… Continued …
Symptoms of the affected joints
Again, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) mainly affects your joints. It can affect any joint of your body, though there are certain joints that are usually the first to be affected.
The onset of the disease usually develops in the smaller joints first. For example, it often starts from the small joints in the hands and feet. The affected joints can be painful and stiff.
- The joint pain in people with RA may vary. But typically, it is an aching and throbbing pain. Many times it flares up in the morning. It also often worsens after a period of inactivity.
- While the affected join can be very painful, it can also feel very stiff. This stiffness may be followed with swelling. Morning stiffness in RA is usually more severe, it can last longer than what happen in osteoarthritis (OA).
As the inflammation of the disease progresses, it can affect other larger joints of the body such as wrists, ankles, knees, elbows, and shoulders. Interestingly, RA is more likely to affect the joint symmetrically. This means, if your left wrist is affected for example – you tend to also have the same problem in your right wrist.
Furthermore, it’s also common for young women with RA to have tiredness (fatigue) and high temperature (fever).
Besides fatigue and fever, RA may also cause additional symptoms such as sweating, appetite loss, and unintentional weight loss. And at later stage, it can cause problems in non-joint structures – this is especially true if the disease is poorly controlled.
Over time the systemic inflammation of RA can involve many parts of the body, including; skin, heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, salivary glands, bone marrow, kidneys, and nerve tissue. Even it can be life-threatening if it has become advanced.
For anyone with this chronic inflammatory arthritis, the key is to immediately start the treatment ‘as early as possible’. This is especially true for young patients.
But in fact it’s not easy to early catch RA in young women. Many times, they look healthy even though the disease is continuously progressing. They usually also think that they’re more invincible, and also less likely to seek medical help since they don’t have enough experience in health care system.
Living with RA at young ages will be more emotionally difficult, because here is the starting point of your major life events such as establishing your career and starting your family. Having RA earlier in your life also means that the disease will have more years to develop and cause more complications.
If you have any sign and symptom of the disease, see a doctor without a delay! With early prompt treatment, the disease is treatable. There is still no cure, as noted before. But some effective treatments are available to help control the disease and make it go into remission.