Rheumatoid arthritis affects 400,000 people in the UK. They can be of any age, although more normally sufferers tend to be between 40 and 50.
The condition affects the body’s joints, in particular the hands, feet and wrists, and is the second most common type of arthritis in the UK.
It is one of the most common types of arthritis, with symptoms including joint pain, swelling and stiffness.
“In the early stages, people with Rheumatoid arthritis may not initially see redness or swelling in the joints, but they may experience tenderness and pain,” says their website.
The Arthritis Foundation, based in America, recommends looking out for these five symptoms, to discover whether you may be in the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis.
Joint pain and tenderness
The Foundation warns that if you are suffering from this for six weeks or longer, it may be the first sign that you are developing rheumatoid arthritis.
If you suffer from this for 30 minutes or longer in the morning, it could be a sign that you are developing the condition.
More than one joint is affected
Should the pain be localised in more than one place, such as on two different fingers, then this is another sign that you could have rheumatoid arthritis.
Small joints are affected
If joints in the wrists, hands, and feet become painful, this may be an early warning sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Same joints affected on both sides of the body
If a joint on one side of the body is in pain, and the same joint on the other side of the body is also painful to use, then this may be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.
Among these early warning signs, the Arthritis Foundation says many people may also experience “fatigue, loss of appetite and low-grade fever,” as they begin to develop the condition.
These symptoms may develop slowly overtime or rapidly, depending on the person.
Arthritis Research UK warns that rheumatoid arthritis “varies from person to person,” in a report on the condition.
“But it usually starts quite slowly. A few joints – often the fingers, wrists or the balls of the feet – become uncomfortable and may swell.”
It also warns that for one in five people the condition develops “very rapidly.”
“It causes pain and swelling in a lot of joints severe stiffness in the morning and difficulty in doing everyday tasks,” the report continues.
Rheumatoid arthritis hit penny like “a bolt from the blue” at the age of 27.
Speaking to Arthritis Research UK, Penny said that “Gradually, overtime, my arthritis worsened and I became more disabled.”
“I tried many different drug regimens but none were very effective. I became more depressed as it became clear that I was facing some severe restrictions on living my life the way I’d expected, and I continued on a downward spiral.”
Everything turned around for Penny, however, in 2003 when she began further treatment therapy and underwent joint replacement surgery.
Describing the results, she said “For the first time in years, the chronic, grinding pain lessened, and gradually I began to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Read more here: Daily Express :: Health Feedhappy wheels
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