Although the age of onset and severity of the condition can vary from one person to another, there are common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis.
Also, the symptoms will vary from one person to another because everyone is different, and your genes and lifestyle choices will also play a role in how your condition progresses.
That's why it's important to manage your condition by making proper lifestyle choices as early as possible, such as following a treatment protocol and eating a proper anti-inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis diet.
According to the John Hopkins Arthritis Center:
"The major goals of treatment of the arthritis are to reduce pain and discomfort, prevent deformities and loss of joint function, and maintain a productive and active life. Inflammation must be suppressed...."
The main point in the above statement, at least to us, is that doing your best to counter inflammation is the key to managing the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects joints equally on both sides: for example, it's rare to experience it in the fingers of one hand while not the other. The same goes for feet, knees, ankles, and so on.
Having said all of this, the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis are:
- morning stiffness
- fatigue and weakness
- muscle aches
- loss of appetite
- limited range of motion
- deformities of feet and hands
- swollen glands
- joint pains
There are more symptoms than this, of course, but these are common ones. Joint pains themselves don't usually manifest until later in the condition in which there is pronounced inflammation and destruction of cartilage.
As far as treatment methods, there are over the counter ones such as aspirin and ibuprofen; prescription ones such as COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx; or cortisteroids.
All of these can have major negative side effects.
We personally go the natural route and fight inflammation with omega 3 fatty acid supplementation. Yes, the same omega 3 fatty acids that are essential nutrients and needed by the body for optimal heart and brain health.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center's website:
"Most clinical studies investigating the use of omega-3 fatty acid supplements for inflammatory joint conditions have focused almost entirely on rheumatoid arthritis. Several articles reviewing the research in this area conclude that omega-3 fatty acid supplements reduce tenderness in joints, decrease morning stiffness, and allow for a reduction in the amount of medication needed for people with rheumatoid arthritis."
The best source of omega 3 fatty acids is purified fish oil found in high quality fish oil supplements.
In New Zealand, there is a famous remedy called the green lipped mussel which is very high in omega 3 fatty acids and in that country is often taken by people who suffer from the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis.
At the University of Maryland Medical website they also acknowledge the green lipped mussel, stating:
"....New Zealand green lipped mussel ( Perna canaliculus ), another potential source of omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to reduce joint stiffness and pain..."
As a last note: you should be aware that omega 3 oils can thin the blood; therefore, talk to your doctor if you are already on other blood thinners before using them as part of a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet to counter the common symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis.