If you say ‘arthritis’ most people assume you’re talking about wear and tear on the joints, which many older people have. That’s osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is different, as the diagram shows.
It is a type of disease known as an autoimmune condition. This means that your body’s immune system has made a mistake and picked a wrong target. To explain: your immune system is designed to defend your body against infection. It should not attack your body. Sometimes the immune system becomes too active, and mistakenly attacks your body, and this is called ‘autoimmune’ disease.
The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) was started in 2001 because of a severe lack of information and support available for people living in the UK with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In 2014 NRAS launched an additional service, JIA-at-NRAS, for children, young people, adults and families affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). RA and JIA are very painful, debilitating, autoimmune conditions with no cure. It happens when the body’s immune system, which usually fights infection, starts to attack healthy joints instead.
The diseases leave sufferers with swollen joints and in severe pain and the effect on the day-to-day life of those with the diseases and their families can be devastating. The NRAS mission is to support everyone living with the impact of RA and JIA at the start and at every stage of their journey, to inform and be their first choice for reliable information to empower all to take control of their RA and JIA.
We hope our members support our Captain, Dan Mitchell and his chosen Charity.