8 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT RA
So you are recently diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis? What do you need to know now? Here are EIGHT of the top things you need to come to terms with as soon as you can.
1. It doesn't go away. It's a lifelong condition that requires you to make some LIFESTYLE changes. Understand that.
2. This doesn't mean you have magically become old. You didn't miss 15 birthdays. It's NOT an OLDER persons disease. Symptoms can start around 40 years old, sometimes earlier.
3. RA is ninja like in it's approach. There are no obvious patterns to the symptoms. You can get FLARES during which the symptoms are worse, then all can be cool for a while. Just remember point #1.
4. It does NOT just affect the joints. That is the most common area, but it sometimes affects the eyes or the lungs. You can have a super tired feeling like you have been knocked on your ass by the flu.
5. It's an AUTO-IMMUNE disease. Your cells are behaving badly. In most cases cells attack infection, etc. In this case the cells are attacking the body's tissues including the very common, lining of the joints. Hence the inflammation.
6. If it is IGNORED and left ALONE to flourish then it can cause serious DAMAGE to the JOINTS. The inflammation needs to be controlled.
7. It's a progressive disease. Some people get very little damage to their joints. Some get very bad damage to their joints. Our bodies are different. Treatment aims to control the disease and REDUCE the DAMAGE.
8. With early diagnosis and the CORRECT treatment, most people with RA can expect to lead full lives with their symptoms well under control.
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