What Rheumatoid Arthritis Does to Your Kidneys


Erin Azuse

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When most people hear the term “arthritis,” they probably think of the degenerative disease that affects the joints, causing pain and stiffness. However, one type of arthritis, called rheumatoid arthritis (RA), can actually cause complications in other parts of the body as well. For example, studies suggest that patients with RA have an increased risk of developing kidney disease. If you are someone with RA, here are some things you need to know.

Inflammation may be the link between rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease.

Your immune system helps protect your body from things that can make you sick like viruses and bacteria. One of the ways it does this is through the process of inflammation, where your immune cells try and destroy the harmful intruders. Yet sometimes, your immune system can accidentally attack your healthy cells, and if this persists, you can develop an autoimmune disease.

W. Hayes Wilson, MD, discusses the basics of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and treatment.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Feb 16, 2015

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