There is a lot to learn about rheumatoid arthritis. When I was first diagnosed, I didn't know how it differed from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is what affects specific joints as you age from wear and tear. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an incurable autoimmune disorder where the patient's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joints and tissues. RA affects the patients organs and people of all ages. It primarily impacts women in their child bearing years, which is when I was diagnosed but it tends to be hereditary and can strike kids also.
Here are some helpful sites on what RA is and how it impacts the patient from a medical perspective.
Pubmed Health page on RA
Arthritis Foundation page on RA
When I was first diagnosed, I did not know anyone personally that endured RA. I turned to finding support online and realized there are so many people, famous or not, that endure and write or talk about the disease to raise awareness. I find comfort, encouragement and inspiration from these people and some of my favorite RA lifestyle and support blogs are below.
A Rheumful of Tips
Cooking With Arthritis
Living with Arthritis Today
The Juicy Joint
Naturally Happy Being Me
The Life and Adventures of Catepoo
This is a continuously growing list of resources and support. Please let me know of other sites you find helpful in coping with this life-altering disease.