If you are experiencing joint pain or inflammation of the joints, maybe both, then you could be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease. Please go and visit your doctor as soon as you can and let him know your symptoms. Your doctor can then get a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, which usually means a blood test.
This can be complicated. Blood tests look for a "rheumatoid factor" which means that antibodies are stored in the joint fluid (also known as synovial fluid). However, this might not be conclusive - around 80% of people suffering from this disease have this "rheumatoid factor" in their blood. Another test is an "ESR" or "sed" rate test which is also a blood test and counts how fast red blood cells drop to the bottom of a glass tube containing your blood. This test is also not 100% conclusive, unfortunately.
Logically, though, if you have one of these blood test for rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and it is positive and you are also having symptoms of rheumatism, then it is no doubt a safe assumption that you do have the disease. Then, it is important to act quickly because the sooner treatment begins, the better off you are. Although at the moment there is no cure for any form of arthritis, much can be done to alleviate the pain and inconvenience it causes.
Here are some main rheumatoid arthritis symptoms:
Your joints can become swollen or inflamed - even if it is just the joint on your little finger, for example.
There may be general stiffness, for example in the mornings when you get out of bed.
Pain is associated with this disease.
You may also experience lack of sleep.
If you are diagnosed, then rest assured that there are many options to help you cope with this disease. Your doctor can be a great help as he can walk you through your options and suggest medications which would be the best for you. There are also alternative ways to help ease pain, from taking apple cider vinegar and honey to choosing a diet which is more alkaline.
Today it is easy to do your own research online, in health stores and bookshops. The more you know about this condition and the options, the better off you are.
If you are having any of the above symptoms, please go to your doctor at once and get a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.