It’s very important to increase awareness of Rheumatoid Arthritis so women can get the right treatment early. Patients often ignore their symptoms, think there is no treatment or see an Orthopedic surgeon who may treat them differently. Due to this lack of awareness in the UAE a correct diagnosis may take up to 14 months, by which time active disease levels can be very high and permanent joint damage may have set in.

Symptoms typically develop over weeks to months and can include stiffness in one or more joints, usually accompanied by pain upon movement and joint tenderness. The joints most frequently involved are in the hands, wrists and small joints of the feet. Other symptoms that may precede RA onset include fatigue, malaise and depression. These symptoms may be exacerbated by the UAE’s hot and humid climate, which can make joints swell even more.

Women are also encouraged to test for RA because the risk of developing other conditions is higher than average for people with RA.  Patients with RA are more prone to Cardiovascular Diseases due to the inflammatory response in the body.