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6 Things You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis

Learn about rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) isn’t the same as grandma’s stiff joints (aka osteoarthritis). It’s an autoimmune disease that causes a person’s immune system to attack their joints by mistake, causing pain and swelling—and it most often shows up between the ages of 30 and 50, per the American College of Rheumatology.

RA isn’t super common among all cases of arthritis—about 1.3 million people are affected by it, according to the American College of Rheumatology. But for those who do have it, it can be debilitating. Here’s what you need to know.

No one knows exactly what causes rheumatoid arthritis.

“We don’t really know the cause, even to date,” Orrin Troum, M.D., a rheumatologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. What we do know is that it’s an autoimmune disease and that there is evidence that it runs in families. According to Dr. Troum, there are some factors that have been linked to RA, including smoking cigarettes, poor dental hygiene, and genetics.

Read full article: 6 Things You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis | SELF

Read Full Article: 6 Things You Need to Know About Rheumatoid Arthritis | SELF

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