Rheumatoid arthritis is a serious, chronic arthritis condition that can target anybody. It is most common in men and women in the 30-50 age range. Rheumatoid arthritis seems to target women more often than men at a rate of 75%.
Rheumatoid arthritis can surface as a mild pain or it can cause irreversible damage as the years run on. Some sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis may experience bone erosion during the onset of the disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects both the joints in the body as well as the tissues that connect the joints. The affected area may become inflamed. For example, if a person has arthritis in the elbow, the area surrounding the elbow may become inflamed and cause great pain and discomfort when either the elbow joint is touched or the person tries to use the elbow.
Rheumatoid arthritis can also lead to vasculitis which is an inflammation in the blood vessels. Rheumatoid arthritis is also linked to osteoporosis which is a disease that causes bones to lose their density.
It can also cause rheumatoid nodules which are little bumps that grow under the skin around the affected area. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis may experience blood disorders or problems with their lungs.
One dangerous form of rheumatoid arthritis is known as Still’s Disease. During the beginning stages of this disease, a person will experience a high fever.
It may be tricky to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis in the beginning for many reasons. One reason that rheumatoid arthritis often goes undiagnosed while in its early stages is that there is not a specific test that can be run to test for rheumatoid arthritis.
In its early stages, rheumatoid arthritis can mimic several other diseases. As a result, it either goes undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed and the symptoms continue to develop and cause more harm. Some early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are having a hard time catching your breath, pains in the chest or inflammation around the heart.
As the condition persists, sufferers will experience stiffness in their joints. The disease can cause a person to feel ill all the time and constantly fatigued. If rheumatoid arthritis goes untreated, a person’s limbs may become twisted or deformed.