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What are the effects of rheumatoid arthritis?

What are the effects of rheumatoid arthritis?

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Joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis may become red, swollen and painful, and feel hot or warm to the touch: this is called inflammation. The joints also get stiff, especially in the first few hours after waking up.

RA symptoms tend to change over time, and appear differently in each person. People with rheumatoid arthritis will often suffer from a cycle of very painful episodes, called flares, followed by periods when symptoms disappear, called remissions.

Symptoms can vary: pain can be mild or extreme, periods of stiffness can be short or very long, and the time between flares can range from weeks to years.

If RA inflammation is left untreated, it can eventually lead to joint deformities and severe stiffness that make daily activities difficult. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat rheumatoid arthritis and prevent damage before it happens.