Since many of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to mimic those of other types of arthritis, it may be hard at first to distinguish what kind of arthritis you’re suffering from. One of the telltale symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis might be the symmetry with which you experience the joint inflammation. While other types of arthritis may only take place in a particular joint or on one edge of the body, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tend to affect both parts of the body simultaneously.
The reason for this difference lies in the reason for the disease. While other types of arthritis are generally caused by deterioration of cartilage from use, rheumatoid arthritis is the product of the body’s immune system attacking its own joints and surrounding tissues. The result is painful inflammation and swelling that can be painful to the touch and cause redness around the joints. The disease may occasionally affect other areas of the body as well, like the skin, lungs and heart. There is no know cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but symptoms can be addressed through exercise, plenty, and medication of rest.
Managing rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms
During the times when the disease is active, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite and low-grade fever. Muscle and joint inflammation and swelling can be painful, even to the touch. Stiffness and pain are generally felt more intensely first thing in the morning and after periods of inactivity. Joints that are inflamed may become red and swollen. There can be lack of function and deformity of some joints occasionally in advanced cases. Fortunately, there are many medications on the market that can reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms by alleviating pain and reduction of the joint swelling that is involved. Some medications can even slow the degradation of the joints that is common with this disease.
When joints become stiff they become inflamed, swollen and painful. This often leads to fever, flu, lack of appetite, and fatigue. Because these are symptoms common for many less severe illnesses (such as the normal flu), people typically don’t think of rheumatic arthritis. Of course, this lack of awareness delays diagnosis and treatment, thus making the disease destructive to a person’s health. As more time passes, the inflammation and pain become worse, and the joints and the skin around the joints appears red. The symptoms can also spread to other body parts as the knees, jaws and hips. Further, these symptoms are often accompanied by small bumps under the skin of the joints, called rheumatoid nodules.
The best treatment for your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms is to see a rheumatologist as soon as possible. A rheumatologist is a physician who specializes in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. Once your doctor has run tests to diagnose your illness, you’ll be in a position to begin a plan of treatment that will include pain management and an exercise regimen that will help keep joints healthy and functioning. The good news is that early medical intervention to control your rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can greatly reduce the likelihood of any long-term disability from the disease.