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My grandmother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis one week ago. I have to say that I am worried about her. I don’t know anything about her condition so I would appreciate any information. Thanks

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It is normal that you are worried about your grandmother. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory illness and it affects about one percent of the world's population. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal tissue components as if they were invading pathogens. Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis have antibodies called rheumatoid factors in their bloodstream that are part of the inflammatory process of the disease. The inflammation attacks the linings of the joints, but the membranes lining the blood vessels, heart and lungs may also become inflamed. The most affected areas are the hands and feet. However, any joint lined by a membrane may be involved. The inflammation can be controlled by medication and if it is not controlled the joints may become deformed. Many people with new diagnoses of rheumatoid arthritis can prevent or delay the more disabling complications of the disease with proper treatment.
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