Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition. Your body’s immune system sends antibodies whenever it detects an infection so that they can destroy it. If you have an autoimmune condition, your immune system mistakenly sends antibodies to healthy tissue, which then starts attacking. The most common tissue that is affected with rheumatoid arthritis is that surrounding your joints. In fact, “arthritis” literally means “inflammation of the joints”.
So you would be forgiven for thinking that rheumatoid arthritis is solely a problem with your joints, but there are actually lots of other areas of the body that can become inflamed. This can cause a range of symptoms that you might not immediately associate with arthritis. Let’s take a look at some of the more surprising symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.