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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a disease of the immune system. In RA, the immune system attacks the body's own healthy cells, mistaking them for cells that don't belong. This causes inflammation in the lining and connective tissues of the joints. RA may come on suddenly or appear slowly over time. Its symptoms may include pain, swelling, stiffness in the joints, and fatigue associated with the above symptoms.
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is the most common type of arthritis that affects children, with onset occurring before 16 years of age. JIA is used to describe arthritis—inflammation (cellular damage) of the synovium (the lining of joints). The name was recently changed from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis to reflect the difference between the juvenile (childhood) forms of arthritis and adult forms of arthritis. Although JIA is idiopathic (no known cause), it is likely the result of a combination of genetic, infectious, and environmental factors.
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition related to the joints characterized by inflammatory arthritis in combination with skin that is dry, scaly, thick, and inflamed. While the exact cause of psoriatic arthritis has not been determined, it is believed that certain changes in the immune system are important. The immune system normally protects your body against foreign invaders such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, with psoriatic arthritis, the immune system loses its ability to tell the difference between these foreign invaders and the body's normal cells and begins to attack the body's cells, as well. This causes inflammation in the lining and connective tissues of the joints, as well as scaling, redness, and inflammation on the skin.
Plaque psoriasis is the most prevalent form of the disease. It is characterized by raised, inflamed, red lesions covered by a silvery white scale. It is typically found on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, although it can occur on any area of the skin.
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can often be progressive. AS involves pain and inflammation primarily of the spine and sacroiliac joints (area where your spine meets your pelvis).
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes swelling of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The most commonly affected part of the GI tract is the lower portion of the small intestine, which is called the ileum, though any part can be affected from the mouth to the anus. The swelling extends into the lining of the affected organ and can cause pain and frequent emptying of the intestines, resulting in diarrhea.
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