Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the joints but it is capable of causing problems in other parts of the body as well. The symptoms of the condition often manifest in a gradual manner over several weeks but can rapidly develop in some over a span of days.
Take note that the symptoms vary from one individual to another. In some, they can come and go and can change over time. Others occasionally experience flare-ups once the condition deteriorates and the symptoms become more severe.
What are the symptoms that affect the joints?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects the joints. It is capable of triggering issues in any joint in the body, although the small joints in the feet and hands are initially affected
The condition can also affect the joints in a symmetrical manner but this is not always the case. The indicative symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:
- Pain – the joint pain linked with rheumatoid arthritis is described as aching and throbbing pain. It is quite worse in the morning and after an extended period of inactivity.
- Stiffness – the affected joints feel rigid or stiff. If the hands are affected, the fingers could not be fully bent or there is difficulty when the individual attempts to form a fist. The stiffness is quite severe in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
- Warmth, redness and swelling – since the lining of the joints affected are inflamed; it can cause the joints to become swollen, tender and warm. In some individuals, rheumatoid nodules also develop under the skin surrounding the joints.
Just like with other issues affecting the joints, some who have rheumatoid arthritis can suffer from general symptoms such as lack of energy, high temperature or fever, diminished appetite, sweating and weight loss.
Take note that the inflammation linked with the condition can oftentimes lead to issues that can affect other parts of the body including chest pain and dry eyes.
When to seek further care
It is best to set an appointment with a doctor if an individual is suspected with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. There are various conditions that can cause issues such as joint stiffness and pain, thus a proper diagnosis must be made.
Proper diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis must be given as soon as possible since early treatment can help prevent the progression of the condition as well as minimize the risk for other issues such as joint damage.