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Arthritis is a common health problem in which the joints are inflamed. There are many types of arthritis. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's own immune system attacks the joints. This causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints, especially in the hands and feet. It can become hard to open jars, write, and do other daily tasks. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis can also cause bumps to form under the skin.
Over time, rheumatoid arthritis can damage and deform joints. Early treatment with medicines may reduce your chances of having a lasting disability.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: December 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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