Clinical History. The typical case of rheumatoid arthritis begins insidiously, with the slow development of signs and symptoms over weeks to months. Often the patient first notices stiffness in one or more joints, usually accompanied by pain on movement and by tenderness in the joint.
Can rheumatoid arthritis spread quickly?
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis often develop gradually over several weeks, but some cases can progress quickly over a number of days. The symptoms vary from person to person. They may come and go, or change over time. You may experience flares when your condition deteriorates and your symptoms become worse.
How long does it take for RA to damage joints?
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.
Does rheumatoid arthritis get worse with age?
Age. RA usually develops in older adults, but it can affect people of any age. When the onset of RA occurs at a younger age, there is more time for it to progress. Consequently, it may cause more severe symptoms over time, and it is more likely to lead to complications.
How do you know if rheumatoid arthritis is progressing?
Signs Your RA Is Progressing
Flares that are intense or last a long time. Diagnosis at a young age, which means the disease has more time to become active in your body. Rheumatoid nodules — bumps under your skin, often around your elbows. Active inflammation that shows up in tests of joint fluid or blood.
Is RA considered a disability?
Simply being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis does not qualify you for disability. However, if your ability to work is greatly affected or impaired by your condition, then with the proper documentation, you may be entitled to SSA disability benefits.
What is the main cause of rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, which means it’s caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. However, it’s not yet known what triggers this. Your immune system normally makes antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses, helping to fight infection.
What happens if you don’t take medication for rheumatoid arthritis?
Without treatment, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can lead to painful, disabling joint damage and could also harm a number of organs and tissues, from your heart and lungs to your skin and bones. Getting prompt, appropriate care can help.
What does RA fatigue feel like?
People who have RA often describe their fatigue as a deep tiredness or slowing down, akin to the feeling someone might have while recovering from the flu. It’s also worth noting that there are other potential causes of fatigue, outside of RA.
Is RA a death sentence?
Inflammatory arthritis is not a death sentence
“Don’t panic,” says RA patient Rhonda Hall. It’s hard not to, because if you Google “RA and life expectancy,” you’re going to freak yourself out. It’s true that there are articles that claim RA can shorten your life by an average of 10 to 15 years.
What is the most common cause of death in patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
The most common causes of death in RA patients were infectious diseases (20.5%), respiratory diseases (16%, mainly interstitial pneumonia and chronic obstructive lung diseases), and gastrointestinal diseases (14.7% chiefly perforation or bleeding of peptic ulcer).
What is end stage RA?
End-stage rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an advanced stage of disease in which there is severe joint damage and destruction in the absence of ongoing inflammation.
Can you stop rheumatoid arthritis from progressing?
RA is a progressive disease, but it doesn’t progress the same way in all people. Treatment options and lifestyle approaches can help you manage RA symptoms and slow or even prevent disease progression. Based on your symptoms and other factors, your doctor will develop a personalized plan for you.