Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms and Treatment
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that attacks the lining of the joints. RA causes inflammation in the tissue around your joints, leading to pain, swelling, and stiffness. The disease can also involve other body parts, such as skin, blood vessels, and lungs.
RA is different from the other 400 forms of arthritis because rheumatoid arthritis symptoms usually first appear at middle age. In contrast, other types of arthritis tend to affect people at a younger age. Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also differ from those typically associated with osteoarthritis and tend to be worse and more persistent than gout or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) symptoms. Although rheumatoid arthritis can occur in people who have no family history of rheumatic disease, it does tend to run in families.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The occurrence of the symptoms varies from person to person. However, some of the early signs of RA are mentioned below:
- Fatigue: It is one of the early signs of RA where a person feels extremely tired all day. It is the body’s response to inflammation. Fatigue may affect overall productivity, sex drive, and everyday activities.
- Mild Fever: Inflammation is one of the causes of lack of energy, fever, and body pain. Patients can experience mild fever ranging from 99 to 100 degrees.
- Malaise: Malaise is usually associated with a feeling of discomfort, including nausea, weakness, and sensitivity to smells.
- Joint Issues: People diagnosed with RA have been seen to develop symptoms of joint problems, such as joint pain, redness, stiffness, swelling, warmth, and tenderness. Most people experience these elbows, knees, wrists, shoulders, and back.
- Affected range of motion: RA widely affects the range of motion. It makes the movement harder, leading to a loss of coordination and disbalance.
Some rare symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Rheumatoid arthritis’s early signs are often mistakenly attributed to ageing or stress-related conditions like fibromyalgia because they might not be present all the time.
Risk factors for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Several risk factors are associated with rheumatoidarthritis, including heredity (genetics), autoimmune disease, and rheumatic fever. Individuals with rheumatoid arthritis in their families are more at risk than those without a family history. Some health complications such as eye inflammation, heart problems, lungdiseases, blood vessel inflammation, and rheumatoid modules are also seen in RA patients. Those with rheumatoid arthritis in their family may want to consider getting checked regularly for rheumatoidarthritis symptoms to ensure early diagnosis and treatment, which can help control rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
The rheumatoid arthritis treatment is multi-faceted to combat the wide range of symptoms. Its treatment may include physical therapy and rehabilitation. Some complementary therapies can reduce stress, relax muscles, and improve sleep, making the arthritis treatment even more effective. Lifestyle changes such as staying physically fit and active, maintaining a healthy diet, and managing stress also help cope with the symptoms.
It is important to remember how painful and debilitating RA can be. Early diagnosis of the condition, coupled with treatment options like physical therapy, pain management techniques, medications, or other treatments, may help you live a more fulfilling life while managing your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, make sure to seek a second opinion from award-winning doctors. Just search for the best ‘orthopaedic doctor near me’ and take advice on managing rheumatoid arthritis symptoms to improve your quality of life!