Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-Ups: Symptoms, Tips, and More

Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis

There are several symptoms that are associated with rheumatoid arthritis, even though some can be mistaken for other health conditions, there are some specific symptoms that narrow it down and make it easy for your doctor to make a diagnosis. Signs and symptoms usually occur in the wrist, hands, or feet. They include:

  • Swelling in more than one joint
  • Severe pain in more than one joint
  • Stiffness in more than one joint that lasts longer than thirty minutes
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Symmetrical joint involvement
  • Weakness
  • Joint deformity
  • Unable to walk steadily
  • Loss of function and mobility
  • Frequent loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever [1]

Symptoms of RA start slowly and often get worse gradually over time. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [2], people do not receive a diagnosis of Ra until they are in their 60s. If you have RA you will most likely experience flares, periods where the symptoms get worse. Flare ups are mostly triggered by stress, overactivity, and stopping the medication.

In most cases after a flare up there are remissions when symptoms go away or become mild. Some people continue to experience flares and remissions throughout their lives. You know it’s RA when you are feeling the pain on both sides of your body. The pain and stiffness tend to get worse after sleep or periods of inactivity.

Early Rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect smaller joints first. Also, about 40% of people who have Rheumatoid arthritis also experience signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Other organs in the body that can be affected include:

  • Lungs
  • Skin
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Bone marrow
  • Blood vessels
  • Salivary gland
  • Nerve tissue
  • Eyes

RA can get as severe as resulting in complications throughout the body and cause joint damage and may lead to disability. Treatment can help manage the severity of symptoms and help reduce the likelihood of experiencing complications.