation, overdoing routine activities, medication side effects, stress, depression or a combination. Poor sleep and nutrition, and absence of regular exercise also may also contribute.
Feeling tired all the time can lead to stress and depression. And, if you become physically run down, your immune system will be less able to fight infection and illness. By setting priorities, making smart choices and conserving your strength, you will still be able to do most of what is important to you.
Read the full article from Arthritis Today