DEAR DOCTOR K: I have rheumatoid arthritis. Can you explain what is happening in my body to cause such uncomfortable symptoms?
DEAR READER: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic (long-term) disease. It causes painful and sometimes disabling inflammation of the joints. RA can also affect other tissues in the body, such as the skin, eyes, lungs and blood vessels. RA is an autoimmune disease.