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World Autoimmune Arthritis Day – May 20, 2023

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20 was conceived by the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (I.A.A.M.) to raise awareness about autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases that manifest with arthritis. Autoimmune diseases and autoinflammatory conditions refer to those that cause damage to the body’s organs, tissues or cells because of a hyperactive immune response. Autoimmune disorders occur when the body’s immune system creates dangerous reactions to several factors, making it attack itself. It is estimated that 23.5 million people worldwide are affected by some form of autoimmune disease.

History of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

Autoimmune arthritis is an umbrella term covering several different types of diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and gout. There are over 100 different types of autoimmune arthritis. Autoimmune arthritis can cause damage to joints, cartilage, and bone. Joints are usually affected symmetrically. That is, if you have pain in one joint, you’ll likely notice it in the same place on the other side of your body.

Rheumatoid, also known as R.A. and rheumatoid disease arthritis, is considered a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the joints of your body. The term ‘chronic’ means that the disease lasts for a long time, often many years. The first article regarding rheumatoid arthritis was published in 1800 by a British physician named Dr. Augustus Bozzi Granville. In this article, he described the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in detail and identified it as an immune system disease. However, the first accurate description of R.A. was given by a French physician named Dr. Augustin Jacob Landré-Beauvais in 1859, who provided a detailed account of the symptoms and presented x-rays of affected joints.

It was not until 1929 that rheumatoid arthritis was recognized as an autoimmune disorder. The concept of autoimmunity was developed by a German pathologist named Paul Ehrlich when he used the word ‘autoimmunity’ to describe an antibody directed against the host’s tissues. This concept developed further during World War I when it was discovered that serum from animals immunized with bacterial toxins could cure tetanus.

In 2012, the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (I.A.A.M.) spearheaded the creation of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20, an event aimed at raising awareness about autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases that show up with arthritis as a symptom.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day timeline

1800
An Article Regarding R.A Is Published

British physician Dr. Augustus Bozzi Granville describes the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in detail and identifies it as an immune system disease.

1859
X-rays of Affected Joints are Presented

French physician named Dr. Landré-Beauvais provides a detailed account of the symptoms and presents x-rays of affected joints.

1929
Rheumatoid Arthritis is Recognized

The concept of autoimmunity is developed by a German pathologist named Paul Ehrlich.

2012
World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (I.A.A.M.) spearheads the creation of World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day FAQs

What helps autoimmune joint pain?

Some people with mild autoimmune arthritis can benefit from taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). For other types of arthritis, a doctor may prescribe medicines called disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs)

Is arthritis an autoimmune disease?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. Your immune system usually protects your body from infection and disease. But in rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the tissues in your joints. It can also have medical problems with your heart, lungs, nerves, eyes, and skin.

What triggers rheumatoid arthritis?

Some causes are infection, smoking, and physical or emotional stress.

How to Observe World Autoimmune Arthritis Day

  1. Get involved with group education

    Get involved with groups that carry out awareness activities about Autoimmune Arthritis. This will benefit those who don't know about or may never even have heard of the disease.

  2. Attend a conference

    Attend a seminar or conference that discusses Autoimmune Arthritis. Staying informed encourages action in dealing with Autoimmune Arthritis patients.

  3. Advocate

    There are still many people with Autoimmune Arthritis who have not received proper treatment. Join the efforts to help sufferers get adequate care.

5 Surprising Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. It is unpredictable

    Rheumatoid arthritis can appear suddenly or go away on its own. Alternatively, the condition can linger for a long time.

  2. It has affected 1.3 million people

    There are approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. with rheumatoid arthritis. This equates to roughly 0.4% of the population.

  3. Increases the chance of a heart attack

    Rheumatoid Arthritis is an independent risk factor for heart attacks, even if your cholesterol level is average, your blood pressure is low, and you don't have diabetes.

  4. The immune system attacks itself

    Rheumatoid arthritis means that the immune system mistakenly attacks your body.

  5. Most prominent in women

    Rheumatoid arthritis is more common among women, especially around the age of menopause.

Why World Autoimmune Arthritis Day is Important

  1. It brings the disease to our attention

    This day raises awareness about the millions of people in the United States who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis as a result of autoimmune diseases and whose lives are impacted by the severe symptoms. The Arthritis Foundation also raises funds to end autoimmune arthritis through prevention, research, and treatment.

  2. It makes us appreciate people who get involved

    The event involves patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, their family members, friends, and caregivers. Medical providers who treat these diseases and patient advocacy organizations such as CreakyJoints and Global Healthy Living Foundation also participate as well as community-based organizations such as churches, schools, sports teams, and patients' employers.

  3. It unites the world

    In today's era, the media makes it easier to know what is going on in all corners of the world. World Autoimmune Arthritis Day, encourages global participation.

World Autoimmune Arthritis Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 20Saturday
2024May 20Monday
2025May 20Tuesday
2026May 20Wednesday
2027May 20Thursday

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