Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder; an autoimmune disorder where your immune system attacks your own body's tissues. It can affect more than joints. In some patients, the condition also can damage body systems, including the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels.
Three possible disease courses
The natural history of RA varies considerably with at least three possible disease courses 3-5:
- Monocyclic: Have only one episode that ends within 2 to 5 years of initial diagnosis. This may result from early diagnosis or aggressive treatment.
- Polycyclic: The levels of disease activity fluctuate over the course of the condition.
- Progressive: RA continues to increase in severity and does not go away.
Rheumatoid factor is an antibody that is detectable in the blood of approximately 80% of adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes the RF is detected in patients with other autoimmune diseases but do not have RA.
RA can cause premature death, disability and lowers the quality of life. Inflammation affects joints and sometimes also the organs. "... inflamed joint lining leads to erosions of the cartilage and bone and sometimes causes joint deformity."
- Some Rheumatologists treat ME/CFS. They are internists or pediatricians.
- They do treat Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, chronic back pain, tendinitis and lupus.