3 symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to watch out for
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disorder in which the small joints of the hands and feet of the affected person get inflamed. It affects the lining of the joints and causes pain and swelling that may lead to joint deformity and erosion if left untreated.
This disorder of the autoimmunological system occurs when the body's immune system attacks the body's own tissues.
Although this medical condition usually causes joint problems only, sometimes it may go on to affect other body organs like skin, lungs, eyes and blood vessels as well.
Some of the signs and symptoms that are indicative of rheumatoid arthritis are:
1. Problems in the joints
One of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is swelling of the joints that become tender and painful. During the early days, only the smaller joints are affected, especially the finger and toe joints. However as the disease worsens, the symptoms spread to other body parts like knees, wrists, elbows, ankles etc. Joint redness and warmth are also characteristic features of rheumatoid arthritis. It is also recognized by joint deformity and stiff joints.
2. Fever, fatigue and loss of weight
Fatigue is a common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It may be a result of the body's reaction to insomnia, anemia, and inflammation. It may also be caused due to loss of appetite and the consequent and unintended weight loss. Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis is also accompanied by fever.
3. Rheumatoid nodules
Another symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is the presence of firm bumps of tissues under the skin on the arms. These bumps are known as rheumatoid nodules and may be painful. The nodules may come and go depending on the severity of the disease at a particular time. During flares, they may appear, and they may subside during the periods of remission just as all the other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.