FACTS ABOUT RA 1. In rheumatoid arthritis, the body's immune system attacks its own tissue, including joints. In severe cases, it attacks internal organs. 2. It’s a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. 3. Symptoms may vary in severity and may even come and go. Periods of increased disease activity, called flares, alternate with periods of relative remission. 4. RA can also affect the skin, eyes, lungs, heart, blood, or nerves. 5. Morning stiffness that may last for hours. 6. Firm bumps of tissue under the skin on your arms (rheumatoid nodules). 7. Fatigue, fever and weight loss. 8. Although rheumatoid arthritis can occur at any age, it usually begins after age 40. 9. The disorder is much more common in women. 10. While there's no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, physical therapy and medications can help slow the disease's progression.