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Noun: rheumatism  'roo-mu,ti-zum
  1. Any painful disorder of the joints, muscles or connective tissues
  2. A chronic autoimmune disease with inflammation of the joints and marked deformities; something (possibly a virus) triggers an attack on the synovium by the immune system, which releases cytokines that stimulate an inflammatory reaction that can lead to the destruction of all components of the joint
    - rheumatoid arthritis, atrophic arthritis

Derived forms: rheumatisms

Type of: arthritis, autoimmune disease, autoimmune disorder, disease

Encyclopedia: Rheumatism