Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disorder that can affect more than one joint. Not only does it affects the joints, but it can also affect skin, eyes, lungs, heart, and blood vessels.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which means it occurs because of the hyperactivity of your immune system. Your immune system gets activated when it senses something external such as a virus, bacteria, or anything foreign in your body. By activating, it tries to get rid of it from your body. Sometimes your immune system mistakenly gets activated against your own body tissues. Hence, causing various symptoms.

To control the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, your healthcare providers may prescribe you immunosuppressant medications. Moreover, they also prescribe pain relievers to relieve pain.

Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects your joint lining, causing severe pain and swelling of joints. It can also cause erosion of joints and bones.

Since rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, it can also affect other parts of your body, thereby causing systemic symptoms too. If you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you should visit your healthcare provider for follow-up visits. It is a lifelong condition, so you need to visit the doctor often. In this way, they can manage its symptoms and prevent its exacerbation too. For an expert opinion, you can visit a Rheumatologist in Lahore.

What are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

In the earlier stages, rheumatoid arthritis affects only your small joints, such as those which attach your fingers to the hands and your toes to the feet.

The common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Painful, swollen joints
  • Warm and stiff joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

As the disease progresses, it affects other joints too. Mostly, it affects the body symmetrically, meaning the same joints from both sides of your body.

Apart from joints, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other body systems, such as:

  • Skin
  • Salivary glands
  • Nerve tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels
  • Eyes
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Kidneys

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis differ from time to time. It is a lifelong condition. Some days, the symptoms may settle down- a period known as remission, and the other days it may exacerbate- a time known as a flare. Weather and activity also play a role in the severity of symptoms.

In the long run, rheumatoid arthritis can cause your joints to deform and even shift out of place.

What is the Cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. It occurs because of the hyperactivity of your immune system. Mistakenly, your immune system attacks its own body cells, hence leading to their inflammation and pain.

Your genes can play a role in triggering hypersensitivity response to factors, such as environmental factors, viruses, and bacterial infections.

What are the Risk Factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Factors that can increase the risk for rheumatoid arthritis are:


Women are more at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis as compared to men.


Most commonly, rheumatoid arthritis occurs in middle age. However, it can occur at any age.

Family History

If someone in your family has rheumatoid arthritis, you are at risk of getting it too.


Cigarette smoking can put you at risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Moreover, if you are genetically predisposed for it, the risk increases even more.


Being obese and overweight can increase the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Therefore you must maintain a healthy weight according to your body mass index.

The Bottom Line

Rheumatoid arthritis needs to be managed well. Since it has no such cure until now, your healthcare provider will manage the symptoms with pain reliever medications and immunosuppressants. You must attend the follow-up visits with the doctor. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you can visit a Rheumatologist in Karachi.