Joint symptoms usually involve multiple
joints. The most commonly affected joints are the wrists
fingers. Other joints can also be affected. This can include the knees, feet,
elbow, hips, neck
and ankles. Usually if joints on one side of the body are affected, then joints on the other side of the body are also affected.
Rhematoid arthritis is a chronic disease, but it can be managed. Symptoms usually flare up and subside intermittently. Each person is different. In some people, symptoms get worse over time, while in others, there may be long periods without any disease activity.
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Joint symptoms include: Increased pain and stiffness in the morning and after inactivityMorning stiffness and pain that lasts more than 30 minutesRed, swollen, warm jointsDeformed, misshapen joints
Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include: Intense fatigue, decreased energyMuscle achesDecreased appetiteWeight lossFever and sweatsDepressionProblems sleepingBumps occurring under the skin (rheumatoid nodules)
Conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis include: Sjogren's syndrome
—an inflammatory condition involving the tear and salivary glands
Felty syndrome—three conditions marked by rheumatoid arthritis, enlarged spleen, and low levels of white blood cellsCaplan syndrome—marked by rheumatoid arthritis and pneumoconiosis (lung disease in people exposed to coal mining dust or asbestos)OsteoporosisOsteoarthritisRaynaud's disease and phenomenonMuscle inflammationMuscle weaknessKidney disease
Last reviewed May 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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