EBM News
EBM News

Autoimmune Arthritis: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

Every year on 20 May, World Autoimmune Arthritis Day is observed globally to raise awareness on autoimmune arthritis and diseases associated with it. In this article, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune arthritis.

Autoimmune arthritis refers to a group of different types of arthritis conditions. Autoimmune arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the normal healthy cells, resulting in inflammation in the joints that can cause pain, stiffness and difficulty in movement.

Types Of Autoimmune Arthritis

There are more than 100 types of arthritis and each has different symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriatic arthritis are the most common types of autoimmune arthritis.

• Rheumatoid arthritis – This is the most common type of arthritis that affects more women than men [1]. It affects the lining of the joints causing pain and swelling, resulting in bone erosion and joint deformity. Autoimmune arthritis causes pain and swelling in the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, ankles, hips and shoulders.

• Psoriatic arthritis – It is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis that can occur in people with a skin condition called psoriasis, which accounts to about 20 to 30 per cent of such cases [2]. It usually can affect any part of your body, including fingertips and spine. Joint pain, swelling and stiffness are the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis.

Another common type of autoimmune arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis occurs due to inflammation in the synovium (the tissue that lines the inside of joints). It mostly affects children aged 16 or younger.

Symptoms Of Autoimmune Arthritis

• Deformed joints

• Difficulty in movement

• Hard bumps of tissues under the skin on your arms

• Dry mouth

• Difficulty in sleeping

• Fatigue

• Fever

• Anaemia

• Weight loss

• Eye inflammation

• Stiffness and swelling in the joints

• Joint pain

Risk Factors Of Autoimmune Arthritis

The risk factors of autoimmune arthritis depend on the type of arthritis. However, these are the common risk factors:

• Age

• Gender

• Family history

• Smoking