Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is considered as an autoimmune disorder which can cause chronic inflammation of joints. It begins slowly with some minor symptoms that come and go along with time. Symptoms of Arthritis a chronic condition can vary from person to person and can even change from day to day.
When its symptoms highly visible at that time they are called flare-ups, and in the inactive periods, when symptoms are less or not noticeable, are called remission. Rheumatoid arthritis can show different symptoms from one to another. The most common of them are stiff, painful joints as well as fatigue.
Apart from this, such a disease can result in inflammation in many body parts, so you can go through symptoms even not actually realising which disease these are related to. Some signs can result in serious complications and can put your organs, or even your life, at risk.
If you have any of these 9 symptoms, consult a doctor right away.
You might feel tired unusually even before any other symptoms become obvious. Fatigue can be seen as the early stage symptom which comes before the other symptoms shows up by weeks or months.
It may show up and then become non noticeable from week to week or day to day. Fatigue can be accompanied with a general feeling of illness, bad health and even depression. If you are feeling fatigued without any physical activity, please consult a doctor at the earliest.
Morning stiffness is also considered as an early sign for arthritis. Stiffness which lasts for more than two minutes is usually seen as a symptom of the type of arthritis which can worsen from time to time without proper treatment.
Stiffness which lasts for several hours is usually a symptom of inflammatory arthritis and is the most typical type of Rheumatoid arthritis. You might feel stiffness after performing prolonged inactivity such as napping or sitting.
Stiffness seen in the smaller joints is another common early sign of Rheumatoid arthritis. This may occur at any time without depending upon the fact that you’re active or not.
Usually, stiffness begins from the joints of the hands. It comes up slowly, although it can show on suddenly and can affect multiple joints in the course of one or two days. For initial days, you can try massaging your joints with a towel dipped in warm water and check if you are getting relief. If not, please visit a doctor at the earliest.
Joint stiffness is further followed by joint tenderness as well as pain while some movement or even at rest. This gradually affects both sides of the body.
In early Rheumatoid arthritis, the most common pain sites are the fingers and wrists. You can also experience minute pain in your knees, feet, ankles, and even shoulders.
Minor joint swelling
Mild inflammation in the joints is typical seen on early stages which cause your joints to appear bigger than normal ones. This swelling is typically associated with the warmth of the joints.
Such flare ups of swollen joints can last from a few days to a few weeks, and apart from this pattern seems to increase with time. Subsequent increase in swelling along with pain and stiffness can be felt within the same joints.
After other beginner symptoms such as joint pain, swelling and inflammation, mild fever can be an early sign and warning that you have Rheumatoid arthritis.
However, fever a little higher than 100°F is more likely seen as a sign of other illness or an infection. Such fever can’t be a symptom of arthritis. In case of Arthritis other symptoms such as joint pain, difficulty moving arms and legs would be aggravated and you will need longer than usual to recover from fever.
Numbness and tingling
Inflammation over tendons may create pressure on the nerves. This may result in numbness, tingling, along with a burning feeling within the hands and is referred to as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The hand joints as well as feet joints can even produce some squeak noise along with the crackling noise such that the damaged cartilage grinds against the joints when you move.
Decrease in range of motion
Inflammation within the joints may cause tendons and makes ligaments highly unstable or deformed. Along with the increase in disease, you will find yourself unable to bend properly or straighten some joints after keeping them bent for a little time.
Apart from this range of motion also gets affected by pain, thus, it’s important to remain engaged in regular, gentle exercise.
Both Rheumatoid arthritis as well as its medications such as steroids can make your bones a little weaker. You can even break a bone if you fall badly. Do regular exercise, especially weight-bearing activity such as walking. It will help you in keeping your bones strong.
Along with exercises such as walking, you should also intake foods that are rich in calcium to make your bones stronger. If you have broken any of your bones in the past, it is very important to maintain a healthy diet as you become older so as to avoid chances of arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis makes you suffer from heart diseases. Over time, plaque builds up in the blood vessels. Doctors spell this as atherosclerosis. This can even lead to a heart attack. Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms.
Rheumatoid arthritis can be a possible cause for painful heart problem known as pericarditis. This can occur when thin layers of tissue get inflamed around your heart. This will result in severe chest pain which is easy to mistake for a heart attack.
Other early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
During the early stages of Rheumatoid arthritis, you might go through a variety of symptoms, including:
- general weakness along with feeling of malaise
- dry mouth
- dry and inflamed eyes
- eye discharge can be usual
- difficulty in sleeping
- chest pain when you breathe
- hard tissue bumps of under the arms skin
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
The Bottom Line on Changing Symptoms
The better your Rheumatoid arthritis will be controlled, the less these signs will occur. Identifying the early symptoms can also help in staving off from the long term consequences within as well as outside the joints. Work closely with your doctor for managing rheumatoid arthritis and maintaining your good health.