Swollen knees can be a symptom of the development of rheumatoid arthritis, specialists say. And it is important not to lose time, to begin therapy as soon as possible. Rheumatoid arthritis develops in the body due to over-reaction of the immune system. This reaction causes inflammation, fever, pain and swelling of the joints. At particular risk are women older than 40 years. The experts believe that many people living with arthritis and does not even know about its existence. This is due to the fact that patients ignore the symptoms of the disease. And if you do not react to them more than three months, the joints may develop serious damage. Increases the risk of permanent disability and chronic pain - any movement will become extremely painful. In addition, without timely initiation of treatment due to chronic inflammation increases the risk of other health problems, including disease of the heart. Studies have shown that almost 60% of patients with arthritis at the initial stage of the disease ignored symptoms, including pain and inflammation of joints normal consequence of aging. And a third blamed on excessive household chores or work in the garden. Doctors remind: the first 12 weeks of development of rheumatoid arthritis critical. If you start active treatment in this period, in the future the risk of joint damage is reduced several times, as well as the risk of limiting mobility.Prepared Oksana OSTRENKO.