Early RA symptoms and signs 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, and feet, and the knees and hip joints. Joint inflammation causes stiffness. Warmth, redness, and pain may vary in degree. Read more: 16 Early Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms and Signs Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Anemia is the condition of having less than the normal number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood is, therefore, decreased. There are several types of anemia such as iron deficiency anemia (the most common type), sickle cell anemia, vitamin B12 anemia, pernicious anemia, and aplastic anemia. Symptoms of anemia may include fatigue, malaise, hair loss, palpitations, menstruation, and medications. Treatment for anemia includes treating the underlying cause for the condition. Iron supplements, vitamin B12 injections, and certain medications may also be necessary.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. The 16 characteristic early RA signs and symptoms include the following. Anemia Both sides of the body affected (symmetric) Depression Fatigue Fever Joint deformity Joint pain Joint redness Joint stiffness Joint swelling Joint tenderness Joint warmth Limping Loss of joint function Loss of joint range of motion Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Acute injuries, medical conditions, and chronic use conditions are causes of knee pain. Symptoms and signs that accompany knee pain include redness, swelling, difficulty walking, and locking of the knee. To diagnose knee pain, a physician will perform a physical exam and also may order X-rays, arthrocentesis, blood tests, or a CT scan or MRI. Treatment of knee pain depends upon the cause of the pain.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical). The causes of fatigue are generally related to a variety of conditions or diseases, for example, anemia, mono, medications, sleep problems, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, and drug abuse.Treatment of fatigue is generally directed toward the condition or disease that is causing the fatigue.
Which Foods Make Arthritis Worse?
Certain foods can contribute to arthritis joint inflammation, like processed foods high in salt, alcohol, red meat and others. Foods that are good for the joints are beans, greens and other whole foods that have high fiber and nutrient content and low calories; these foods promote weight loss, which improves arthritis symptoms, and some may lower inflammation, generally.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Fibromyalgia
Though rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, RA is an autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. RA symptoms include joint redness, swelling, and pain that lasts more than six weeks. Fibromyalgia symptoms include widespread pain, tingling feet or hands, depression, and bowel irritability. Home remedies for both include stress reduction, exercise, and getting enough sleep.
Osteoarthritis vs. Osteoporosis Differences and Similarities
Arthritis is defined as painful inflammation and joint stiffness. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis and the most common cause of chronic joint pain, affecting over 25 million Americans. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that involves the entire joint. Osteoporosis is not a type of arthritis. It is a disease that mainly is caused by a loss of bone tissue that is not limited to the joint areas. It is possible for one person to have both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. The differences in the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis include; pain, stiffness, and joint swelling, joint deformity, crackle sounds when the joint is moving, and walking with a limp. Osteoporosis is called the "silent disease" because it can progress for years without signs and symptoms before it is diagnosed, severe back pain, bone fractures, height loss, and difficulty or inability to walk. The differences in the causes of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are that osteoarthritis usually is caused by wear and tear on the joints. Osteoporosis usually is caused by one or more underlying problems, for example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. Treatment for osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are not the same. There is no cure for osteoarthritis or osteoporosis.
12 Early Signs of Arthritis in Hands
Hand arthritis occurs when there is inflammation in one or more joints of the hand and wrist. A few of the common types of arthritis that affect the hands are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis (arthritis as a result of an injury), psoriatic arthritis and gout.
Rheumatology is the study of rheumatic diseases and conditions. Rheumatologists are internal medicine physicians who treat these illnesses, in particular arthritis.
What Are the Four Stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by pain and inflammation in joints, typically of the hands and feet. It is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system of the body attacks its own healthy cells, resulting in inflammation of the membrane lining the joints and damage to joint tissue.
Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are chronic joint disorders. RA is also an autoimmune disease. OA and RA symptoms and signs include joint pain, warmth, and tenderness. Over-the-counter pain relievers treat both diseases. There are several prescription medications that treat RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Arthritis
Arthritis is a general term used to describe joint disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the joints, causing chronic inflammation.
Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) annually affects one child in every thousand. There are six types of JRA. Treatment of juvenile arthritis depends upon the type the child has and should focus on treating the symptoms that manifest.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Caused by Stress?
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory joint condition and an autoimmune disease. At times, treatment can make rheumatoid arthritis symptoms (pain and swelling) disappear for a while. This symptom-free period is referred to as “remission.” A remission is followed by the reappearance of symptoms and this period is known as a flare-up. Research says that rheumatoid arthritis can be caused by stress.
How Serious Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that typically affects the joints and other body parts, such as the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. RA is an autoimmune disorder, a condition where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. If not diagnosed early and appropriately treated, RA can lead to permanent deformities, disabilities and serious systemic complications.
Safest Rheumatoid Arthritis Drugs During Pregnancy
None of the drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is completely safe during pregnancy. You must discuss with your physician regarding the decision to use, modify, or stop any medications.
11 Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a long-term disorder that progressively affects many parts of the body. Home remedies, diet, and lifestyle changes can help reduce pain and discomfort associated with RA alongside medical treatment. Home remedies alone cannot effectively treat RA or prevent the progression of the disease.
14 Early Signs of Arthritis in the Legs
Leg arthritis affects the joints of the hips, knees, ankles or feet. The early signs and symptoms of arthritis in the legs include pain, swelling, stiffness, decreased range of motion, trouble walking, fever, bump-like swelling and other symptoms.
Breastfeeding With Rheumatoid Arthritis
You can breastfeed your baby even if you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, you must always consult your doctor before you start the process.
Early Signs of Arthritis in the Fingers
The earliest signs of arthritis are pain, swelling and stiffness. If these symptoms are experienced in the fingers, it is likely because of rheumatoid arthritis. The signs and symptoms of arthritis in the fingers include popping sounds, joint deformity, warmth, mucus cysts and bone spurs.
