This is the official website of the South African Rheumatism and Arthritis Association, home of the rheumatology community of South Africa. Our aim is to promote, maintain and protect the honour and interest of the discipline of rheumatology as a medical specialty for the benefit of all.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis in Younger Women

Rheumatoid Arthritis
in Younger Women

Last winter, after spending a few afternoons shovelling snow, Heather Miceli, 27, woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get out of bed. “My joints had swelled up so much that I couldn’t move without crying,” she says. Two months later, the college professor at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I., who had always been healthy, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) -- a debilitating autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and swelling in the joints and surrounding tissues, most commonly in the wrist, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles. Other organs such as the lungs, skin, and eyes can also be affected.