Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic auto-immune disorder in which the immune system attacks the healthy cells of the human body, resulting in the painful swelling of the joints. Usually, symptoms prominently figure in the hands, wrist and legs, but the disease is capable enough to bring damage even to the skin, eyes, lungs, heart and blood vessels. Though incurable, early detection of the ailment would help reduce the complexities associated with it.
Typically, Rheumatoid Arthritis progresses insidiously with the gradual development of symptoms, which may last for a few days and then completely go away only to return at a later stage. If the signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis are spotted at an early stage there are higher chances to handle the disease in a better way, There are six prominent symptoms that appear in the early stages of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Let's take a look at them:
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis are prone to have depression and chronic fatigue much before they start exhibiting signs of pain and inflammation in the joints. They will be caught in the general air of malaise, inability to do even the routine day-to-day activities and also diminished sexual drive. Symptoms such as fatigue show up as a result of the counteractive mechanism of the body to utilise all its energy to equip itself to fight the swelling in the joints.
Quite often weight loss is overlooked as it hardly has a direct bearing on joint pain. However, sudden loss of calories accompanied by fatigue is considered the primary warning of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Fatigue coupled with fever may often lead to loss of appetite and subsequently result in weight loss.
Stiffness in joints
Rheumatoid Arthritis is characterised by morning stiffness in the joints of the body during the first waking up, and often tends to persist in areas especially wrists, knees, elbows, legs and on either side of the body after sitting for prolonged periods. In the early stage, Rheumatoid Arthritis is diagnosed by mild inflammation that may vanish in the nick of the time, but later on, they flare up by prolonged stiffness in the joints making it more uncomfortable and impacting the individual's mobility.
Numbness and cramps
The inflammation in the tissues will exert pressure on the nerves as well, leading to numbness and cramps in the hands and legs. This would ultimately weaken the mobility of the body. Difficulty in performing life tasks such as moving an object to another place and walking is undoubtedly the symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Restriction in movement
The independent movement of the individual will get affected by the stiffness and weakness of joints. In the early stages, the disease manifests through slight difficulty in bending the palm forward and backwards or doing exercises. As the disease intensifies, it starts hurting the ligaments and motor nerves, making it almost impossible to bend or stretch the limbs.
Redness of the joints
Redness at the joints is the preliminary symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It occurs mainly due to the inflammation in the ligaments, which may also lead to rashes on the skin at the joints in the limbs.