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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic or long term inflammatory disease of the joints resulting from derangement in immune system (autoimmune disease). Autoimmune disease occurs when our immune systems mistakenly attacks our own body‘s tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis may occur in people of all ages and gender. However rheumatoid arthritis commonly occurs between the age of 40 & 60 and more common in women compared to men (twice). Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects the small joints in our hands and feet contribute to pain, stiffness, swelling and limited motion and function of joints involved.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may vary in severity from patient to patient and may come and go. The alternate disease activity was known as flares and remission periods. Rheumatoid arthritis disease activity is increase while in the flares period. Where else, in remission periods where the rheumatoid arthritis pain and swelling is disappear. Other than joints involvement, Rheumatoid arthritis may involve different part of our body such as heart, lung, and nervous systems.
The early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may start from a variety of minor symptoms such as swelling in the joint, joint stiffness, aching and sometimes pain in the joint. Joint Stiffness is when the joint difficult to use and have a limited range of movement. Morning stiffness is one of the characteristic’s symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Morning stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis may occur in and around the joint. Morning stiffness in RA usually occur for more than 30 minutes (lasting at least 1 hour before maximal range of motion) and may last for several hours or even throughout the day.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain may come and go alternately depend on the severity of inflammation inside the joint. The pain in Rheumatoid arthritis is contributed by joint inflammation which becomes sensitive and tender. Inflammation in and around the joints may lead to redness and warmth to the skin in the affected area. The joint involvement of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms commonly tend to be symmetric (involve both side of body’s joint). Chronic inflammation of the joints may cause permanent destruction if the autoimmune response is not slowed down or stopped. Over time, the cartilage, bone, and ligaments will be destroy and total joints destruction will occur resulting in reduce loss of physical activity and your quality your life.
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are not limited to joints but may involve other body parts. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect other body part beside the joint such as eyes, lungs, heart, stomach and nervous system. If your eyes ere affected, you will notice your eyes become red, painful or dry. Other symptoms of RA include fatigue, malaise (feeling ill), loss of appetite and muscle aches.
The symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis should be detect early in order to prevent progression of the disease. Early detection of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms will determined the outcome of rheumatoid arthritis treatment. Consult your rheumatologist or medical practitioners if you suspected to have any symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis for confirmation.