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Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Increased pain and stiffness in the morning and after inactivity—common in multiple joints
- Morning stiffness and pain that usually lasts 30-60 minutes
- Red, swollen, tender, warm joints
- Deformed, misshapen joints, especially the hands
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- Intense fatigue, decreased energy
- Muscle aches and weakness
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Fever and sweats
- Problems sleeping
- Bumps occurring under the skin—rheumatoid nodules
- Joint damage in the spine which can weaken the small bones and supporting tissues in the neck.
- This can result in dislocation of the cervical spine
- Dislocation can compress the spinal cord
- Connective tissue disorders—Inflammation can compress nerves in the joints, which may affect sensation and mobility.
- Respiratory conditions—Inflammatory responses damage and scar lung tissue making breathing difficult.
- Inflammation in blood vessel walls narrows the arteries. Narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, making the heart pump harder, which can lead to heart failure.
- Blood clots can get trapped in narrowed arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
- Inflammation of the heart muscle or the covering of the heart.
- Inflammation of the artery walls—arteritis.
- Eye problems—dryness, pain, redness, sensitivity to light, and impaired vision
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2016
- Update Date: 05/20/2015