Am I Affected By Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Did you know that there are actually over hundred different forms of arthritis? The most common forms of arthritis are: Osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis, septic arthritis, gout arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and each of these diseases progresses in a different way, has different symptoms and requires a specific form of treatment.

Today I would like to talk about the typical symptoms that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis. But first of all, what actually is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints as well as the muscles, ligaments ant tissues around the joints. The disease can progress very slowly and patients may not even experience any symptoms for many years. In severe cases, rheumatoid arthritis can even lead to joint destruction and functional disability.

Now, let's have a look at the symptoms that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The most typical symptoms are joint pain and inflammation around the joints. However, there are also other symptoms that are usually experienced long before the patient feels any joint pain:

  • Tiredness

  • Morning stiffness

  • Muscle pain

  • Lack of appetite

  • General weakness

These are the kind of symptoms that are typically felt at the early stages of the disease. As the illness progresses, additional symptoms may be experienced:

  • The range of motion of various joints may be severely limited

  • In severe cases, the development of red blood cells may be diminished which can lead to anemia

  • Slight fever over extended periods

  • A feeling of numbness - typically in the toes and fingers

  • Crippled hands and feet

  • Swollen glands

  • Round nodules under the skin - in most cases they don't cause any pain

  • Skin inflammation

  • Burning and itching eyes

Nearly 2 million people in the US suffer from RA. In most cases, the disease develops between the ages of 30 and 50, however people of any age can be affected. Women are typically more concerned by the disease than men.

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