Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of autoimmune disorder characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints. It typically occurs in the older generation. For some individuals, the disease can also affect their eyes, skin, heart and blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis causes painful inflammation in the lining of your joints that can eventually result in joint deformity and bone erosion. Although medications and treatment options are available to deal with symptoms, the disease can still cause physical impairments. Keep reading to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and other signs of aging now.
Fatigue is a general symptom of most autoimmune diseases, so there may be difficulty pinpointing fatigue to rheumatoid arthritis during the early stages of the disease. Be sure to write down any new symptoms and inform your doctor about them immediately. This will help the doctor make a correct diagnosis. Fatigue is sometimes accompanied by mood swings or changes such as depression, apathy, anxiety, or panic attacks.
Lots of people might feel stiffness first thing in the morning, but if the problem persists, it may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. If the stiffness lasts for more than a few minutes first thing in the morning, it could be a sign of deep-rooted inflammation. Stiffness may also occur after sitting or napping for long periods of time. Set aside ten minutes each morning to stretch muscles and joints before starting the day. There is also a benefit from stretching at night before bed as well.
Joint stiffness that occurs any time of the day, not just when you first wake up in the morning, is another sign of rheumatoid arthritis. When inflammation builds up in the muscles and joints, it creates a feeling of pressure and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis typically begins in the hands and affects multiple other joints over the course of several days. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are available to control inflammation and stiffness, but eating an anti-inflammatory diet works quite well also.
Joint Pain And Swelling
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may experience pain and visible swelling in their joints. The joints in your hand might experience mild inflammation or pain, which causes them to look bigger than normal. This can make it difficult to remove or slide rings onto the fingers. Your joints may also feel warm to the touch, which is a sign of inflammation. During the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, sufferers may experience pain in the ankles, feet, shoulders, and knees.
Fever is an indication of inflammation or an infection in the body. As rheumatoid arthritis is commonly characterized by inflammation of the joints, it is not uncommon to experience a mild fever. If a fever over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit develops, it might be a sign of some other form of illness. Keep track of your temperature and how long it lasts. Talk to your doctor if your low-grade fever does not go away in two weeks.
Limited Range Of Motion
Inflammation of the joints and tendons may cause ligaments to become deformed or unstable, which reduces the range of motion. If you find it difficult to straighten or bend some joints, it might be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. The range of motion is also affected by pain, which makes it hard to move some joints. Regular, gentle exercise and stretching may help to gain full range of motion in problematic joints. The doctor may also recommend physical therapy.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of joints and tendons, which can put pressure on nerves and cause a tingling, numb, or burning sensation in your hands known as carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have been diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome or experience a mild tingling sensation in your hands, it may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. There may even be a squeak or crackling noise in your joints when you move them. This occurs when damaged cartilage rubs against joints.