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Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Joint symptoms usually involve three or more joints. The most commonly affected joints are the wrists, fingers, knees, feet, and ankles.

Inflamed Joint

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Joint symptoms include:

  • Increased pain and stiffness in the morning and after inactivity
  • Morning stiffness and pain that lasts more than 30 minutes
  • Pain and stiffness symmetrically (that is, both feet or both hands are affected, as opposed to only one)
  • Red, swollen, warm joints
  • Deformed, misshapen joints

Other symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Intense fatigue, decreased energy
  • Muscle aches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and sweats
  • Depression
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anemia
  • Bumps occurring under the skin (rheumatoid nodules)
  • Inflamed blood vessels
  • Bleeding stomach ulcers
  • Inflammation of the heart’s sac ( pericarditis )
  • Inflammation of the heart muscle ( myocarditis )
  • Lung problems
  • Eye problems

References:

Arthritis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/ .

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.arthritis.org/ .

Cecil Textbook of Medicine . 21st ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2000.

Conn’s Current Therapy . 54th ed. W.B. Saunders Company; 2002.



Last reviewed February 2007 by Robert E. Leach, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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