Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that affects over 1.3 million people in America alone. It causes chronic inflammation to the joints and usually begins slowly with minor symptoms that come and go, usually on both sides of the body, and progress over a couple of weeks or months.
Because symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis vary from person to person and can change from day to day, it can be difficult to determine if you rheumatoid arthritis or a degenerative form of arthritis. To help you with that, here are four signs that you may need to seek our rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
Four indicators that you may need rheumatoid arthritis treatment
#1: You wake up with stiff joints
Stiff joints in the morning is an early sign of arthritis
. If the morning stiffness only lasts a few minutes, it’s probably a symptom of a degenerative form of arthritis. However, if it lasts for several hours, it’s generally a symptom of inflammatory arthritis and is typical of rheumatoid arthritis. You may also experience stiffness after prolonged periods of inactivity like napping or sitting.
#2: You have stiffness in one or more smaller joints
Stiffness in one or more smaller joints is a common early sign of rheumatoid arthritis. This stiffness can arise at any given time – whether you’re active or not. Usually, the stiffness begins in the joints of your hands. It typically comes on slowly, but can come on suddenly and affect numerous joints in your body over the course of one or two days.
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#3: Your joints are inflamed
Mild joint inflammation is typical in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis and can cause your joints to look bigger than normal. The swelling can also cause your joints to feel warm to touch. Flare-ups can last anywhere from a couple of days to multiple weeks – and this pattern only increases with time.
#4: You’re unusually fatigued
Last but not least, fatigue is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis that can precede the other signs by weeks or even months. It may come and go from day to day or week to week. In most cases, fatigue is accompanied by depression
or a feeling of ill health.
If you’re experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, consult your doctor who will be able to confirm if you have the disease, if you do, prescribe a rheumatoid arthritis treatment.
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