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What Are the Early Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

I've recently been experiencing mild pain and stiffness in my hands. My mother has rheumatoid arthritis, so naturally, I'm concerned that I might have it too. What are some of the early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

 
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Answer

In most (but not all) people with rheumatoid arthritis, early symptoms are vague. These symptoms can include things such as:
 
  • Fatigue
  • Occasional fevers
  • A general sense of not feeling well (malaise)
  • A decreased appetite.
     
These early symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis may continue for weeks or months before joint symptoms begin, making a diagnosis quite difficult. However, this slow progression, while making a diagnosis frustratingly difficult, should be viewed as a good thing, since the alternative is a rapid progression to more severe and more serious symptoms.
 
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