17 Early Signs of Arthritis in the Back
Arthritis in the back arises due to the inflammation of facet joints in the spine or sacroiliac joints between the spine and the pelvis. Some of the early signs of arthritis in the back include back pain, stiffness, swelling, bone grinding, loss of flexibility, fatigue, muscle spasms and other symptoms.
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Affect Pregnancy?
Yes, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects pregnancy. RA can lead to complications like preterm birth, raised blood pressure (preeclampsia), and low birth weight babies.
Early Signs of Arthritis in Shoulder
Early signs and symptoms of arthritis in the shoulder include pain in the shoulder joint that's worse when lifting heavy objects, pain that radiates down the arm and shoulder joint sounds like grinding, clicking, and crackling.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder (the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own cells). Certain factors increase the risk of RA.
Early Signs of Arthritis in the Wrist
Wrist arthritis is inflammation (swelling) of one or more joints of the wrist. Wrist arthritis is long-lasting or permanent and eventually causes severe joint damage. The early signs of arthritis in the wrist include morning stiffness, redness, tenderness, pain, swelling, weakness, warmth and other symptoms.
Local ResourcesFind a local Rheumatologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
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- What Are Flexor Tendon Lacerations?
- What Is Tendon Transfer Surgery?
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- What Is Ankle Arthrocentesis?
- What Is Joint Aspiration (Arthrocentesis)?
- How Is Knee Arthrocentesis Performed?
- What Is a Medial Epicondyle Injection For?
- What Is Hip Arthroscopy?
- When Is a Thumb Injection Needed?
- What Is an Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty?
- Why Is Wrist Arthrocentesis Performed?
- What Is a Metatarsophalangeal Arthrocentesis?
- What Is Elbow Arthrocentesis?
- What Is Metacarpophalangeal Arthrocentesis?
- Joint Pain
- Fatigue, Tiredness, and Lethargy
- Joint Cracking (Joint Popping)
- Joint Redness
- Joint Stiffness
- Swollen Joints
- Joint Warmth
- Joint Deformity
- Decreased Appetite
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- Patient: Getting the Best Care
- Rheumatoid Arthritis FAQs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis vs. Osteoarthritis
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): 17 Warning Signs of Serious Complications
- Patient Story: Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Joint Symptoms and Signs: What Do They Mean?
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Which Patients Do Best?
- 5 Surprising Facts About Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Patient Story: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Pregnancy
- Ultrasound Imaging of Joints in Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
- Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Is Inflammatory Arthritis the Same as Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Can Milk Allergy Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- What Are the Side Effects of Remicade for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Should You Avoid Drinking Soda with Rheumatoid Arthrits?
- Are Hidradenitis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Related?
- Does Lipitor Help Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Will Rheumatoid Arthritis Nodules Go Away?
- What's the Rheumatoid Arthritis Prognosis?
- What Are Home Remedies for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Patient Story: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Living With a Chronic Disease
Medications & Supplements
- Monoclonal Antibodies
- Biologics (Biologic Drug Class)
- celecoxib (Celebrex)
- rituximab (Rituxan)
- Aleve (naproxen) vs. Celebrex (celecoxib)
- Chloroquine (Aralen) vs. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil)
- Remicade vs. Humira
- hydrocortisone injection (Solu-Cortef, A-Hydrocort)
- Humira (adalimumab) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Ketorolac vs. ketoprofen
- Side Effects of Enbrel (etanercept)
- Otezla (apremilast) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Side Effects of Rayos (prednisone)
- Side Effects of Feldene (piroxicam)
- Kevzara (sarilumab)
- Side Effects of Zurampic (lesinurad)
- Side Effects of Depen (penicillamine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Body Temperature Higher in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Newer Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug May Help Ease Tough-to-Treat Cases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Doesn't Harm Lungs: Study
- Started Early, Drug Combo Eases Fatigue of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study
- Taking Steroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBD? Your Odds for Hypertension May Rise
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, Low Folate Levels Raise Heart Risks
- Many Americans With Rheumatic Disease Face Financial, Lifestyle Pressures
- Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis Can Show Up Long Before Diagnosis
- Is Your Hand Pain Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel or Something Else?
- Exercising With Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Health Tip: Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Too Much or Too Little Weight May Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Drug That Eases Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain Won't Help 'Regular' Arthritis
- Menopause May Worsen Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
- If Mom Has Rheumatoid Arthritis, Baby May Develop It, Too
- These Foods May Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Risk of COPD
- Certain Jobs Linked to Raised Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Fish Eaters Report Less Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain
- Early Treatment Equals Better Results for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Obesity May Make Rheumatoid Arthritis Tough to Spot, Track
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug May Not Ease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome After All
- Could a Germ Link Gum Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Moms' Rheumatoid Arthritis May Be Linked to Epilepsy Risk in Kids
- Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk
- Health Tip: Ease Stress If You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
- FDA Approves New Biological Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Nerve Zap Eased Rheumatoid Arthritis in Small Study
- Study: Smoking Hikes Chances of Early Death for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
- Experimental Drug for Rheumatoid Arthritis Shows Promise
- Heart Disease Deaths Drop for Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study
- Studies Explore Link Between Diet, Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Heart Disease Deaths Declining Among Those With Rheumatoid Arthritis: Study
- Rheumatoid Arthritis May Shorten Life Span: Study
- Could Oral Contraceptives Help Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis?
- Knee Replacement May Ease Pain for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
- Yoga May Improve Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Pill Cuts Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
- Health Tip: Recognize Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Long Before Symptoms, Blood May Reveal Rheumatoid Arthritis