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Rheumatoid arthritis

What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation in multiple joints. Arthritis is the Greek word for inflammation, chronic means: a disease with a duration of more than six months. RA can start at any age (usually around 50) and affects women more often than men. The course of the disease fluctuates with periods of high disease activity followed by low activity.

Complaints include pain, stiffness and joint swelling, especially in the hands and feet. Patients often complain of morning stiffness and fatigue.
The course of RA is different for everyone. Some people have light attacks of which they do not get permanent damage. When the course of the disease is more aggressive and constantly present, the consequences can be more severe. As a consequence of the inflammation, joints can be damaged, a process that cannot be reversed.

With a good treatment, the progressive process can be delayed considerably or even stopped, the pain can become bearable and the risk of permanent damage be decreased. A good example of such a treatment is the COBRA therapy. In this therapy, three anti rheumatic drugs are combined to suppress disease activity as fast as possible, Research has shown that this is very important for the future course of the disease. All three drugs are standard for the treatment of RA, but research has shown that the COBRA combination is not only powerful, but also prevents long-term damage to the joints. Moreover, this therapy is generally well tolerated.


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