Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Most Common Symptoms of RA
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by pain and swelling of the joints caused by a reaction in the joints lining. The disease afflicts at least twice as many women as men, and its onset often occurs around middle age, though people of any age can be diagnosed.
Because the symptoms of RA can be easily confused with other forms of arthritis or autoimmune disorders, observing your symptoms and communicating with your doctor is the key to diagnosis, particularly because there is no single, fool-proof diagnostic test.
A few of RAs distinctive symptoms include: morning stiffness in joints lasting more than one hour, pain and swelling in and around the joints (particularly of the fingers or toes), and joint pain occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body. Often people with RA will experience pain in the knuckles closest to the hand, though RA can also affect wrists, feet, ankles, elbows, shoulders, neck, and jaw. People with RA can feel fatigued or depressed, which are common symptoms of other illnesses and may complicate the diagnosis.
Early diagnosis is the key to slowing down the progression of RA, which can, in rare instances, affect the lining of the lungs, the blood vessels, and even the sac around the heart. There is no cure for RA, but monitoring your symptoms can help you receive proper treatment, including medication that has potential to greatly lessen your pain, and most importantly, your functionality and sense of well-being.