Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects different people in different ways. It can be mild, moderate, or severe, and symptoms vary from person to person.
There’s no exact timeline for the progression of RA. Without effective treatment, the condition tends worsen over time, progressing through specific stages.
Many new treatments have been successful at slowing or even blocking RA disease progression. If your treatment slows the progression of RA, you’ll have more time to focus on managing the condition effectively and taking care of your health.
Most people with RA experience a gradual worsening of symptoms. There may be periods of relief, where RA is more manageable. At other times, RA symptoms may flare up and be more intense.
How your condition progresses depends on many factors, including:
- any family history of RA
- your age at diagnosis
- the stage of RA at diagnosis
- any disease triggers that are specific to you
- the presence of certain antibodies in your blood