Signs of rheumatoid arthritis may vary from patient to patient. Common manifestations of this degenerative disease are joint pain and stiffness which are felt first in the small joints of the fingers, wrist, hands and feet.
It is in the period of inactivity and while waking in the morning that joint pain and stiffness are more severe. The common joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis includes cervical spine, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. The joint involvement usually is symmetrical, which means that if signs of rheumatoid arthritis develop on one side of the body, it may also occur on the other side of the body in a similar location. As the disease progresses, it may cause deformity and joint instability due to the damage to cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bones.
Loss of joint function may result to damage and can lead to difficulty in performing daily tasks. The following are also signs for rheumatoid arthritis:
* Flu-like signs
* Loss of appetite leading to weight loss
* Muscle pains
Usually signs of arthritis depend on the degree of the tissues inflammation and the extent of the involved joint. Also, if the body tissues are inflamed, it means that the disease is active and when the inflammation subsides, the disease is inactive.
Because arthritis is a systemic disease, its inflammation can affect the organs and the areas of the body other than the joints. If the disease is active, signs are then felt like fatigue, loss of energy, lack of appetite, low-grade fever, muscle and joint aches, and stiffness. Another sign that you can have is the decreased number of red blood cells and even white blood cells.
Signs of rheumatoid arthritis such as any of the above mentioned symptoms should not be taken lightly and must be addressed with your health care provider as soon as possible. Early and aggressive treatment immediately following any signs of rheumatoid arthritis will lead to the best overall management of this challenging condition.