How can you tell if a stiff joint is just a stiff joint, or if it's a sign of something more serious like rheumatoid arthritis? In this episode, Rheumatologist Dr. Teitel, takes us through the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and how to recognize when something unusual is occurring with your bones and joints; you will not want to miss this one.
Dr. Teitel: The typical symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis would include morning stiffness. When they get up their hands will be stiff, they won't feel good moving, and it will take some time for them to loosen up. The other most important thing is swelling and pain in the joints. The hands and feet especially. So swelling, pain, the joints can be red, puffy, painful. In occasional, very rare circumstances, it can present itself in more unusual ways such as anemia and fatigue. The only way that rheumatoid arthritis affects the skin is with nodules that are bumps near bony prominences near your elbows and other places at the wrist. Usually that's after longstanding disease, they don't cause any pain or irritation at all, they're just cosmetically and functionally annoying. Sometimes when rheumatoid arthritis sets on, you know something's wrong, and the joints hurt, or you have morning stiffness, or both, and it doesn't seem to go away, see a doctor.
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