Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women

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Unexplained fatigue

It’s much better to see your doctor if you experience unexplained, persistent fatigue. This is particularly true if this symptom is followed with fever and appetite loss.

Fatigue due to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can also be chronic – you may have recurrent bouts of tiredness along with general feeling of being unwell that may occur months or weeks before other symptoms.

The first joint symptoms

After non-joint symptoms, RA can lead to a number of joint-related symptoms. At first, the inflammation of the disease it is more likely to affect the smaller joints such as the joints that attach the toes and feet & the fingers and hands – and you will have some of the following symptoms:

  1. Morning joint stiffness that can last about 1-2 hours or sometimes longer. This stiffness can also occur in osteoarthritis (OA), but it will last faster. See more the differences between RA and OA in here! Stiffness will be followed with a decreased range of motion, making your simple daily tasks (such as opening a jar) more difficult.
  2. Joint pain and swelling when the disease flares up. The affected joints may also feel warm and become red.
  3. RA usually affects the joints symmetrically. For example if you have it in your right wrist, your left wrist is also affected.
What else?

As the disease progresses and becomes advanced, it can affect other joints (including larger joints of hips, shoulders, elbows, and knees). If the disease is poorly controlled, over time you can have more serious complications such as rheumatoid nodules and deformity (like serious hand deformity).

RA doesn’t only cause damage to your joint. Again, the effect of advanced RA is systemic. Because it can affect other parts of the body, leading to a number of serious problems such as heart disease, osteoporosis, dry mouth & eyes, carpal tunnel syndrome, lung disease, and even lymphoma!

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/rheumatoid-arthritis-treatment-management/considerations-women/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1753939/pdf/v061p00955.pdf


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