What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (roo-muh-toid ahr-thrahy-tis)
is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks healthy joints,
causing pain, swelling and stiffness. Over time, RA can worsen, making even simple
everyday tasks difficult.
How RA impacts your joints.
The images above show the progression of a joint being damaged by RA. In RA, white
blood cells travel to the joint, producing certain proteins, including tumor necrosis
factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1. Over time, the proteins can signal cells
to attack healthy tissue and cause inflammation and progressive damage of cartilage,
bone, and other joint-related tissues.
In some patients, RA can begin to cause permanent joint damage within the first
12 to 24 months. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to help prevent progression of
joint damage. Talk to your rheumatologist about
treatment options that may help prevent further joint damage from RA.
While the exact cause of RA
is unknown, researchers share many theories. According to research, your body's
immune system plays an important role, as well as genetic and environmental factors.
HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used alone, with methotrexate, or with certain other medicines to reduce the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in adults, may prevent further damage to your bones and joints, and may help your ability to perform daily activities.