The early signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often come and go, which can leave people with a false sense of security. However, if you experience flare ups of pain or extreme discomfort it is worth discussing the situation with your doctor. Rheumatoid arthritis can work very quickly and go from mild to severe so it is important to get treatment as early as you can.
Common Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:
- Pain and swelling around the joints
- Stiffness in effected limbs
- General illness (sweating, feeling unwell – flu-like symptoms)
Some people also experience:
- weight loss
- inflammation in the eyes
- fleshy lumps around the elbows, hands or feet (known as rheumatoid nodules)
- further inflammation in other parts of the body, including internal organs.
In most cases of rheumatoid arthritis, it starts slowly. Often a few joints will become uncomfortable and swell and you may feel stiffness early in the morning. If any joint pain goes on for a considerable amount of time seeing your doctor is highly recommended. Most doctors suggest around 30 minutes of constant pain is worth investigating. Early diagnosis is very important in rheumatoid arthritis as if the condition begins to damage the joints it is irreversible.
Some cases of the condition do develop very rapidly. This again, should be an indication that medical assistance is needed.
There are many conditions which have similar initial symptoms to RA so this makes getting medical attention even more vital. You need to get a full diagnosis to minimise unnecessary stress and uncertainty. It is also best so you can ensure you get the right treatment to alleviate your symptoms. If you do receive a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, then you will find professional rheumatologists and those in related therapy fields work together to ensure the best treatment for your condition. Working with a specialist gives you both peace of mind and helps ensure the best possible treatment for your condition.