Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is a condition wherein the joint experiences inflammation. There are many forms of arthritis, and in one way or another, their symptoms may be different. However, it is inevitable that they show joint inflammation, since that is the disease being recognized. But there are different causes and several types of this joint problem, and it may not be easy to diagnose them by the simple sign of a swollen joint.

In order to treat a disease properly, you should know what it is first. But in the case of arthritis, you need to have deeper knowledge and a keener eye. For instance, rheumatoid arthritis is a variant of the joint disorder that is more serious and shouldn’t be treated similarly as its milder variant, which is osteoarthritis. Even if they have very similar symptoms, you need to take a closer look at the other signs that may be present, as these can be very helpful in determining whether or not you have rheumatoid arthritis or another form of joint problem.

Firstly, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. Our body has its own defense mechanisms, and these are the defensive cells that are responsible in eliminating foreign invaders in the body such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Autoimmune disorders are caused by the incorrect reaction of the defensive cells of the body to the body tissues. When a person is affected by an autoimmune disease, the defensive cells attack the tissues of the body because they think that these tissues are foreign invaders that are harmful to the health. This is not caused by the brain, and there is no clear explanation why the defensive cells malfunction. The only known fact is that when they do attack the tissues, specifically the ones on the joint, they cause rheumatoid arthritis.

The joint is attacked by defensive cells which damage the protective tissues around the joint, specifically the synovial membrane. The membrane then swells, and the inflammation is felt from inside out. When this happens, movement on that area of the joint becomes very painful, resulting to the immobility of the joint. Stiffness also occurs, and a person is unable to move that joint because of the pain and swelling. While this may be a symptom evident in all kinds of arthritis, in the case of rheumatoid arthritis, other parts of the body are affected.

Since this disease is an autoimmune disorder, the defensive cells may attack more than just the joint alone. They may also attack other parts of the body such as the eyes, mouth, lungs, heart, blood vessels, red and white blood cells, and even nerves. However, there are times of activity and inactivity that are particularly observed in patients with the disease. Like gout, rheumatoid arthritis may have a phase of extreme pain, and the next thing you know there’s not a symptom in your body. This doesn’t mean you’re cured. The disease tends to work in the body, targeting other body parts, and when the pain recurs, it may be even worse, and affect not only the joint. This is when symptoms in the other organs are experienced.

Some of the symptoms of this disease that are present in other organs of the body include the dryness of the mouth and eyes, inflammation of the lining of the lungs or pleuritis, chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, pericarditis or the inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart, chest pain, anemia, enlarged spleen, lumps on the skin, carpal tunnel syndrome, and inflammation of the blood vessels, a more serious symptom that can result to death.

If you ever experience any of these symptoms, or if you experienced some form of arthritis previously and it has not attacked back yet, consult your doctor immediately so that you will be given the correct diagnosis and receive the proper treatment that you need.