Living with any painful condition can be hard. In many cases arthritis can be debilitating and prevent you from undertaking normal daily activities. This is why it’s important that you be aware of the most common symptoms. If you are concerned that you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis you need to speak to your doctor and get the best possible advice.
Of course, it’s a good idea to check you’re paying the best possible price for your comprehensive health cover first!
Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
During the onset of rheumatoid arthritis the symptoms are very similar to an array of other medical conditions. This can make it difficult to diagnose. Of course, understanding the most common symptoms will help:
If a joint starts to ache without an obvious cause you should be concerned. However, there are many causes and rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect more than one joint at a time. Therefore, if the pain is in more than one joint it can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
The same is true of stiff joints, it’s usually more than one joint and has no other obvious reason. The stiffness and aches will generally be worse in cold weather.
Rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation in your body. This makes the area hot to touch and increases your overall body temperature. It’s normal to feel feverish.
As your body fights the infection it will use up your available resources, making you feel tired or even exhausted all the time.
You may also start to lose weight as your body deals with the disease and stops absorbing nutrients properly. It’s likely that the pain and stiffness will also decrease your appetite.
Common Risk Factors
Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system attacks your own cells. It’s not yet known why this happens but you are generally at greater risk in the following circumstances:
As you age
The risk increases as you age, most people with rheumatoid arthritis are over 60.
If you’re a woman
Women simply suffer more; RA are typically two-to-three times higher in women than men.
Research is still ongoing but there appears to be a link between rheumatoid arthritis and people born with specific genes.
This will increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
The heavier you are, the greater the risk.
If you start experiencing any of the above symptoms it’s time to get yourself checked out by a professional. The sooner you do it the easier the condition is to manage.
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