Rheumatoid Awareness Day is observed on February 2 each year. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that attacks the joints and causes inflammation along with other dangerous conditions.
It is also one of the most common autoimmune conditions in the world. There is no cure for the condition, but it can go into remission with proper and timely care. The purpose of the day is to spread awareness about the dangers of rheumatoid arthritis and how to fight the condition.
The day was created in 2013 by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) to help raise awareness for all of the people who function daily with both pain and misconceptions about this chronic disease.
The effects of rheumatoid arthritis can spread throughout the body and cause all kinds of problems. The condition can affect the health of the heart, kidneys, muscles, and bones. There has been no cure for the condition, as is the case with most auto-immune diseases. However, with proper lifestyle habits and medication, we can manage rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
In the early stages, people with rheumatoid arthritis may not see redness or swelling in the joints, but they may experience tenderness and pain.
These symptoms are clues to rheumatoid arthritis:
Joint pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness that lasts for six weeks or longer.
Morning stiffness that lasts for 30 minutes or longer.
More than one joint is affected.
Small joints (wrists, certain joints in the hands and feet) are typically affected first.
The same joints on both sides of the body are affected.
Many people with rheumatoid arthritis get very tired (fatigue) and some may have a low-grade fever. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms may come and go. A lot of inflammation and other symptoms are called a "flare." A flare can last for days or months.
Getting an accurate diagnosis as soon as possible is the first step to treating rheumatoid arthritis effectively. A doctor with specialized training in treating arthritis (called a rheumatologist) is the best person to make a correct diagnosis, using medical history, a physical examination and lab tests.
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