Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic inflammation disorder. 1.3 million people in the US have RA. It is two and a half times more common in females than men. It normally affects those who are between the ages of 20 and 50, although others can develop it too. Those are some facts about this disorder, and here are the signs you may have rheumatoid arthritis.
No Cure For RA And Other Facts You Might Not Know
Normally our immune system fights off invaders and helps to heal our bodies. Sometimes, though, our immune system can attack the body itself. This autoimmune disease attacks our joints and joint linings causing pain and swelling.
Those with long-term rheumatoid arthritis can suffer from bone erosion and deformity. In addition, RA can also affect the skin, eyes, blood, heart, kidneys, and our nerves.
Those people with the highest risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis seem to have a combination of heredity, something in the environment like a virus or bacteria, hormones, and abnormal immunity.
RA gets better with pregnancy but worsens after the baby is born, and if a man gets RA, it happens later in life.
Signs You May Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms can differ between people, but there are commonalities.
- Waking up in the morning with stiff painful joints or after sitting for a long time
- Pain, swelling, and tenderness in three or more joints lasting over 6 weeks and affecting both sides of the body
- Your knees become swollen, warm, and tender
- Blood tests will show you have body wide inflammation like a high “sed rate,” or CRP C-reactive protein with high levels of inflammation
- Bone erosion can be seen on an X-ray
- Immune system proteins in your blood have the RF factor (rheumatoid factor) plus anti-cyclic peptides antibodies (anti-CCP)
- Nodules under your skin on elbows and fingers
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Finger joints are misshapen
- Fatigue and excessive sleepiness
There are many ways to treat RA and reduce its painful symptoms, so don’t delay in asking for help if you suspect you may have rheumatoid arthritis.
Schedule a Consultation for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Pennsylvania Today!
If you are experiencing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, contact The Arthritis Group if you need assistance with an evaluation or the management of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call our rheumatology office at (215) 725-7400 or request an appointment online.