What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes joint pain and accompanying symptoms. Commonly affected areas of the body include joints in your fingers, hands, wrists, knees, ankles, feet, or toes. It can also affect tissues and organs in your body, including your skin, eyes, mouth, lungs, and heart.
Though anyone can develop RA, it usually starts to develop between the ages of 30 and 60. You may be more likely to develop this chronic illness if you are a female, a smoker, obese, or have a close relative with the disease.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Common symptoms include:
- pain, swelling, stiffness, and tenderness in multiple joints
- stiffness, especially in the morning or after other periods of rest
- pain and stiffness in the same joints on both sides of your body
- loss of joint function and deformities
- weakness and fatigue
- loss of appetite
Early diagnosis is important for effective treatment of RA, so we recommend discussing any symptoms you may be experiencing with your provider.
Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis
Your provider will perform an exam and tests to determine if your joint symptoms are being caused by RA or osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The condition wears away the cartilage that connects the bones in your joints, while rheumatoid arthritis causes your immune system to attack your joints.
One way to determine if an individual has RA instead of OA is to examine the nature of the joint damage. RA usually affects both sides of the body – both arms or legs, for example.
There is not one individual test that can diagnose RA. Instead, medical providers use a combination of joint and organ examinations, blood test results, and X-ray or ultrasound image review to confirm your diagnosis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Infusion Therapy
When you experience moderate to severe RA symptoms, you may have difficulty taking oral medications or they may not be effective in alleviating your symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis infusion therapy may be prescribed by your physician and can provide relief from pain and swelling, prevent additional damage, slow disease progression, and reduce fatigue.
Available rheumatoid arthritis infusion and injection therapies include:
- Simponi Aria
Our team at FlexCare Infusion Centers will work closely with your physician to help administer the prescribed treatment at one of our comfortable, patient-focused infusion centers.