What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
People who suffer from RA may feel pain, swelling, warmth, and limitations in the range of motion of the affected joints. The disease usually affects both sides of the body and can lead to osteoporosis and lymphoma. While there is no cure for RA, there are treatments that can relieve pain and improve function.
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Symptoms include swelling, redness, warmth, weakness and limitation in range of motion of the affected joints
Early stages of the disease may be mistaken for acute viral polyarthritis. However, if the symptoms persist for longer than a few weeks, they may be indicative of RA. Therefore, early-stage patients should be closely monitored and have frequent follow-up appointments. They should be evaluated for joint swelling and elevation of acute-phase reactants.
People with RA may also experience secondary autoimmune diseases, such as dry mouth and eye infections. Although the symptoms of RA may vary from person to person, most commonly the joints of the fingers and wrists are affected. The condition is also common in the elbows and shoulders. The cervical spine is generally spared.
RA affects both sides of the body
In addition to X-rays, your doctor may order imaging tests to determine the progression of RA. These tests can show whether a joint has swelling, inflammation, or pain, and whether the afflicted joint has damaged cartilage or bone. They can also help rule out conditions that mimic RA.
The inflammation can affect blood vessels, causing plaque to build up in the arteries and heart. This can cause heart attacks and strokes. Other complications from RA include inflammation of the pericardium, the lining of the heart. RA may also lead to peripheral neuropathy, which affects nerves throughout the body. This condition can cause tingling, burning, and pain throughout the body.
RA causes osteoporosis
In people with RA, osteoporosis is a common complication of the disease. The condition can cause bones to become weak and break easily. This can cause stiffness and fatigue. As a result, people with this condition should exercise regularly and avoid smoking and alcohol. Bone mineral density measurements can help doctors determine whether a person is at risk of fractures. There are several treatment options available to patients with osteoporosis.
While the cause of osteoporosis is not entirely understood, some people with RA are at increased risk for developing this condition. Some researchers believe that the inflammation from RA disease activity may cause bone loss. Other factors that can contribute include prolonged use of corticosteroids and a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, women with RA are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men.
RA causes lymphoma
Although there’s no conclusive proof that RA causes lymphoma, it’s likely RA patients are at increased risk of developing lymphomas. The risk of lymphoma is 1.6 to 2.46 times higher in patients with RA than in people without RA. Among the different types of lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common. Its most common subtype is non-germinal center B-cell-like (N-GC-B-cell-like), suggesting that activated B cells are involved in the disease.
Those with RA have a worse survival rate and poorer outlook than those without the disease. Their mortality rate is 50 percent higher than those who do not have RA. Their risk of developing lung cancer is also increased, and they are at a higher risk of lymphoma and lymphoproliferative malignancies than those who do not have RA.