15 Early Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

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1. Inconsistent joint pain: PRD commonly describe joint pain that seems to move around as it affects new joints over a period of days to months. Any joints can be affected, small or large: feet, fingers, ankles, wrists, knees, shoulders, hips, jaw, spine, ribs / sternum / costochondritis, or sacroiliac joints. Joint pain can be mild, howeverpain is often severe and PRD describe it as sharp pain, stronger than pain from injury.

2. Persistent joint pain: PRD experience joint pain that persists in specific joints. Pain may be present in single joints or multiple joints. Any joint may be affected (see #1).

3. Fatigue or malaise: PRD often describe sudden unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily tasks. Fatigue from illness is like exhaustion after working, except it occurs without the work.

4. Fever or flulike symptoms: Low-grade fevers are common (up to about 100.5 F). PRD also experience other flulike symptoms such as achiness and a feeling of being ill.

5. Joint swelling: Joints swell slightly or grossly, suddenly or gradually. Joint swelling is inconsistent and variable. It does not necessarily correlate with other symptoms.

6. Eye inflammation, dryness, or pain: Several eye symptoms and diagnoses are reported by PRD including iritis, uveitis, episcleritis. The Mayo Clinic story below describes a case of severe scleritis as an early symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Sjögren’s syndrome is also common with RD and included with early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

7. Stiffness: Stiffness can occur in any or every joint. Stiffness can occur at any time of day despite the common reference to “morning stiffness.” When stiffness is severe, it can be impossible to move around.

8. Tendon symptoms: Tendon symptoms are very common and often diagnoses separately, especially when they are early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. PRD report tendon tears, tendon inflammation, and tendonitis (which may sometimes by tenosynovitis according to recent studies).

Less common early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

9. Weight loss: Weight loss is a serious symptom of severe or very active RD because of increased resting energy expenditure and the nutrition loss caused by lack of appetite.

10. Rashes: PRD report rashes, redness, nodules, or other skin abnormalities as early symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

11. Vasculitis: There are several types of vasculitis that can be related to RD. Skin vasculitis has been reported by many PRD. Rheumatoid vasculitis is a serious symptom of RD that has been believed to occur only in well-established RD.

12. Lung involvement: It’s well known that rheumatoid disease can affect the lungs, and some research indicates it may begin there. Lung problems reported by PRD include several diagnoses such as rheumatoid lung, ischemic lung disease, pulmonary sarcoidosis, pleurisy, inflammation, lung nodules.

13. Cardiac involvement: There are several ways rheumatoid disease can affect the heart. PRD describe inflammation of heart lining, “heart disease,” and various heart procedures as related to their early RD experience.

14. All joints at once: PRD have reported whole body flares in which all joints are painful and stiff.

15. Other joint symptoms: Joints may feel warm or look red, or they can look larger even though there is not soft swelling. People with rheumatoid disease say rings become too small. PRD also experience a variety of uncomfortable joint symptoms such as weakness, or a sensation of pulling or heaviness.

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