5 Common Symptoms For Rheumatoid Arthritis
In addition to fatigue, there are five common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis: stiffness, swelling, pain, redness and warmth. Known as RA, rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term, or chronic, disease whose symptoms often come and go. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis enjoy long periods of remission, when symptoms are few and far between. Others may have constant symptoms for months on end. Although rheumatoid arthritis can affect different parts of the body, it always affects the joints. In fact, joint inflammation is the hallmark sign of rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr. Marc C. Levesque for WebMD, people who live with RA will probably experience the following five symptoms:
- Joint Stiffness. People with rheumatoid arthritis have stiff joints. Their joints are harder to use and have a limited range of motion. Morning stiffness is especially common. It may take several hours for someone with rheumatoid arthritis to feel that their joints have “loosened up.”
- Joint Swelling. Joint swelling often contributes to the joint stiffness that people with rheumatoid arthritis experience. Swelling is caused when fluid enters into the joint, causing it to become swollen or “puffy.”
- Joint Pain. The inflammation that causes joints to swell and become stiff also causes pain. Inflammation makes a joint tender and sensitive. Prolonged inflammation can cause damage that contributes to the pain.
- Redness And Warmth. A person with rheumatoid arthritis may notice that his joints feel warmer than the neighboring skin. They may also be pink or red in color, when compared to the skin around the joint.
- General Fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis affects not only a person’s joints, but also many other areas of his body. For example, someone with RA often experiences fatigue, malaise, muscle aches and even a loss of appetite. Some people compare this fatigue with the flu, although the symptoms are usually not as intense, nor do they last as long.
If you are experiencing persistent pain, discomfort or swelling in your joints, you may have rheumatoid arthritis. Make an appointment to see your doctor, who can make a diagnosis and suggest treatment options.