Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. This means that the body’s own immune system attacks its own healthy tissue. Although target areas like joints and ligaments are defining characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis, it can also affect other parts of the body as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can come and go, but when the disease is active it may cause:
- Muscle and joint aches, pain, stiffness, and weakness
- Fatigue and loss of energy
- A mild fever