Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease, which accompanies inflammation of the joints and noticeable deformities. Some agent, possibly a virus, induces an attack on the synovium that releases cytokines, which stimulate an inflammatory reaction. This can lead to the devastation of all the components of the joint. The signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are fever, firm bumps of tissue under the rheumatoid nodules, increased fatigue, joint pain, joint swelling (particularly in the smaller joints of the hands and feet), tenderness of joints, stiffness in the morning that continues to exist at least 30 minutes, red and puffy hands, weakness, and weight loss. Generally, the individuals can feel the pain, especially, after their sleep or after the periods of rest. Some other symptoms like lack of appetite, loss of body weight, loss of movement of the affected joints, loss of power in the muscles connected to the affected joints, low-level temperature especially during nigh, and malformation of the affected joints over a period of time. Anemia, dry eyes, dry mouth, malaise, neck pain, and tiredness have also been noted in many cases.
Initially, the signs and symptoms come out in smaller joints. Usually, the rheumatoid arthritis stimulates problems in various joints at the same time. Early rheumatoid arthritis attends to affect the smaller joints (the joints in the ankles, feet, hands, and wrists) first. As the disease progresses, the pain would spread to the elbows, hips, jaw, knees, neck, and shoulders. The signs and symptoms of a rheumatoid arthritis can change in severity and it may even appear and disappear. The stages of maximized disease activity are known as flare-ups or simply flares. Rheumatoid arthritis flares reciprocate with periods of relative subsidence. During this period, the difficulty sleeping, pain, swelling, and weakness deteriorate or disappear.
Rheumatoid arthritis not only stimulates distortion and inflammation of the joints but also has an effect on the organs and tissue. The muscles, tissues, and tendons adjoining the joints may also develop inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis affected individuals often suffer from symmetrical symptoms on both the sides of the body. Even though any joint perhaps affected, most usually, the joints present in the arms, fingers, legs, and wrists are affected. The individuals with rheumatoid arthritis may experience systemic pain - that is pain felt all around the body.
The disease is usually comes between the age of 20 and 45; however, it can also target the young children and the adults older than 50 years. It is very common in women (about 3/4 of women population). The exact cause of this disease is unknown. Researches reveal that the risk of this disease is increased by nearly 50% in cigarette and cigar smoking individuals. If anyone notices any of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, consult a physician immediately.