What to do if I suspect I have rheumatoid arthritis?
See a GP if you think you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, so they can try to identify the underlying cause. Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis quickly is important, because early treatment can prevent it getting worse and reduce the risk of joint damage.
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.
Is rheumatoid arthritis an emergency?
As patients with RA may progress to an anticipated 5-year survival similar to that in patients with cardiovascular or neoplastic disease, RA should be viewed as an urgent medical problem–a “medical emergency”–in order to control the long-term consequences of the disease process.
What age is RA usually diagnosed?
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.
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.
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.
Can you go to the ER for rheumatoid arthritis pain?
Going directly to an ER is wise if any other symptoms, such as weakness, trouble breathing, and chest pain are present with the high fever. It’s usually a good idea to calling your doctor for advice before going to an ER, but when in doubt, it’s best go to the ER for a rapid evaluation.
When should you go to the hospital for rheumatoid arthritis?
Red, hot, swollen joints. Severe and sudden abdominal pain. A severe, atypical disease flare. Sudden spine pain, which may signal a vertebral fracture (Rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are risk factors for both osteoporosis and fractures; corticosteroid use raises the risk.)
Can stress cause rheumatoid arthritis flare ups?
In a PLoS One study, people with RA identified stress as a trigger for disease flare-ups. Arthritis symptoms contribute to stress, especially when they’re unrelenting. Constant pain, fatigue, and poor sleep create a vicious cycle. Each symptom worsens the others and adds to the stress you already feel.
How do you feel when you have rheumatoid arthritis?
A person with RA may feel intense pain in their joints during flares. This may feel like sustained pressure, a burning sensation, or a sharp pain. However, people with RA may also experience periods of remission when they feel few to no symptoms. In addition to causing pain in the joints, RA can affect the whole body.
Can you live a long life with rheumatoid arthritis?
It’s possible to live a long life with RA, yet researchers have found a connection between rheumatoid arthritis and a shorter lifespan. It’s estimated that the disease can potentially reduce life expectancy by 10 to 15 years. There’s no cure for RA, although remission can happen.