If a person’s immune system is not functioning properly joints can become inflamed – this is known as rheumatoid arthritis. When this kind of arthritis fully sets in those suffering will experience joint pain and stiffness. But, there are some early signs of this debilitating condition that should not be ignored.
You must act quickly, the faster you seek treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) the better your chances are of being able to reduce flares.
But how can you tell if you are in the early stages of this condition? Here are 12 early signs to watch out for:
An early sign of this condition could be feelings of fatigue.
If you struggle to get up in the morning or if after having a full nights sleep you still feel drained this could be an early concerning sign.
Feeling extremely tired could be due to your body’s reaction to the inflammation in the joints.
Many illnesses start with a raised temperature, RA could be among that number.
Those suffering from the condition often feel feverish in the early stages of it.
Weight loss can precede any noticeable effects on the joints.
Many people feel feverish and fatigued due to this condition, this can lead to weight loss as appetite is reduced.
Repeated tenderness and stiffness may at first appear in just one or two small joints.
You may be tempted to ignore this as sometimes it comes on slowly and only lasts for several days – but this is a common early sign of RA.
Another early sign of RA is tenderness in the hands and feet.
Tenderness in the joints in the middle and at the base of the fingers may occur, whilst in the feet, the toe and heel joints may be tender when walking.
If your joints appear swollen this is a typical early sign of RA.
This most often occurs in the hand and feel, swelling grows as RA develops, but, initially the swelling may be subtle.
The skin around inflamed joints may appear red in appearance, this often starts in the joints around the hands and feet.
Another early sign of RA is joint warmth, this is caused by the inflammation RA causes.
If you are struggling to bend your joints this decrease in the range of motion could indicate that you are in the early stages of RA.
Difference between joints
Sometimes those affected by RA experience the symptoms in the joints on both sides of the body.
So for example, you might have stiffness in both wrists.
It is important to note that while this symmetry common, not every sufferer experiences this with the condition.
There is no cure for RA currently, but, early diagnosis and swift treatment can help relieve flare-ups when they occur.
So if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, it is a good idea to get these checked out as they could be an early sign of RA.