Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease. Its onset and symptoms vary from person to person, but the distinguishing feature is joint pain, particularly in the hands, wrists, and feet. Unfortunately, these symptoms can be a bit vague, so in the early stages, it can be difficult to determine whether or not you have arthritis, and/or what kind of arthritis you are suffering from.
It is important to recognize rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms so you can see a doctor quickly and form a plan of action before the disease has progressed too far.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Symptoms...
- Warmth, redness, and tenderness around the joints.
- Limited range of motion in one or more of your joints.
- Sudden onset of flu-like symptoms accompanied by joint pain. The flu will eventually go away but the pain persists and gradually gets worse.
- Feeling stiff upon getting up or rising in the morning. As the disease progresses, this stiffness will go from lasting a few minutes to lasting nearly all day.
- A period of chronic joint pain followed by remission. Often, symptoms will disappear entirely for weeks or months, only to return even worse than before. If you have been experiencing severe joint pain that suddenly disappears, don't simply forget about it! Seek medical help even if you're not in pain, because the symptoms may return soon.
- General fatigue and malaise. This is usually a precursor to joint pain. It does not go away and may worsen with time.
- Symmetrical joint pain. Instead of pain in one hand, you'll experience pain in both hands symmetrically. This is one of the rheumatoid arthritis early symptoms that distinguishes the illness from other arthritic ailments.
- Loss of appetite, weakness, muscle aches, anemia, and fever are some other common symptoms. These can lead to confusion and a possible misdiagnosis if other symptoms are not taken into consideration.