Viewer Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

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Comment from: captain cooper, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 04

My earliest symptoms were profound fatigue after any exertion, muscle weakness, intermittent low grade fever, loss of strength in my arms and hands, and general malaise.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 25

I turned 40 this year and I was just diagnosed (blood test) with RA. I have been complaining for about two years of extreme fatigue and pain that worsened when I tried to lay down to sleep, and occasional fever. I just found out today that I Have RA. Need to see a Rheumatologist ASAP and am in the process of being referred to a specialist. I am also a full-time student pursuing my RN degree (Registered Nurse). Hopefully I was diagnosed in time so as to effectively manage the symptoms. Hopefully, I will be able to do what I have always wanted to do - be a nurse.

Comment from: oldie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

My fingers are getting very crooked and swollen and stiff. I am very tired and people always ask why I sound like I am out of breath. Also, my neck has been hurting for about three months.

Comment from: Babs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

At 40 years old, I woke up one morning and could not move my hands. The pain was intense. The urgent care physician immediately knew it was RA. That was 11 years ago. However, for about 7- 10 years prior, I would have bouts of bilateral wrist pain which needed splinting, and pain on the foot between the large and second toe. My main complaint then and now is exhaustion, fatigue and mental fog. That has not improved despite successful management of the joint pain/stiffness. I continue to work fulltime and have no deformities of the joints, but was treated aggressively from the onset. Good luck to those recently diagnosed. It takes trial and error to find the right medication or combination of medications, but once found they work very well. I hope this information helps someone.

Comment from: Kruizer, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 08

I'm a 42 year old male and I was diagnosed 6 months ago with rheumatoid arthritis. I take 6 pills a day. I also take folic acid daily, ibuprofen and prednisone as needed. My swelling has stopped, but I'm often fatigued, have little to no appetite, and have a feeling of malaise (just generally don't feel well). Also I find I don't take stress very well (makes me tired and depressed). My major onset symptoms were dramatic joint swelling and tenderness (inability to open doors, zip my pants, etc). I'm somewhat typical in the fact that my pain is usually not bilateral, I only have one joint at a time affected. The disease seems to live in my hips, and sometimes affects my smaller joints (toes, fingers, wrists and such).

Comment from: shanki, 45-54 Female Published: February 08

I tested positive for the RA factor 12 years ago. I am now 46, and am not sure if I was diagnosed properly. I do have stiffness in my hips, wrists, ankles and fingers and toes, but I have no swelling, redness, or any other outward signs. I don't know whether to mention the increase in symptoms. I feel I may be wasting the doctor's time.

Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I was diagnosed with RA three weeks ago. I'm 24. All the women on my mother side have it. I always had a small amount of arthritis just from "killing" myself playing several sports as a kid and young adult. However when I got the flu in October, I never got better. I had continual aches. I had a hard time grasping objects, my hands are the worst. I finally went to the doctor where he ran test after test, just trying NOT to diagnose RA. However, that wasn't the case. We are trying everything that doesn't include medication, because I'm so young. Hopefully we can come up with something, if not medication it is. But every day is a different challenge. It will never get better, but its "nice" to have days that I can move and be a normal person.

Comment from: NJpatient, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 12

I was diagnosed with RA in 4 months ago. Over a year before the diagnosis I was experiencing pain in my knees, wrists, and elbows. I stopped all exercising that impacted those joints and ALL the pain disappeared completely. I really went to the doctor because I could not exercise in any sport and started having mild swelling in my hands and elbows. My RA doctor prescribed a generic medication. The first two months I was on it, the RA was in remission (but I didn't realize it) and I had no symptoms at all. These last 2 months the disease kicked in full blown - happened overnight. One day, I was perfectly fine. The next day, I was in terrible pain.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA):

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatment

What was the treatment for your rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Medications

What medications have been effective at treating your rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) - Diet

Have you made dietary changes that have improved your RA symptoms and signs? If so, please describe these changes.

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