06/18/2018 01:13 EDT | Updated 06/18/2018 01:13 EDT

Signs And Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most widespread inflammatory diseases, and it can make day-to-day life very painful for people afflicted with it.

Are you wondering if you suffer from the disease? Here's a list of some of the signs and symptoms to watch for.

Joint swelling

The inflammatory reaction that comes with rheumatoid arthritis damages the membrane surrounding the joints. This triggers painful edema (swelling). As the joint swells, it reddens and becomes hot.

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Pain that gets worse at night

Inflammation means pain, and inflammation of the joints triggers pain that intensifies when we're at rest or asleep. It becomes more difficult to sleep for long periods of time, with pain and stiffness upon waking.

Symmetrical pain

Little known fact: the pain from rheumatoid arthritis is often symmetrical. So watch for pain affecting both sides of the body in matching joints. Having soreness in both elbows or both knees at the same time is a sign that you may have rheumatoid arthritis.

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Appearance of deformities

As the disease progresses, additional problems and symptoms can appear. Cartilage, capsules, tendons, ligaments, muscles or bones may be affected. This can lead to joint deformities that, slowly but surely, become disabling.

Difficulty doing day-to-day actions

This stage occurs when the joint under attack becomes increasingly difficult to move, and other joints slowly become affected. Little balls may appear under the skin, particularly around the ankles. Fever, generalized fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite may occur during flare-ups of rheumatoid arthritis. Left untreated, this can impact ordinary activities of everyday life. This is why it's important to see a doctor quickly, before the joints become too damaged.

Appearance of other signs

Does it seem like your inflammation has spread to other organs? Watch for these signs: dry eyes; dry mouth; heart, lung or kidney problems; or anemia. However, it's important to note that the disease progresses unpredictably, and can vary greatly from one person to the next in terms of its speed and severity. One in ten people with rheumatoid arthritis will experience a brutal start to the disease, involving fever, fatigue and difficulty getting around.

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

The first signs of rheumatoid arthritis can vary. The disease progresses quickly and unpredictably, often making it hard to diagnose.

Rheumatoid arthritis has a genetic component. If you have any signs or symptoms, don't hesitate to see a rheumatologist quickly, especially if a family member has the disease.

Although it can be painful your doctor may be able to help you manage your condition. Seeing your doctor is an important first step in helping manage your condition.

This content is a paid advertorial. For more information about living with rheumatoid arthritis, please contact a qualified medical professional.