01/8Some common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
On the outside rheumatoid arthritis might look like a sort of joint pain. Only when you dig deeper, you would know that it is a chronic disease that can affect more than just your joints.
02/8Understanding rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition caused when a person's immune system attacks healthy body tissues. It leads to inflammation and pain in the joints. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis typically affect the hands, wrists, and feet, but in severe cases, it can even damage organs skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. Though the condition cannot be reversed, early diagnosis can help to minimise the risk of complications in the future.
Rheumatoid arthritis begins slowly, and symptoms usually come and go from time to time. If you can identify the symptoms in the beginning stage, you can easily manage them. Here are six early signs of Rheumatoid arthritis that you need to look out for:
Fatigue is a common symptom of this condition. Even before the obvious signs of the condition like joint pain and inflammation appear, a person with rheumatoid arthritis may feel extremely tired and depressed. They may lack the motivation to do even regular tasks and have a low sex drive. It is because the body starts using all the energy to fight inflammation.
Read more: Why do our joints pop and click sometimes?
Joint pain and weight loss seem unrelated, which is why this symptom often goes unnoticed. An unexplained weight loss along with prolonged fatigue is considered an early symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It is an indirect effect of inflammation caused due to attack on the tissues. When you feel tired and feverish you lose your appetite and eventually shed kilos.
After a week or two, you may notice stiffness in your joints, especially in the morning. The episodes of joint stiffness will also appear throughout the day after a period of inactivity. You may feel tightness in your wrists, your knees, and feet, which could be felt on both sides of the body. In the beginning, the stiffness will go away on its own after a while. It will start to linger longer with time.
06/8Numbness and tingling
Inflammation of tissues can also put excessive pressure on your nerves. It can over time lead to numbness, tingling and tenderness in your hands and feet. When you press your joints they may feel tender and you would find it difficult to do even basic work like walking and moving an object from one place to the other.
07/8Decrease in the range of motion
Joint stiffness and tenderness may also make it difficult for the person to move freely. In the initial phase of rheumatoid arthritis, a person may have difficulty in moving the wrist back and forth and performing exercises. With time the disease will progress and start damaging their ligaments and tendons, making it difficult to bend and straighten them.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also make the joints appear red. It is actually the inflammation of the tissues that gives them a red appearance. Along with this, discolouration of the skin around the joints in the hands and feet is also common.