Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disabling autoimmune disease that can be tricky to diagnose. It attacks the joints and other body parts leading to a slew of symptoms including achy or locked joints, numb hands, foot and eye troubles, and much more. But RA can be difficult to diagnose because these symptoms are so hard to pin down—they may flare and fade, and they are also similar to symptoms of other illnesses. Watch the video for five important things that you should know about rheumatoid arthritis so you can be better equipped. 

Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:

RA is an autoimmune disease: The immune system attacks the joints and can cause heart, lung, and eye damage. 

Young people, even children, can get RA: The average age of diagnosis is 30 to 50.

RA is not the same as osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis happens as we age, due to wear and tear on the joints over time. 

To prevent joint destruction, strong RA medications are needed: Some suppress the immune system and others relieve pain. They can have side effects…but also prevent joint damage. 

RA is 3 times as common in women as men.