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Rheumatoid arthritis affects everyone differently, so this is hard to predict. But with the right treatment, most people can lead full lives. The earlier you start the treatment, the less damage there’ll be to your joints. For more information, see our section on treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. This means your immune system attacks your joints. This may be linked to your family history or to a specific trigger such as an infection. For more information, see our section: About rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms vary from person to person. Your joints may be red, sore and stiff. You may have other symptoms too, such as fatigue or weight loss. For more information, see our section on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Your doctor will usually offer a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) as soon as you’re diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. You may also be prescribed a corticosteroid medicine while you’re waiting for the DMARD to start working. For more information, see our section on treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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- Personal communication, Dr Sundeept Bhalara, Consultant Rheumatologist, January 2023