What Are The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis When Left Untreated?


While rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis both have a negative impact on the joints, rheumatoid arthritis can occur at an earlier age and is more difficult to treat. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body's immune system attacks it's own tissues. This can lead to severe pain, inflammation and disfigurement over time. However, if rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed early, the symptoms can be treated so that they are more manageable. These are some of the common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis that occur if this disease is not treated.

Mild Symptoms

When rheumatoid arthritis symptoms first begin, they are usually mild. A general feeling of achiness may become more frequent as if you are coming down with the flu. You may be more fatigued than normal and have noticeably less energy. Your body may feel stiff when you get up in the morning or after sitting for long periods.

Some people may also have a low grade fever during the early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The joints of the hands and feet may hurt and movement may be difficult. For example, you may feel a lack of strength in the hands and may have pain that makes it hard to open doors or loosen tight lids on jars.

Moderate Symptoms

For some who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, more moderate symptoms may occur early on. This may include severe inflammation of the joints that causes chronic pain. The joints may feel warm to the touch and are also red and swollen.

Mobility may become difficult when moderate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis set in. The pain in the feet and ankles may be so severe that walking is no longer an easy activity. While inflammation can occur in one limb at a time, it is not uncommon for both wrists, both feet or both knees to be inflamed at the same time.

Severe Symptoms

As rheumatoid arthritis progresses, the symptoms become even more severe. The fingers, toes, arms and legs may become disfigured. The ankles may draw away from the body so that walking is no longer possible. The elbows may lock in a bent position so that movement of the arms is limited.

The tissues of the lungs may become damaged and breathing problems may develop. When left untreated, even the vision can be affected by rheumatoid arthritis.

Fortunately, there are various treatments for rheumatoid arthritis that can reduce the symptoms and slow down progression of this disease. Medications are available that work well if taken during the early stages. Physical therapy, visiting places like Summit Chiropractic, and surgery can also help repair damage to the joints so that regaining use of the limbs is possible.


15 April 2015

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