Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and chronic condition that affects the joints. Gradually this disease affects the joints, tissues and organs leading to the inflammation of the joints.
While affecting an individual, it does not consider the age of the victim, which means that it may affect any individual. But women are afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis more than men.
A unique feature of this disease is that it affects symmetrically. This means that inflammation as well as pain will appear in both the knees joints of legs at the same time. Rheumatoid arthritis is rarely genetic and has no permanent treatment till date. The only thing that can be done by the rheumatoid arthritis patients is to seek medical help and to include healthy diet and exercise regime in daily life.
Rheumatoid arthritis can remain dormant for some time or for some years and may flare up again. This condition exhibits some distinguishing symptoms. Some common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are given below.
The first symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is that it mainly affects the specific joints like that of knees, wrists, knuckles, shoulders, cervical spine, joints of the foot ball, temporomandibular joint, elbows and small bones of the inner ear.
The next common rheumatoid symptom is pain and swelling in the joints. Pain and swelling usually persist for more than 6 weeks. Though the pain is symmetrical, it may be more severe in any one joint. This is mostly severe in the hand as it is used more frequently.
Another common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is the fluid buildup, chiefly in the ankles and in a few cases, the joint sac that is at the back of the knee, collection of fluid occurs. When rheumatoid arthritis is in its early stage, it may exhibit flu like symptoms. These symptoms include fatigue, fever and weight loss. These symptoms are likely to continue for years in some people.
Nearly twenty percent of the rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience lumps, nodules beneath their skin. This may be the result of the inflamed blood vessels. Though these lumps can appear anywhere, they are usually seen in the elbow region.
Some other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include dry mouth, dry eyes, anemia, inflammation in the lining of the lungs and spleen.
If you experience even some of the above mentioned symptoms, you must consult your doctor for the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.