Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms and Signs

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).
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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See what others are saying

Published: June 13

I don’t know really when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) got activated in me. But as I remember at the age of 10 may be. It has still been giving me pains, but not continuously. I will be fine for some years, but suddenly early in the morning I have a little pain, later slowly, day to day the pain increases. It takes off my happiness. I do exercise every day, but once pain starts and stiffness in joints, I can’t. As I heard there is no treatment for this, but with willpower I will kill the pain. Since 6months I got rheumatic arm pain, don’t know, how to make my arm movements. It has been so many years I feel, since I made my arm movements in all directions. It pains a lot, where I haven’t seen this pain in my 20 years of RA. My suggestion would be, fight against it with exercise and food control..

Published: November 03

I was diagnosed 4 weeks ago with RA. I haven't seen a specialist yet. I'm 55, white, female. I had RA symptoms for a while, but I didn't know anything about the disease. In June of this year, I experienced chest pains on my right side and was hospitalized for 3 days. All testing came back negative for heart issues. I was diagnosed with pleurisy and told to exercise more. I was so tired and seemed anxious about everything, afraid I would forget things. My feet kept getting more and more painful, but I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis in 2006, and just thought it was affecting my feet. I have a high tolerance for pain and tend to shrug things off. I'm also not a "pill taker." I got to the point I could barely walk and noticed swelling in my feet too. Then I woke up one morning with my right thumb nearly doubled the other in size and felt like it was broken. Then the next day my right shoulder felt like it was dislocated. And finally the following day, I couldn't lift my right leg. So I went to a local doctor and he did the blood work and said I need to see a RA Specialist, that I have RA. I've been depressed about it and don't know anyone in my ancestry that had it. I never even knew it was an autoimmune disease. I'm having problems getting to a specialist for months, because they are booked up..