The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may be similar to other types of arthritis. But what is really a rheumatoid arthritis? Is it the same as rheumatism? Actually, they are one of the same thing. Rheumatism is also defined as “any painful disorder of the joints, muscles or connective tissues.” Rheumatoid arthritis is medically defined as “…an autoimmune disease that can cause chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body.”(William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, medicinenet.com)
So here are a few symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. First, joints or the affected area is inflamed. But this inflammation varies in its degree plus it is not a stable symptom. It comes and goes. Of course, it will only disappear when on medication or remission. Remission stage can be like “gone for awhile but here again tomorrow or the next day” so to speak. But there are cases that inflammation can be gone forever. This inflammation happens because “when rheumatoid arthritis kicks into action, chemical messengers, or cytokines called interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), are produced. These chemicals produce the inflammation, Dr. Moore says. In affected joints, the super-thin synovium grows thicker. The joint swells, and the cartilage protecting the ends of the bones in the joints gets damaged, along with the ends of the bones themselves.” (Eric Metcalf, MPH, everydayhealth.com) This inflammation is also the cause of the pain. This symptom can be severe as well.
The second symptom is the morning stiffness. It usually happens involuntarily. Patients complain that they can not move their knees or legs in the morning. This may last for hours until medication is administered. For some, a massage may give relief but for others who have severe inflammation, pressure may aggravate pain. You need to consult your doctor if you can rub down the affected area.
The third symptom is what they call rheumatoid nodules. This is simply the firm lumps of tissue usually found in our underarms. This is due to the infection that takes place in your body. Other symptoms like fever, weight loss, and deformation of bones are also possible.
You need to see your physician immediately for proper diagnosis. You have to avoid in self-medicating because arthritis is not an ordinary physical condition that is to be taken lightly. When you have observed those indicators and think that you have those symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, do not delay and set an appointment already.