Arthritis rheumatoid symptoms

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, systemic inflammatory autoimmune form of arthritis that most often starts by causing swelling and pain in the wrists, hands, ankles, and feet.

Later, as it progresses, it may affect larger joints such as the knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.

Anyone can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but women are more likely to develop symptoms, which most often begin between the ages of 20 and 30.

The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still not yet understood. It is undoubtedly due to a combination of genetic as well as environmental factors. Fortunately, there are many effective strategies have been developed to manage its symptoms.

The primary symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is joint stiffness in the morning, often in the hands or feet. Stiffness that persists for an hour or more, or swelling and pain that lasts for more than six weeks, may be indicative of rheumatoid arthritis. Joint discomfort is typically symmetrical, i.e. both hands will hurt or feel stiff, not just one. Early rheumatoid arthritis symptoms also may include fever, excessive tiredness, or lumps called "nodules" that can be felt under the skin.

Other possible rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include anemia, appetite loss, and the the development of effusions (fluid) in joints, anemia, and elevations in platelet count. On occasion, rheumatoid arthritis may cause inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleuritis) and heart (pericarditis) as well as inflammation of the eye.

A particularly severe variant of rheumatoid arthritis known as Felty’s syndrome causes a patient to have a low white blood cell count, skin ulcerations, and an enlarged spleen.

Severe rheumatoid arthritis may also cause inflammation of small arteries- vasculitis and this may lead to severe ulcers in the skin, gangrene of the digits, as well as significant damage involving many different organ systems including the brain and peripheral nervous system.

Rheumatoid arthritis is also associated with an increased risk for developing lymphoma as well as early cardiovascular disease manifested by stroke and heart attack.

Get more information about arthritis rheumatoid symptoms as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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