Support for living with RA

We provide information and support services for those affected by rheumatoid arthritis (RA), their families, friends, carers and health professionals.

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About Rheumatoid Arthritis

All our information on rheumatoid arthritis, what it is, how it’s managed and living with the condition.

  1. What is RA?

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease, meaning that the symptoms such as pain and inflammation are caused by the immune system attacking the joints.

  2. Symptoms of RA

    RA is a systemic condition, meaning that it can affect the body all over. RA occurs when the immune system attacks the lining of the joints, and this can cause pain, swelling and stiffness.

  3. RA diagnosis and possible causes

    RA is diagnosed through a combination of blood tests, scans and examination of the joints.

  4. RA medication

    RA is a very variable condition so, doctors do not start all patients in exactly the same way on the same drug regimen.

  5. RA healthcare

    Read about the people involved in treating RA, best practice models for clinical practice and information on monitoring of RA.

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Your Stories

You have to be proactive in managing your illness

Written by Amanda I was diagnosed at the age of 37 in 2008, after 6 months of misdiagnosis by GPs and finally ending up not being able to get out of bed one morning and being taken to hospital as an emergency. Diagnosis changed my life – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and socially. I received […]

I feel like I’ve gained a lot of my life back

We spoke to Léa, who was diagnosed with RA in February 2020. Léa gives us first hand experience of her initial RA journey, the different medicines she has been prescribed to treat her RA and advice on the condition itself. Want more RA stories, Facebook Lives and informative videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

RA can be life-changing, but you can be the one to change your life

Becoming a mother, retraining, going self-employed and setting up an NRAS group. How NRAS volunteer Sharon Branagh did all this after her RA diagnosis.  To mark International Women’s Day (8th March), we celebrate inspirational women everywhere, women such as our very own amazing NRAS volunteer Sharon Branagh.  “I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of […]

I kept pushing forward, and now I absolutely love my life

I am 24 years old, and at aged 19, my world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of RA. Somehow I kept pushing forward, and now I absolutely love my life and everything about it!  My name is Eleanor Farr – known as Ellie or Ell to my friends! I am 24 years […]

Why Major Jake P Baker stays ‘faithful in adversity’

Major Jake P Baker discusses a life in the army, his diagnosis of RA and how his healthcare team, family and NRAS have helped him through his journey with RA.  I retired from the Army on 30th April 2013 after nearly 42 years’ service – man and boy. I enlisted 6 days after my 15th birthday, taking […]

A daughter’s letter to her father, who lives with RA

Dear Dad, you took care of me within your strong arms until I could walk, then embraced me in hugs every day after, keeping our connection forever strong. You took care of me, and you still do, but I want to talk about the time where this case was inversed. To look back on when […]

It all started with a pain in my right wrist

My RA is still in remission and I am able to enjoy activities like cycling and walking. Last August we had a family holiday in Wales and I managed to climb Snowdon – a real sense of achievement. I do still get some pain and swelling in my joints, especially my wrists and hands, but compared to where I […]

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