Rheumatoid arthritis affects your whole body.
"Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an inflammatory condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling, is most noted for its effects on the body’s joints. But RA can also lead to conditions that go far beyond joint pain, affecting other organ systems throughout the body as well. Sometimes the cause is the RA itself; in other instances, problems can be traced to side effects of RA therapies. But the earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances of preventing permanent damage to your body" says Olga Szalasny, MD, a rheumatologist with Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock, Texas. Here's what you need to know to protect yourself."