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Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the finger and hand joints and may extend to other parts of the body. It’s a difficult disease to diagnose because it mimics other illnesses and can flare up and fade away at any time. Even lab tests don’t offer much help as you may test negative for rheumatoid arthritis despite having it.
 
 
This painful and sometimes debilitating disease has many symptoms that often worsen over time so getting some assistance may be necessary.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the knuckles and middle finger joints, including the wrist and other small hand joints. RA symptoms vary greatly and range from loss of energy to firm lumps in the affected areas. Other symptoms of RA include:

*Injuries that never seem to heal
*Numbness or tingling in the wrist and hands
*Dry mouth, eyes and skin
*Achy joints
*Stiff joints upon waking
*Fever

7 Tips for Managing Rheumatoid Arthritis

RA causes pain and fatigue, making you feel depressed and less motivated in your daily life. Fortunately, you can manage your RA symptoms by altering your daily habits along with treatment from a doctor.

1.   Sleep – A lack of sleep can worsen your RA symptoms. Sleep medication can help but it’s important to get into the habit of going to bed at the same time every night and not watching TV in bed.

2.   Exercise – Regular exercise, such as swimming, walking, aerobics, and yoga can help reduce muscle loss and improve joint mobility.

3.   Diet – Eat a clean diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and olive oil, to manage your weight and ease joint pain.

4.   Medication – Manage your flare-ups with prescription medicines, and use hot and cold packs to ease inflammation.

5.   Mindset – RA affects your mood and may cause depression in some people. Take control of your life, and stay positive by spending your energy wisely throughout the day.

6.   Rearrange – Move things around the house to make it easier to walk in each room. You can also make small changes such as moving items from high kitchen cabinets to lower cabinets and drawers.

7.   Gadgets – Make your life easier with ergonomic gadgets. You can find everything from pens to can openers and drawer pulls that protect and take stress off your joints.

Living with RA doesn’t mean living with the symptoms. By changing your diet, performing light exercise and altering your lifestyle, you can manage RA and live a happier, more rewarding life.

 

For more information visit:

http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Rheumatoid-Arthritis

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20464354,00.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/rheumatoid_arthritis/article.htm

http://www.everydayhealth.com/health-report/rheumatoid-arthritis-pictures/how-to-stay-healthier-longer-with-rheumatoid-arthritis.aspx#/slide-1