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Common Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
9/23 15:20:50

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful autoimmune disorder that affects about 1% of the total population in the United States. There is currently no known cure for the disease, but great strides have been made in finding effective treatment options that relieve pain and slow the progression of the damage. The key to an effective treatment plan is an early diagnosis of the disease. This article will tell you how to recognize rheumatoid arthritis symptoms so you can talk to your doctor about a diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible.

Symptoms in the Joints

One of the first rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that patients notice is pain and swelling in the joints of the body. The disease typically starts in the smaller joints like the fingers and gradually moves to larger joints like the knees and elbows. When joint stiffness is present, patients notice that they cannot move that joint as freely as they once could. Joint stiffness is also indicated if a person is stiff and sore after sitting or lying in a certain position for a period of time. For example, one of the most common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms is stiffness first thing in the morning that may last 30 minutes or longer. Affected joints may also become red, swollen and painful to the touch.


Another one of the common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that often occur as the disease progresses is nodules under the skin close to affected joints. These nodules occur in approximately 30% of all adults diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Nodules typically occur in the fingers, hands, heels and elbows. Sometimes they are firm to the touch and unmovable. In other cases, they can move. Many times the nodules are painless, but they can become tender to the touch and they may even limit movement. Some patients also find these nodules appearing on internal organs like the vocal cords, lungs and heart.

Other Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

There are other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that can occur as well. Fatigue is a common complaint with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other common autoimmune disorders. Some patients also experience a loss of appetite, which can cause weight loss. A low grade fever is also possible with rheumatoid arthritis and some patients complain of an overall feeling of malaise, similar to the flu, but less severe and longer lasting.

When any or all of these rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are experienced, it is a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible. Doctors are finding that the earlier rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are recognized and rheumatoid arthritis treatment is begun, the better able they are to help patients manage painful symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. If you are experiencing any of these rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor today.

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