Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms - What are they?
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may experience symptoms regularly, while others go for long stretches without any problems. There are however, hallmark characteristics that indicate rheumatoid arthritis as a possibility for a patient:
The first and most common rheumatoid arthritis symptom is morning stiffness. Many people young and old experience this from time to time and on it's own, doesn't signify a problem. However, if a person finds themselves waking up that way every day regardless of activity level and the stiffness lasts an hour or more, it may be time to see a doctor.
Next, is joint pain that is can't be contributed to any particular event and therefore unexplainable. This pain is caused by inflammation. Fluid may also accumulate within the joints causing them to be swollen. At times, the skin immediately surrounding the joint may be pink or red and feel warm to the touch.
Another hallmark symptom of RA is its tendency to affect certain joints. The hands and wrists almost always develop symptoms. Of course, Rheumatoid arthritis can occur in any joint. Knees, feet, elbows as well as shoulders and jaws are commonly affected areas, too.
RA symptoms also includes more generalized symptoms, such as fatigue, weight loss and even a low grade fever. Many people complain about experiencing these types of cold or flu-like symptoms in addition to those mentioned above.
Oftentimes, there is difficulty sleeping. Some people can even develop depression. Those with moderate to advanced rheumatoid arthritis tend to have symptoms in several areas of the body.
A small number of people with rheumatoid arthritis develop rheumatoid nodules. This occurs when small blood vessels become inflamed and pea-sized lumps form under the skin. Nodules are usually found around the elbows. Sometimes they can become sore or infected.
Inflammation from RA can be also be found in the lungs and around the heart. Shortness of breath is possible, but usually, there are no symptoms. Clogged arteries are likely and people should be monitored so as not to develop complications.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms individually can seem nondescript. If they develop slowly over time, the symptoms may be thought of as a normal part of aging. However, if they last for six weeks or more, it's time to see a physician.
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