Rheumatoid Arthritis: 7 Unexpected Symptoms Of This Painful Chronic Disorder

Almost everyone knows how it feels to have stiff or sore joints from time to time.

We all wake up feeling creaky and uncomfortable once in a while. Unfortunately, some people’s joints hurt them constantly — and it’s not just a symptom of getting older.

For many people who experience stiff, painful joints, the diagnosis is rheumatoid arthritis.

The US National Library of Medicine explains that nobody really knows what causes the painful condition. It’s thought to be a combination of genes, hormones, and environment.

Most people are familiar with the common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This includes things like achy, swollen joints that can be excruciating.

Unfortunately, this condition doesn’t just affect the joints; it can affect many other parts of the body as well.

For example, did you know that one of the less common symptoms is dry eyes?

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

what is ra

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a type of arthritis that is characterized by joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, explains the US National Library of Medicine.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can affect more than just your joints.”

They also explain that RA is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system mistakenly attacks a body’s tissues.

Common Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

common symptoms

RA, which is most common among people middle-aged or older, has some well-known symptoms.

These include joint pain and discomfort, swollen joints, and joint stiffness.

“Early rheumatoid arthritis tends to affect your smaller joints first — particularly the joints that attach your fingers to your hands and your toes to your feet,” explains the Mayo Clinic.

As the disease progresses, it tends to affect larger joints around the body.

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