Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Are you at risk? Five signs you could have the condition

George morris physiotherapy wigan

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms: Are you at risk? Five signs you could have the condition

RHEUMATOID arthritis symptoms and signs are caused when the immune system starts to attack the body’s joints. Watch out for these warning signs of the condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are often related to joint problems, although they can also cause other difficulties in the body.

The condition occurs when the immune system starts to attack joints, causing inflammation and pain to the sufferer.

It is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK, with Osteoarthritis being the most common, according to Arthritis Research UK (ARUK).

“Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis tend to come and go,” said the charity online.

“You may have flare-ups when your symptoms become worse than normal.”

Watch out for these five signs of the condition.

Joint pain

This is one of the “main symptoms” of the condition, according to the NHS.

The type of pain tends to be “throbbing” and “aching”, and is worse in the mornings or following a period of inactivity.

“A few joints - often your fingers, wrists or balls of your feet - become uncomfortable and may sell, often intermittently,” said ARUK online.


Problems moving joints can also happen due to rheumatoid arthritis.

“You may also feel stiff when you wake up in the morning,” said ARUK. “If you have painful, swollen joints and stiffness in the morning that lasts for longer than half an hour, you should see your doctor.”


Feeling general fatigue, depression or irritability could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

The NHS described this as a “lack of energy” saying some people with the condition experience “a range of more general symptoms”.


Anaemia, or iron deficiency, can be caused by the condition.

“The underlying causes of this are not well understood,” said medicinal website Everyday Health, “but the inflammation that occurs throughout the body in rheumatoid arthritis may contribute to it”.

“Inflamed tissues in the joints release proteins that compromise the body’s ability to use iron and produce red blood cells, leading to a low red blood cell count.”

Signs of flu

“Flu-like symptoms, such as feeling generally ill, feeling hot and sweating,” are also warning signs for the condition said ARUK.

The NHS added a poor appetite and weight loss could all be warning signs.

“Research shows that the sooner you start treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, the more effective it’s likely to be, so early diagnosis is important,” said ARUK.

“For about one in five of those with rheumatoid arthritis the condition develops very rapidly, with pain and swelling in a lot of joints, sever morning stiffness and great difficulty doing everyday tasks.”

There’s currently no cure for the condition, but some treatments may relieve pain or slow down joint damage.

If you are concerned you have the condition, contact your GP.

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