Initial signs of rheumatoid arthritis

Millions of individuals all over the globe suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. This form of arthritis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the joints such as the shoulders or knees. The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unclear even today but it is possible to the linked to other issues with the immune system.

Even though there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, various treatment options are available to manage the symptoms. If not treated, the condition can result to severely damaged joints that can lead to pain, loss of function and disability. Early recognition of the initial signs of rheumatoid arthritis can help prevent the condition from progressing further.

Flu-like symptoms

If an individual has rheumatoid arthritis, he/she can frequently suffer from symptoms that are strikingly similar to the flu such as the following:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Even though the flu-like symptoms can indicate a viral or bacterial infection, extended or persistent symptoms might be due to a systemic inflammation. If the individual suffers from frequent symptoms, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor so that the exact cause can be determined.

Rheumatoid arthritis

If the individual suffers from persistent joint pain or stiffening, a doctor should be consulted.

What are the joint symptoms?

The individual who is suspected with rheumatoid arthritis is expected to experience symptoms such as recurrent pain, rigidity or soreness in the joints. The symptoms are quite obvious in the morning when the individual wakes up or after an extended period of rest.

The joints appear swollen or the skin over the joint appears inflamed or reddened. Some individuals might also suffer from muscle pain or difficulty lifting objects normally on a daily basis. If the individual suffers from persistent joint pain or stiffening, a doctor should be consulted.

Eye and skin symptoms

If the individual has rheumatoid arthritis, there are symptoms linked with the eyes or skin. Since this is a systemic condition, the symptoms can develop all over the body, not only in the joints. Some individuals with the condition might notice that the skin has a pale appearance. In addition, some might develop rheumatoid nodules that manifest around the elbow joint. These nodules are small in size, painless masses below the skin and can indicate the severity of the disease.

Those who have rheumatoid arthritis might also have symptoms linked to the eyes which include burning sensation or itching as well as frequent discharge from the eyes. Some also have dry eyes or dry mouth which is a condition known as Sjogren’s syndrome that results to lessened production of saliva or tear. Once these symptoms seem to persist, a doctor should be consulted.


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