Identifying the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis is the first step in learning more about this disease. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease, which is characterized by inflammation in the lining of the joints and only affects 1 to 2 percent of the population. This disease often begins with middle aged individuals and is more common in women than men; however, don’t be fooled… RA can also develop in children and young adults.
Early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to assess, because the symptoms may go in and out of remission providing a challenge for your healthcare provider. Keeping a journal of symptoms may help your doctor to better diagnose the symptoms you are experiencing.
Symptoms for RA can differ from individual to individual, and there is no single test for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. The most common complaint heard by medical practitioners is the daily joint pain and the significant level of pain, both of which can adversely impact your quality of life and ability to take care of even the most basic daily tasks.
You may often experience significant stiffness in the morning, in and around the joints, lasting for more than thirty minutes, swelling in the wrists, knuckles, or the individual finger joints. You may also experience a feeling of warmth over the inflamed joints. RA can affect many other joints, such as the jaw, elbows, shoulders, feet and ankles.
RA occurs in a symmetrical pattern, for example if the right knee is affected, then the left knee will be affected also. Although it is quite common for an individual to be more inflamed and affected than another. Extreme fatigue, weight loss, fever, swollen, red and warm joints and an overall feeling of malaise are common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
There is no cure, however, the common goal is to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, stop or slow down joint damage and improve the ability to function on a daily basis. There are many exciting new advances in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
So there is simply no reason not to seek treatment. If you believe that you are experiencing some of the common symptoms of RA, then set up an appointment with your healthcare provider and discuss your symptoms. Early and aggressive treatment is the best plan of attack when attempting to get hold of this disease.
Learning more about the common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is the most important step to take to learn more about this crippling disease. Cliché yes, but it is so true…knowledge is power!