Many people understand rheumatoid arthritis as a condition of the joints, and it most certainly is this. However, before even receiving a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, individuals may begin to notice symptoms that appear to have nothing to do with the joints.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects the entire body and cause changes in everything from a person’s energy level, skin, and body weight.
These are some of the most common non-joint rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that may serve as early warning signs for the disease or accompany progressively worsening joint issues.
With a better understanding of what these bodily symptoms could mean, individuals may be able to assist their doctors in arriving to an accurate diagnosis much quicker. In addition to using a pain relief cream, like JointFlex for RA, it may be necessary to seek additional treatment for the following symptoms as well.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Shortness of Breath
Rheumatoid arthritis shortness of breath can occur, along with other issues with the heart and blood vessels. For example, RA patients may experience chest pain and are at a greater risk of atherosclerosis, stroke, and heart attack.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Fever
Rheumatoid arthritis fever is also somewhat common among RA patients when their diseases are producing inflammation. These fevers are usually mild and go down once the inflammation is treated.
In RA patients with chronic inflammation, there are fewer red blood cells in circulation. This phenomenon can lead to anemia, which is marked by symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, paleness, brittle hair and nails.
Not only can the joints ache with RA, but the muscles can too. This is because the joints and muscles must work together to put the body in motion. When the joints are suffering, the muscles have to work harder and endure additional strain.
Poor Appetite and Weight Loss
Individuals who are experiencing poor appetite an unexplained weight loss should consult a doctor, because these are early warning signs of RA.
The lungs are very commonly affected with RA, but the inflammation and scarring that results may not even feel symptomatic. But if the lung tissue is inflamed for long periods of time, pulmonary fibrosis can occur and make breathing more difficult.
Hoarseness is a condition of losing one’s voice and not being able to produce words and sounds as normal. This is one of the lesser-known rheumatoid arthritis symptoms because the condition can actually affect the joint in the voice box.
It sometimes surprises people to learn that there is a connection between the skin and rheumatoid arthritis. But around half of people with RA start to develop tissue lumps under the skin called nodules. These lumps will commonly form on the fingers or the elbows.
It is also very possible for a skin rash to be connected to RA, and this is because bodily inflammation can affect the blood vessels and result in small red dots. Compared to rashes caused by irritants or other conditions, treatment for an arthritis rash begins with reducing overall inflammation.
Dry Eyes and Mouth
Many people with RA also complain about dry eyes and dry mouth. When joints are inflamed, the glands that produce tears and saliva can also be affected. Eye drops and artificial saliva products may help to alleviate these symptoms.
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