What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Signs And Symptoms

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? Signs And Symptoms

September 16, 2021 Off By takiayabalmone

Rheumatoid arthritis refers to a chronic inflammatory disorder that impacts more than the joints of people. It can damage different systems of the body including the lungs, skin, eyes, blood vessels, and heart. 

It is an autoimmune disorder that develops when your immune system starts attacking your body’s tissues. Moreover, it affects your joints lining, unlike osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis causes painful swelling that leads to joint deformity and bone erosion.

The latest medications improved the options of treatment dramatically. Severe rheumatoid arthritis results in physical disabilities

Symptoms

Symptoms that people experience when they have rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • Warm, swollen, tender joins
  • Joint stiffness that becomes worse in the morning time 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

Early rheumatoid arthritis firstly targets the area of your joints, specifically the joints that attach your toes to your feet and your fingers to your hands. Symptoms spread to shoulders, ankles, hips, elbows, knees, and wrist as the disease progresses.

Affected areas include:

  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Kidneys
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Blood vessels
  • Bone marrow
  • Nerve tissue
  • Salivary glands

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are different in severity. These symptoms may come and go. Increased activity of disease refers to flares. Rheumatoid arthritis causes your joints to shift out of place and deform over time.

Getting Medical Care

If you are having persistent swelling and discomfort in the area of your joints then make an appointment with a doctor to seek medical care.

Causes

As rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, your brain starts attacking the healthy tissues of your body. Normally, the immune system protects your body from diseases and infections. It causes medical issues with your eyes, skin, lungs, heart, and nerves.

Doctors still do not know what initiates this process. It appears that genetic components may be involved in causing this disease. But genes do not themselves cause this disease. 

They make you vulnerable to respond to certain environmental factors. These factors may cause infections with certain bacteria and viruses that can trigger the occurrence of disease.

Risk Factors

Following are the factors that enhance your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Gender: Women are at risk to develop this condition as compared to men.
  • Age: Rheumatoid arthritis can hit people at any age but it is common in middle age.
  • Family History: If you have a family history of rheumatoid arthritis then you are at higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Smoking: Smoking cigarettes makes you vulnerable to develop rheumatoid arthritis especially if you have a genetic predisposition for getting this disease. 
  • Excess Weight: Obese people are at higher risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis.

Complications

Rheumatoid enhances your risk of getting some other diseases. These diseases are:

Osteoporosis

Firm bumps of some tissues form around the pressure points like elbows. However, you can get such nodules anywhere in your body including the lungs and heart.

Dry Mouth And Eyes

People with rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk to develop Sjogren’s syndrome. It is a disorder that decreases the amount of moisture in your mouth and eyes.

Infections

The medications used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and this disease itself can impair the immune systems that make you vulnerable to get infections. Make yourself safe with vaccination in order to prevent diseases like COVID-19, influenza, shingles, and pneumonia.

Abnormal Composition Of Body

People who have rheumatoid arthritis possess a higher amount of fat to lean mass. It is higher even in people who do not have an abnormal body composition.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Inflammation starts compressing the nerves that perform the function of serving your fingers and hand if rheumatoid arthritis impacts your wrists.

Heart Problems

Rheumatoid arthritis enhances your risk of developing tough and blocked arteries. It causes sac inflammation that starts enclosing your heart.

Lung Disease

People who have rheumatoid arthritis are at higher risk of developing scarring and inflammation of lung tissues. It can cause persistent shortness of breath.

Lymphoma

Rheumatoid arthritis enhances the risk of getting lymphoma. It is a group of cancers that appear in the lymph system.

If you notice any of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis or other diseases in yourself, make an appointment with your doctor. Go through the medical check-up for the right diagnosis. 

In case, if you are diagnosed with any of the conditions mentioned then take proper treatment to keep yourself protected from severe complications. Early diagnosis helps you to manage the disease on time.