In August and September, we will be focusing on Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This web site should not be used in lieu of getting professional medical care from a qualified physician. Although we are not doctors, we have done a bit of research on these issues from official and professionally reliable sources and hope that we can provide some answers that can help you better understand this illness.
If you have been diagnosed with RA, you will most likely identify with the symptoms listed below. For understanding what symptoms are required for diagnosing RA, see The Arthritis Foundation.
Symptoms of RA
Joint pain, with swelling, tenderness, or stiffness for 6 weeks or longer
Morning stiffness lasting for 30 minutes or longer
More than one joint is affected
Small joints (wrists, joints of hands and feet) are affected
Same joints on both sides of the body are affected
Other Organs and Body Systems Affected
Eyes: dryness, pain. Redness, sensitivity to light and impaired vision
Mouth: dryness and gum irritation or infection
Skin: rheumatoid nodules – small lumps under the skin over body areas
Lungs: inflammation and scarring that can lead to shortness of breath
Blood vessels: inflammation of blood vessels that can lead to damage in the nerves, skin, or other organs
Blood: anemia, abnormally low number of red blood cells
Not everyone who has RA will have the non-joint symptoms mentioned above in the second list. However, if you do develop any of these problems, be sure to let your arthritis doctor know about them. *Arthritis Foundation, “What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?’ (Arthritis Foundation, Retrieved 8/3/2018)