Does rheumatoid arthritis always affect both sides?

Can Rheumatoid Arthritis be on one side?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory, symmetrical form of arthritis. Symmetry is the key determinant in diagnosing this autoimmune disease. However, a person may not have symptoms on both sides at the beginning of the disease. It will become symmetrical as the disease progresses.

Does rheumatoid arthritis affect both hands at the same time?

Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects the small joints of your wrists, hands and fingers. It usually affects the same joints on both sides of your body. For instance, if arthritis affects finger joints one hand, it’s likely to affect the finger joints on your other hand too.

What are usually the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis?

The early warning signs of RA include:

  • Fatigue. Before experiencing any other symptoms, a person with RA may feel extremely tired and lack energy. …
  • Slight fever. Inflammation associated with RA may cause people to feel unwell and feverish. …
  • Weight loss. …
  • Stiffness. …
  • Joint tenderness. …
  • Joint pain. …
  • Joint swelling. …
  • Joint redness.

How fast can RA damage joints?

X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds are all tests that can help track and detect the severity of joint and cartilage damage. Bone erosion and destruction of cartilage can happen quickly within the first two years that you have rheumatoid arthritis, and the damage may continue to develop over time.

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What joints are commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis?

RA commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue. This tissue damage can cause long-lasting or chronic pain, unsteadiness (lack of balance), and deformity (misshapenness).

What does rheumatoid arthritis feel like in your hands?

When your hands are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, you may experience swelling around the affected joint, which leads to pain or tenderness. The joint may feel warm to the touch. Swelling tends to be symmetrical, which means it occurs in the same joints on both right and left hands.

What is the life expectancy of a person with rheumatoid arthritis?

RA can reduce a person’s life expectancy by as much as 10 to 15 years, although many people live with their symptoms beyond the age of 80 or even 90 years. Factors affecting RA prognosis include a person’s age, disease progression, and lifestyle factors, such as smoking and being overweight.

What age does rheumatoid arthritis usually start?

You can get rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at any age, but it’s most likely to show up between ages 30 and 50. When it starts between ages 60 and 65, it’s called elderly-onset RA or late-onset RA. Elderly-onset RA is different from RA that starts in earlier years.

Can you suddenly develop rheumatoid arthritis?

In a few people with RA — about 5% to 10% — the disease starts suddenly, and then they have no symptoms for many years, even decades. Symptoms that come and go. This happens to about 15% of people with rheumatoid arthritis. You may have periods of few or no problems that can last months between flare-ups.

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