When to Seek Rheumatoid Arthritis Care


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a nagging, painful experience. Feeling stiff in the morning or getting easily fatigued even before mid-day should not be left untreated. You deserve better care. If you are searching for rheumatoid arthritis care in Boise, it is best to get yourself informed first.

Major Symptoms

Often, RA sufferers experience joint pain and swelling, stiffness, and fatigue. An autoimmune condition, it causes inflammation along the joints’ linings, making it red, warm, and swollen. Of course, the severe pain heightens as the inflammation worsens.

The condition affects all joints, particularly to the hands, the wrists, and the knees. When RA worsens, it affects other parts of the body. These may be the eyes, the heart, the lungs, and even the skin and the blood vessels.

Early Signs

Man holding on to his elbowThere are early signs (apart from the significant symptoms) to watch out for with RA. There are times when symptoms flare up, and times when they casually disappear. To be prepared and be ready for a visit to your physician, read the list below.

  • Fever – Being feverish is a common sign of RA. Body temperature is slightly higher, which is then accompanied by fatigue. Usually, a slight fever will occur before the joints start feeling the pain.
  • Weight Loss – If you are losing weight with no apparent reason at all, RA may be the culprit. Weight loss is a sign of inflammation. Along with fever and fatigue, one loses appetite, which then leads to weight loss.
  • Tenderness in the Joints – When you feel your joints getting tender, RA is an apparent cause. Every movement, you would feel them tender. Same is true when you press them.
  • Growing Pain in the Joints – After tenderness, pain might ensue. With the inflammation, more joint fluid is produced. This then irritates the nerve endings around the joint, which causes pain.
  • Joint Redness – Due to the inflammation, the joints may appear red. Such discoloration is caused by the blood vessels to widen. When they are wider, more blood flows; hence, the redness.
  • Numbness and Tingling in the Hands and Feet – Numb and tingly feet and hands is a sign of RA. This is caused by inflammation which causes the nerve to compress. This later leads to a loss of sensation.
  • Limited Movement – With RA, sufferers lose some range of motion. They cannot bend their wrists. As RA progresses, the ligaments, as well as the tendons, become affected, worsening the ability to bend and straighten the affected areas.
  • Symmetrical Effect – When one has RA, joints on both sides might be affected. Such symmetry is common. Others do not experience such equality.

Seeing the Physician

The early signs and symptoms above should be enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. Your doctor will diagnose your condition and discuss with you potential treatments. Typical treatments include medications (pain killers, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs), rest, and exercise. Surgery is done if there is severe damage to your joints.

Rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating, affecting your daily activities and causing work absences. When you start feeling the early signs of the condition, it is best to visit your physician quickly. Early diagnosis and treatment of RA decrease the chances of severe complications.

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