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Symptoms For Rheumatoid Arthritis - Pain, Swelling, Inflammation and Tiredness

Updated on May 1, 2011
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis

Symptoms for Rheumatoid Arthritis

What is arthritis? It's name comes from the greek 'athron' meaning joints, and 'itis', which means inflammation.
There are several forms of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. They normally cause pain, swelling, inflammation, and tiredness, among other things

What Are The Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, to Watch Out For?

Very often people will attempt treatments for their arthritis, without knowing which type they have. As each type of arthritis differs, so should the approach to any treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common type, with millions of people affected, the largest percentage being women.

It is an autoimmune disease, which means that the immune system attacks body parts, and for whatever reason (no one has yet pinpointed the reason) mainly attacks the joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease, and chronic inflammation and eventually lead to severe damage of the joints and even deformities.

Twenty percent of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, will develop rheumatoid nodules, or lumps. Nodules will develop over elbows, knuckles, heels, any joints which sustain pressure.

Certain symptoms can appear almost overnight, very suddenly, or appear gradually over time.
Apart from the pain, swelling, inflammation and tiredness, one could experience loss of appetite, stiffness, and even at times, fever.

Pain, stiffness and swelling may occur in hands, wrists, shoulders, elbows, neck and jaw, as well as the knees, feet and ankles. Usually occurring in a combination of a few of the above, sometimes only in one joint.

The joints may become swollen, painful, and will feel warm to the touch. You will find problems with the normal functioning of these joints, i.e. with hands; opening jars, driving etc.

Normal everyday jobs will become very difficult to do, if not impossible.

Usually if one hand is affected, both will be, also with the feet. Although sometimes one more than the other.

The feeling of stiffness when you first get out of bed, is quite common. But with arthritis sufferers, this stiffness than last for hours, and even all day.

Information can cause reduced appetite and weight loss. Fatigue will be debilitating. Rashes and fever add to the general unwell feelings rheumatoid arthritis can even involve the heart and lungs. This will happen when the damage done by the immune system goes beyond the joints to other areas.

Although no one is completely sure what causes the disease it has been suggested that after a virus or infection, a confused immune system will begin attacking the tissues of the joints.

Lymphocytes (immune cells) will react to the involved protein. This reaction releases cytokines (chemical messengers) which will in turn cause more information on destruction.

This' battle' of the chemicals will occur mainly in the body's joints but can affect other areas. The cytokines causing the inflammation, are the factor most likely to be treated with medication.

At the first sign of any small lumps, or nodules, near the joints, or any unusual joint pain, stiffness or inflammation, you should go to the doctor. The same with the early morning stiffness that lingers longer than normal.

Once a doctor has made his diagnosis, and you know that yours is rheumatoid arthritis, you can then choose whether to follow the doctor and take his prescriptions, or go for more natural remedies. Whatever your choice, there are solutions.

Life is too short to attempt to live with the pain of arthritis. Pharmaceutical drugs for arthritis can have undesirable side effects.


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