Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms

What were your symptoms at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?

A Doctor's View on Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Symptoms and Signs

Read the Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, particularly in the early stages vary differently from person to person. The most common body parts that are initially affected by RA include the small joints of the hands, wrists, feet, and the knees and hip joints. Joint inflammation causes stiffness. Warmth, redness, and pain may vary in degree. Read the entire Doctor's View

Comment from: captshed, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 19

I have had AID (auto immune disease) for about 15 years, but until recently, it was mostly in the form of skin lesions. I have now been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and cannot believe how my life has changed in such a short time. From being a very active person, to having trouble walking or holding a golf club is awful. My rheumatologist has me on methotrexate, but it hasn't helped and the pain is constant. I feel as if I have trigger finger in both hands.

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Comment from: Rstra00, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I really didn't have any symptoms to start with. My feet hurt every morning when I got up but are fine as long as I am moving, and this has gone on for 1 year. My first ANA was positive in August 2014. The RA (rheumatoid arthritis) factor was negative. I started having pains in both knees, both elbows, both wrists and feet. I also have stiffness all over with fatigue. I have no visible swelling or fever during a flare. I went to a rheumatologist who retested me, and this time the RA factor is positive as well as strong positive CCP antibodies. I am a Native American and this runs in my family. I don't do well with side effects so am managing any flares with meditation, exercise, diet, and some natural remedies for now.

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Comment from: leckertmason, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I work in warehousing, have for the last 30 years. About six months ago the morning stiffness started. Five months ago I felt like something was in my eye. There was nothing there, real dry eye. In the last 3 months, I started with my left hand and wrist swelling along with the warmth and redness. Now, my feet, ankles, knees, wrists and elbows swell and hurt. This last week my neck hurts like heck. When my feet hurt I end up limping. I am assuming this is why my sciatic nerve starts acting up. This is mostly affecting my left side so much my husband was afraid I maybe had a stroke. Last week I finally saw a rheumatologist and she ordered a bunch more blood tests. I walk all day long, on concrete, wearing steel toed boots. I leave work every day limping and most days I'm in tears by the time I get in my truck. I also have scoliosis with 2 half missing vertebrae, one in the lower back and one in the upper back. They have me on methylprednisolone at the moment. It is helping with the swelling and some of the pain.

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Comment from: bllapth, (Patient) Published: May 21

My symptom of rheumatoid arthritis was numbness in the hands, similar to what would mistakenly be diagnosed with tendonitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

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Comment from: Ddt, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 06

I started having pain and morning stiffness in right shoulder. After months of pain, I went to doctor and was sent to therapy twice a week for 6 weeks. I had no relief and pain started in left shoulder. I am waiting to get to a rheumatologist. I have severe pain and stiffness in the morning and painful sleep. Now pain is extending to elbows and wrists. Blood test said rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and second doctor does not believe it to be RA. I just need to find relief and answers.

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Comment from: r1cochet, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 24

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 5 years ago after a very painful and depressing 30th anniversary cruise. I'm retired military (tank mechanic) and have always had some level of joint problems. The Veterans Affairs diagnosed osteoarthritis when I had my retirement physical in 2002. We were a couple of days into the cruise when I started having major pain throughout my body and towards the end of the day I could barely walk. I was only 50 at the time and it felt like I was 90! Luckily my family doctor ran the RA factor and got me referred to a rheumatologist.

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Patient Comments

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Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet Question: Discuss the diet or other lifestyle changes you've made to relieve symptoms of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?

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