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Hi, I am very worried about my future. You see, both my mother and my grandmother suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. I know what they go through with their morning stiffness and pain. I would like to avoid this from happening to me. Is there something I can do to prevent rheumatoid arthritis?

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Hi, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness. This means that a person affected by it has an overactive immune system that acts against the person's own tissue. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis joint tissue is the target. It is not quite clear why the immune system starts to act this way. Some scientists believe that hereditary factor plays a role, but that there are some other environmental factors that should be considered. Some viral infections and stress are thought to be triggers for the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. However, even if you have the genes that make you susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, you may not necessarily develop the condition. Because the illness is not well understood, there isn't much you can do to prevent it. But, since you are aware of the first symptoms, you can do much to slow down the illness's progression. If you notice these symptoms you should see your doctor right away. With the right medicines and a good exercise program you can do a lot when it comes to pain and morning stiffness.
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