What are the top 5 common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis?

Detecting the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis is the only way to spot the disease early. Early detection is vital because rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative condition that can severely affect bones and joints, if left untreated.

So, what are then the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

    1. Stiffness: The classic telltale symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is morning stiffness that lasts for an hour or more.

    Unlike osteoarthritis where stiffness clears up immediately, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, it is slow and the body may become stiff again after a few hours of movement.

    2. Swelling, pain and discomfort: Another one of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis is pain accompanied by swelling.

    Generally, pain may be felt for 4-6 weeks before diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the body symmetrically, so pain may occur in both hands or knees, for instance.

    However, pain may be more on the side that is being used more.

    3. Flu: Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammation, it may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms. Fever along with weight loss and fatigue may be one of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis.

    Many people describe these symptoms as being similar to cold and flu, although these symptoms may go on for long periods of time.

    4. Swelling: Swelling due to fluid build-up is also another one of the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling may occur in the ankles.

    Some patients may also develop Baker Cyst, which is the formation of a sac filled with fluid behind the knee. This cyst may be painful in some people.

    6. Nodules: Although not very common, the formation of nodules may occur in approximately 20% of people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. These nodules are formed when blood vessels get inflamed.

    These nodules appear under the skin, mostly near the elbows. In rare cases, these nodules may get infected. Otherwise, they may appear anywhere in the body.

Unfortunately, rheumatoid arthritis is a common disease. It may occur in children and adults, men and women (though studies suggest that it is more likely to occur in white women than men).

Interestingly, some studies indicate that regular but moderate drinkers are less vulnerable to developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Early detection of the disease makes it possible for patients to make lifestyle changes that slow down or even arrests the progress of the disease.

Along with these changes, patients also have to take recommended medication to manage the pain and alleviate symptoms. That is why it is important to know the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis.

So, the above are the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you or anyone you know are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is recommended that you approach a doctor at the earliest and begin treatment and management strategies immediately.

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