The Pain, Swelling And Stiffness of Rheumatoid Arthritis



This Is What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like

You feel like you’re coming down with a cold. All. The. Time.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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In the beginning, rheumatoid arthritis often manifests as stiffness and tenderness in the hands, wrist, or feet. But because early symptoms may also mimic other conditions, it can take a while for doctors to diagnose. (Here's a look at some of the scary conditions that could be making you hurt.) 

"It took about six months to get diagnosed. During that time, I felt like I was constantly fighting a cold. I had muscle aches, red, hot, swollen joints, and extreme fatigue." —Jennifer Maggiore, 39, Phoenix, Arizona

MORE: Can A Beer A Day Keep Rheumatoid Arthritis Away?

"The joints in my fingers, wrists, jaw, ankles, and feet were constantly in pain. I also had an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that sleep didn't help with." —Staci Penner, 43, North Newton, Kansas

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You never know what’s in store.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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Imagine being A-OK in the afternoon and feeling like a ton of bricks hit you by nighttime—with barely any warning. That's how rheumatoid arthritis manifests in some people. (This is the diet change one woman made to get rid of her joint pain once and for all.) 
 
"I had a joint in my arm that would get so inflamed that within a few hours, I couldn't lift a cup of coffee." —Susan Abdo, 57, Boise, Idaho
 

"My symptoms can vary from day to day or even hour to hour, and may also fluctuate in severity. There are days I can go on a three-hour bike ride, and there are other days I can barely wash my hair." —Ashley Boynes-Shuck, 33, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 
 
"Sometimes I feel like there's a cement wall in front of me that I have to push away. I feel like I'm a 75-year-old in a 36-year-old's body." —Angharad Chester-Jones, 36, Charleston, South Carolina

MORE: The Surprising Connection Between Rheumatoid Arthritis And Gum Disease

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Getting pregnant may make symptoms better or worse.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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It's impossible to predict what will happen, but the odds are in your favor. From the beginning of the second trimester to six weeks after delivery, symptoms improve for about 70% of women with rheumatoid arthritis, says J. Bruce Smith, MD, a rheumatologist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. 

"When I was pregnant with my third child, I went off all my medication and had very few symptoms until a few months after birth. But when I was pregnant with my fourth child and stopped taking my medication, I had a very rough time with my RA symptoms. However, I was unwilling to risk taking the medication. I sustained some joint damage during that pregnancy but was able to calm the symptoms after going back on medication after the birth." —Brittney Hanks, 32, Mound, Texas

MORE:The Strange Risk Of Snoring While Pregnant

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It can feel socially isolating.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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Since RA causes pain and stiffness, it can pose daily challenges for people, including reduced mobility, a factor that can limit social interactions. It's also difficult for those without rheumatoid arthritis to fully understand what their loved ones with the condition are going through, which can cause feelings of isolation. In fact, about 35% of rheumatoid arthritis patients report feeling lonely, according to one Clinical Rheumatology study. (Did you know that feeling lonely is as unhealthy as smoking 15 cigarettes a day?) 

"There are times that rheumatoid arthritis has made me feel so isolated and alone. I went from being a person who felt she could do anything to not knowing from day to day what I'll physically be able to do. When my ankles and feet are affected, I can't go on walks with my family or even make it down the stairs to the kids' bedrooms. I can't sit next to my husband of 26 years and hold his hand with our fingers laced together because it hurts too much."—Staci Penner, 43, North Newton, Kansas

"Dating has been touchy. I often push potential partners away for fear of them not being able to handle or understand my condition."—Angharad Chester-Jones, 36, Charleston, South Carolina

MORE: 7 Little Ways To Be More Fearless In Your Relationships

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You feel like your health is spiraling out of control.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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Rheumatoid arthritis puts patients at higher risk for other health problems (like these 5 conditions you're more at risk for if you have an autoimmune disease). According to the Arthritis Foundation, having RA doubles the risk of cardiovascular problems like heart attack and stroke. And because rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition, it can cause inflammation to develop throughout the body, causing conditions like Sjogren's syndrome (an immune system disorder) and various lung diseases. In fact, the risk of developing lung disease is eight times higher in people with RA, according to the Arthritis Foundation. 

"In addition to problems with every joint, I have several health issues caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Eye inflammation, frequent fevers, rashes, irregular blood pressure, and shortness of breath are just a few." —Kelly Young, creator of the RA blog rawarrior.com

"One of the other issues with rheumatoid arthritis is that you're more likely to develop another autoimmune disorder. I have Sjogren's syndrome, which has caused severe eye dryness." —Cathy DiFalco, 62, Hopewell Junction, New York

"I started having more joint pain when I started taking birth control pills, and I recently developed an autoimmune liver disease." —Angharad Chester-Jones, 36, Charleston, South Carolina

PREVENTION PREMIUM: Are Homeopathic Treatments Safe?

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But some people feel stronger than ever.
What Rheumatoid Arthritis Actually Feels Like, Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
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Maintaining a positive outlook helps. In fact, depression has been declining in rheumatoid arthritis patients over the past few decades. One Dutch study found that patients diagnosed between 2004 and 2008 were about 15% less likely to be depressed than those who learned of their condition in 1990. Earlier diagnosis, more intensive interventions, along with recommendations to remain physically active may be to thank, say researchers. 
 
"I try to be strong willed and strong minded. I advocate for myself and fight through everyday pain to lead as normal a life as possible." —Angharad Chester-Jones, 36, Charleston, South Carolina

"When I was first diagnosed, I thought it meant that my life would change for the worse.






Video: Safe Exercise Tips : How Do I Exercise With Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Date: 13.12.2018, 12:18 / Views: 62233