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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term (chronic) disease that causes inflammation in your joints. RA may start slowly. It most often affects the small joints of the hands and feet. Usually, the same joints are affected on both sides of your body. Inflammation from RA can also affect other parts of your body, including your heart, eyes, or lungs.
There is no cure for RA, but medicines can help your symptoms and halt or slow down the progression of the disease.
RA is an autoimmune disease. When you have an autoimmune disease, your body's defense system (immune system) mistakenly attacks healthy body tissues. The exact cause of RA is not known.
Your health care provider will work with you to identify the best treatment option for you based on assessment of the overall disease activity in your body.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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