Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the membrane linings around the joints become inflamed and the joint surfaces and tendons become distorted or even broken. The effects of rheumatoid arthritis differ from person to person and include fatigue, soreness, stiffness and aching. The hand and wrist joints on both sides of the body are often affected, and become warm, painful, swollen and tender, leading to difficulty with movement.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptomsStiffness lasting at least 30 minutes after getting up in the morning or after prolonged inactivity is common; and early afternoon fatigue and malaise also occur. Deformities may develop rapidly. Osteoarthrtitis often develops in joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, causing further destruction.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs in around 1 per cent of people and female sufferers outnumber males by three to one. The disease usually starts around aged to 50, but it can occur at any age. When the disorder occurs in children under 16 years old, it is known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The onset of rheumatoid arthritis is usually gradual, but in some cases it can be sudden. Stress may worsen the disease symptoms.

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