Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term inflammatory and autoimmune disorder that can cause pain and swelling in the joints - particularly in the hands, knees and wrists. As an autoimmune disorder, rheumatoid arthritis is known to occur when your immune system attacks its own tissues.

Although symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to come and go and the specific causes aren’t exactly unknown, there are some important signs to keep in mind and specific risk factors to know more about.

See also: What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Similar to other auto-immune disorders, there are times when the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis get worse and times when they get better [1]. Some of the most common of these symptoms include:

  • Painful joints
  • Stiff joints
  • Tender or swelling joints
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite

According to the Mayo Clinic, around 40% of those with rheumatoid arthritis experience symptoms that don’t involve the joints at all [2]. In fact, it can also affect other parts of the body such as:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels

See also: What Does High CRP Mean?

Rheumatoid arthritis causes

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system attacks its own tissues by mistake. Although specific causes aren’t known, there are some risk factors associated with rheumatoid arthritis, these include [3]:

  • Older age
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

See also: Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Foods to Help Inflammation

If you’re at risk of a chronic inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, it’s important to know more about your CRP levels as CRP is known to increase when inflammation is present in the body. It’s important to remember that CRP elevations are non-specific but can help in identifying an underlying inflammatory disease.

LetsGetChecked’s at-home CRP Test can identify inflammation in the body and can help in indicating your risk of degenerative disorders. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our medical team will be available to answer any questions you may throughout the process.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Online: Cdc.gov, 2020
  2. Mayo Clinic. Rheumatoid arthritis. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Online: Cdc.gov, 2020