Disease Type:
Mixed connective tissue disease

Mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) is a rare autoimmune disorder featuring signs and symptoms of three different disorders: lupus, scleroderma and polymyositis. An autoimmune disorder is one in which the body's immune system turns against the body it was designed to protect for unknown reasons.

Symptoms of the different diseases that make up MCTD usually don't begin at the same time. Early symptoms may include fatigue, mild fever, cold and numb fingers, swelling that gives fingers a sausage-like appearance and muscle and joint pain. In the later stages of the disease, the heart, lungs, kidney or other organs may be affected.

Disease Type:

Sometimes called degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic condition of the joints. In normal joints, a firm, rubbery material called cartilage covers the end of each bone. Cartilage provides a smooth, gliding surface for joint motion and acts as a cushion between the bones. In OA, the cartilage breaks down, causing pain, swelling and problems moving the joint.

  • Limited range of motion or stiffness that goes away after movement
  • Clicking or cracking sound when a joint bends
  • Mild swelling around a joint.
  • Pain that is worse after activity or toward the end of the day

Disease Type:
Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning it occurs when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, in this case the joints and skin. The faulty immune response causes inflammation that triggers joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The inflammation can affect the entire body and may lead to permanent joint and tissue damage if it is not treated early and aggressively. Most people with psoriatic arthritis have skin symptoms before joint symptoms. However, sometimes the joint pain and stiffness strikes first. In some cases, people get psoriatic arthritis without any skin changes. The disease may lay dormant in the body until triggered by some outside influence, such as a common throat infection.

  • Psoriatic arthritis typically affects the ankle, knees, fingers, toes and lower back.
  • Joints tend to be stiff either first thing in the morning or after a period of rest.
  • Many people with PsA have dactylitis, a sausage-like swelling along the entire length of their fingers or toes.
  • People with psoriatic arthritis often develop enthesitis, or tenderness or pain where tendons or ligaments attach to bones.
  • Psoriatic arthritis occurs with psoriasis so skin symptoms include thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white scaly patches.
  • People with psoriatic arthritis often experience general feelings of fatigue. This symptom is a common feature of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The inability to move joints and limbs as freely as before is a sign of psoriatic arthritis and most other forms of arthritis.
  • People with PsA may get inflammation of the eyes that can cause redness, irritation and disturbed vision (uveitis) or redness and pain in tissues surrounding the eyes.

Disease Type:
Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis which affects the joints, and may affect the eyes, skin and urinary tract (bladder, vagina, urethra). It occurs when bacteria enters the blood stream from one or both of the following areas of the body
  • Urogenital tract. Bacteria can enter through the vagina or urethra during sexual contact and spread to the bladder.
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bacteria can enter the body if you eat spoiled food or food that came into contact with contaminated surfaces.

  • Joint Symptoms
  • Pain and swelling in knees, ankles, feet and sometimes the fingers and wrists
  • Swelling of the tendons (tendinitis) or where tendons attach to the bone (enthesitis)
  • Heel pain and heel spurs (bony growths in the heel)
  • Lower back and buttock pain
  • Inflammation in the spine (spondylitis) or in the lower back that connect the spine to the pelvis (sacroliitis)
  • Eye Symptoms
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Eye pain and irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Urinary Symptoms
  • Pain during urine
  • Need to urinate more frequently

Disease Type:
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system - which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses - mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. The joint effect is usually symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand if affected, usually the other one is, too. Because RA also can affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease. Systemic means "entire body."

  • Joint pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness for six weeks or longer
  • Morning stiffness for 30 minutes or longer
  • More than one joint is affected
  • Small joints (wrists, certain joints of the hands and feet) are affected
  • The same joints on both sides of the body are affected