Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose because no single test confirms it, and its symptoms could point to many other conditions. You may not realize the pain or exhaustion you feel are due to rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory condition.
That’s why it’s so important to consult the team at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center. They can determine if you have rheumatoid arthritis and devise an effective treatment plan to improve your symptoms, reduce flares, and increase your chances of achieving a medical remission.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which your body’s disease-fighting army turns against its own tissues and organs. With rheumatoid arthritis, your immune system attacks the joint lining, making the joint stiff, painful, and swollen.
In addition to joints, the inflammation that accompanies rheumatoid arthritis can affect many parts of your body, including your heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes, and skin. Early-stage rheumatoid arthritis typically involves smaller joints in your hands and feet. However, severe, progressive rheumatoid arthritis can cause painful, life-changing disabilities.
The following are common signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis:
You also may experience symptoms in some non-joint areas, which is why you may not realize what’s ailing you is rheumatoid arthritis. For example, this condition can affect bone marrow, nerve tissue, your skin, eyes, salivary glands, blood vessels, and some organs.
The good news is that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can come and go; they may flare and fade and even disappear. However, this condition can cause joint deformity over time.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not a one-symptom-fits-all disease. It affects people differently. That’s why you could be showing signs and not realize you have rheumatoid arthritis. For example, you may experience:
These symptoms could point to a host of other conditions or diseases, including gout, fibromyalgia, lupus, osteoarthritis, and scleroderma. But don’t discount them. The skilled rheumatologists at Valerius Medical Group & Research Center conduct a physical exam and learn your medical history, including any signs and symptoms, to arrive at a dependable rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
The sooner, the better. Although not everybody develops the most life-altering symptoms and complications, early diagnosis and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis can increase your chances of symptom improvement and a clinical remission, in which your symptoms disappear.
Dr. Nathaniel Neal and Dr. Rebekah Neal-Kraal want to get and keep you symptom-free for as long as possible. If you suspect you have rheumatoid arthritis or if you’ve been diagnosed, contact us today at our office in Los Alamitos, California. We can work with you to create an effective treatment plan to improve your symptoms so you can live a more comfortable, happier life.