The symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis can be observed in joints, skin, lungs, kidneys, heart, and blood vessels and in other parts as well. There is usually pain in joints like hand, fingers, ankles, feet, wrists, elbows, and knees followed by swelling and stiffness. It leads to fastening of tissues with decline in joint activities, causing erosion of bones, which leads to deformity and loss of function. As the disease progresses, the fastening of tissues and the erosion of bones lead to deformity. The most sufferable parts of the joints are the fingers, where most joints are involved leading to deformities such as ulnar deviation, swan neck deformity, Boutonniere deformity, and Z-thumb. In this disease, there is a common symptom of morning stiffness, which may last for more than 1 hour.
Patients suffering from RA may find inflammation of blood vessels, which can be a reason of formation of nodules, or lumps, under their skin. The size of nodules may vary from millimeter to centimeter in diameter, which may be normally found near the elbows, but may occur anywhere in the body and can get infected if found in areas where stress occurs. Other skin related symptoms, though rare, includes pyoderma gangrenosum (a, necrotizing, non-infectious, neutrophilic, ulcerative, dermatosis), Sweet’s syndrome (a neutrophilic dermatosis usually associated with a disorder called myeloproliferative), drug reaction, lobular panniculitis, and palmar erythema, diffuse thinning, and skin fragility.
Fibrosis (which is the formation of excess fibrous connective tissues in a reparative or reactive process) of the lungs is a known disorder of Rheumatoid Arthritis.Caplan’s syndrome (which is a concatenate of it and pneumoconiosis that visible as intrapulmonary nodules) which is a lung nodule in a person and this may also be caused due to exposure to coal dust.
In RA, the kidneys are directly affected through a vasculopathy or a mesangial infiltrate. Traces of fluid may be found in ankle and knee affected region, which is termed as a Baker’s cyst. The patients of this disease are more prone to heart attacks and may also have anemia due to the lack of production of red cells by bone marrow. Some other symptoms that may vary from patient-to-patient are fatigue, loss of appetite, weakness, low-grade fever, paleness, skin redness, swollen glands, eye burning, itching, and discharge. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis also called Still’s disease is a type of arthritis that affects children, who are suffering from the symptoms of high fever, pain, swelling of joints, and pinkish rash on their body.
There are different types of Arthritis, which are painful and RA is one among them. The cause of this disease are somehow genetic and depends upon age, weight, previous injuries, occupational hazards, some high-level sports, illness, or infection. If we do care of these causes and follow a healthy lifestyle, we may simply avoid Arthritis especially RA.