Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term autoimmune system condition that induces severe pain, stiffness, swelling in the joint. It commonly affects the knee, fingers, hands, and feet though the inflammation can occur in the organs as well.
RA typically affects women twice as often as men at any age.
This autoimmune disorder develops when your immune system begins attacking your body’s own tissue. However, the causes of this condition are unknown.
Nevertheless, if you pay very close attention to even the smallest changes in your body, you’ll be smart to manage your general health and prevent future issues.
Mayor Boss put together 9 early signs pointing to rheumatoid arthritis. Because, it is vital to recognize and treat this condition at the beginning to prevent damage to the joints furthermore, as well as to reduce the chances for incurring stroke or heart attack.
What are first signs of rheumatoid arthritis? The symptoms of RA vary from person to person and can mimic other diseases. It starts gradually with minor symptoms that come and go, (described as flares) and can later advance over a period of weeks or months. Anyway here are the symptoms and signs:
1. Swelling of the joints
Swelling of the joints is quite a common symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis. Usually, somebody who is affected can easily notice when their joints are enlarged. This occurs when the wall of the affected joints becomes inflamed, causing the joints to swell. Therefore the joints may seem stinging and painful to touch.
2. Numbness or tingling in the hands
The most regular symptom of RA is numbness or tingling in the hands, also known as carpal tunnel syndrome. When your joint is inflated, your nerve can send sensations painful feeling to your wrists or hands. Therefore, it is necessary to inform your doctor if numbness or tingling occurs in your hands or other parts of your body.
3. Joint stiffness
Stiffness is a common known symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. This is a feeling of difficulty moving your joint. It can happen in the morning than in the day whether you’re physically active or not.
4. Morning stiffness
As explained earlier, stiffness especially first thing in the morning. If the stiffness lasts for a few minutes is usually a sign that can worsen over the years if not treated. Besides, the duration of your morning joint stiffness can reduce if treated.
5. Joint pain
This Joint pain can occur during movement or even while you at rest due to the inflammation already in the joint. Also, intense pain can affect both sides of the body uniformly. Learn how to ease joint pain.
6. Foot pain
In most patients with RA, foot, and ankle symptoms are the earliest signs of this condition.
If you experience RA, pain in your foot, you will be unable to wear heels comfortably. The foot pain can fluctuate from swelling, soreness to warmth.
Also, rheumatoid arthritis can damages your cartilage, causing intense pain that is present with or without shoes. Learn more about foot pain.
Fatigue is an overall feeling of tiredness or loss of energy which is a normal part of everyday life. But if your tiredness becomes extreme and starts to intervene in quality of life, it becomes a dilemma.
Most people with this RA condition usually describe fatigue as one of their symptoms. RA fatigue occurs due to your body’s reaction to inflammation. You will still feel tired even after a whole night’s sleep.
Typically, mild low-grade fever can be a quick warning indication that you have rheumatoid arthritis if followed by additional evidence like joint pain and swelling.
9. Loss of joint function
The intense pain, swelling, and sensitivity can prevent the entire movement and stability of your joint, and your joint will becomes inadequate of supporting your movement or balance.
Other Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Loss of appetite
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, ringing in the ears
- Bumps under the skin (rheumatoid nodules)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Chest pain (as an effect of inflammation)
- Shortness of breath due to inflammation
- Weight loss
- Eye problems (as an effect of inflammation)
Finally, if you have persistent pain and swelling in your joints, consult your doctor as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with RA, the earlier the treatment commences, the better you will be.