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Hi, in my life I have never had any serious health problems. I have tried to lead a healthy life, but it seems that it is not enough. A week ago I started feeling pain in my joints. It did not seize. A friend of mine told me that I might have rheumatoid arthritis. If this is the case, can you tell me how is this condition treated?

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Hi, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that our immune system is acting against our body, in your case the joints, since it recognizes it as a threat. As a result inflammation of the joints occurs resulting in pain. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. The only thing that the scientists found out is that it can be genetically induced and that hormonal changes affect the creation of it as well. You should know that there are cases in which this illness goes away on its own leaving no damage to the joints, but that is some cases it can be a lifelong condition. There is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis and therefore the action is pointed to the treatment of the symptoms. The treatment consists of blocking the substance called TNF-alpha that is a kind of a signal for the immune cells of inflammation to contribute to the inflammation which produces pain. If this does not work another medicine may be tried that blocks the activities of specific cells that produce auto-antibodies against joint tissue. Anyway, you should visit the doctor so that the diagnosis can be made. Also, ask him anything you want to know about rheumatoid arthritis and the course of treatment that he will determine.
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