Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that is as a result of a problem with your immune system. RA requires immediate diagnosis and treatment, to avoid progression of symptoms like it affecting your joints. Joint damage us quite common amongst people with RA and it usually occur in the first 2 years.
Your regular doctor will conduct blood test and X-rays to help confirm a diagnosis. They may also refer you to a specialist for proper care. This type of doctor is called a rheumatologist.
First Symptoms of RA
RA can be tough to figure out, this is because there’s usually a fluctuation if symptoms. And not everyone that has RA experiences the same type of symptoms. But doctors look for some common symptoms like:
- Joint pain/swelling/stiffness, especially in small joints like your wrists, hands, or feet
- Discomfort for at least 6 weeks
- Morning stiffness
- Loss of appetite
There’s isn’t just one test that confirms one’s condition. And in early stages, RA can resemble other diseases like lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, psoriatic arthritis , Lyme arthritis and osteoarthritis . That’s why more than one test is done to help your doctor know the root of your condition and other symptoms.