Arthritis is joint pain or joint disease that causes inflammation (pain and swelling). There are many types of arthritis, but the two most common are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, which surrounds all parts of the joint. Eventually, rheumatoid arthritis can destroy cartilage and bone within the joint. It can also damage internal organs, eyes, and other parts of the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is common in the wrist and fingers but can affect other joints and other parts of the body. It usually affects both sides of the body. Doctor’s don’t know what causes rheumatoid arthritis.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis

Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Redness and warmth

Symptoms that affect the whole body include:

  • Being tired
  • Aching muscles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling like you have a mild flu