Knowing what the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are will help people know when to go and seek medical attention. There are also tests that can be done to help diagnose rheumatoid arthritis if a medical professional believes that a patient’s specific symptoms are due to having this systemic auto-immune disease. Seeking the opinion of a doctor that is experienced with this disease is the first step in a proper diagnosis if you believe that your symptoms are more than that of a common illness. Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious health condition with specific concerns that come along with it, so make sure if you are talking to your doctor about it that you find out all of the facts. Looking up this condition on reputable medical websites can also offer some insight as to what people should expect if they are diagnosed with this condition. It affects every person differently and all ages equally, so make sure you find out from your doctor what you should do for your specific symptoms if you are diagnosed with this disease.
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Some of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include issues like feeling fatigued or having less energy than normal, a decrease in appetite which may lead to weight loss, stiffness in the muscles and joints, and tender or swollen joints. Many of these symptoms are similar to that of many common illnesses, so having these symptoms is not an automatic diagnosis of a problem. If these symptoms continue for an extended period of time or become recurring, then it is a good idea to make sure that you seek a medical opinion on the problem. It could be a number of different conditions, and getting the blood tests done will be the only way for a doctor to know which problem it is so the symptoms can be properly addressed. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause damage to joints and muscles within the body even when the symptoms are not present because this disease never completely goes away. It has periods of joint inflammation and pain followed by moments of remission where no symptoms are present. These moments of pain and inflammation and remission can last anywhere from a few days to a few years.
Serious Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
The more serious symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include inflammation of parts of the body aside from the joints. This disease can affect anything from organs to skin because of it being a systemic auto-immune disease. It can hit any system within the human body, so all pain should be reported to the doctor in order to keep a record of what problems might be coming along with this condition. Some examples of more dangerous problems that can come with rheumatoid arthritis include inflammation of the eyes, blood or lungs. If the eyes become inflamed, there could be corneal or retinal abrasions simply from the pressure of the swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause anemia due to a decreased number of red blood cells in the body. The lungs can have a much more serious bunch of side effects. Inflammation of the tissue in the lungs can make it to where patients have trouble with shortness of breath or feel chest pain when taking a deep breath.
One of the very rare but serious symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation of the blood vessels, also known as vasculitis. This is a very rare complication of this disease, but making sure that doctors check for this issue regularly is very important for all patients. If vasculitis occurs, the blood supply of the body can be compromised and that could permanently harm or kill different tissues within the body. Tissue that is dead or dying can lead to even more serious health concerns that will lead to hospitalizations, or worse. Finding out ways to try and keep the symptoms at bay as much as possible is something that each patient needs to talk to his or her doctor about. Every person is affected differently by this disease and it is a disease that can affect people of any age. The age and health of the patient are both factors that are going to make procedures change when trying to avoid additional symptoms.
If you or your doctor suspect that your symptoms are rheumatoid arthritis, make sure you go through the tests to ensure the diagnosis. Knowing what to expect can take a lot of the fear away from being diagnosed with this disease, and keeping in regular contact with your doctor will allow you and your doctor to notice changes as they occur. Jumping on new symptoms as they arise will allow for the most effective treatment to be possible and that will keep the permanent damage of this disease to a minimum. Always ask questions of your doctor when you have them, and be sure to stay informed of what you can do to lessen your symptoms on a daily basis. If the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis have crept into your life, learn ways of being able to take your life back while keeping your quality of life.