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probably know all about inflammation and joint pain that comes and goes when you have rheumatoid arthritis. But do not neglect unusual symptoms that arise in other parts of your body. They could be symptoms of complications or side effects of medications.
Beware these 10 problems, and call your doctor if you spot them.
No. 1. Fever
Some medications AR, such as biological, affect the immune system, the body’s defense against germs. It may not be capable of combating diseases as easily as before.
That’s why you need to be in search of a fever. Could be a sign of something serious “either a very active disease or infection,” says Catherine MacLean, MD, PhD, a rheumatologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Tips for maintaining healthy joints
Infections can worsen quickly if you are taking medication that keeps your immune system to work, she says, so it is important to get prompt treatment.
No. 2. Irregular breathing
If you have RA you are at greater risk for scarring of the lung tissue. So visit your doctor immediately if you have a cough that will not go away or are short of breath during normal activities.
No. 3. Stomach pain or digestive problems
Rheumatoid arthritis increases your risk of ulcers, stomach bleeding, and conditions such as colitis and diverticulitis. This may be due to inflammation of RA or due to side effects of medications such as nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids.
is also more likely to have constipation or diarrhea, which may be a warning sign that the amount of good and bad bacteria in your gut is out of balance.
No. 4. Numbness
His swollen joints can push against the nerves, which can cause tingling in different parts of your body. Common points for this include the elbows, ankles and wrists.
Inflammation of blood vessels, called vasculitis, can happen with RA and may also cause numbness.
No. 5. Eye Problems
The inflammation that accompanies the disease can damage parts of the eye, including the sclera ( the “white” of the eye) and the cornea (a thin protective layer).
“Eye pain or new redness of eyes is getting worse should be evaluated immediately,” says MacLean. Talk to your doctor about vision changes that take place within days or weeks, too.
No. 6. broken bones
AR Some drugs can trigger bone loss, which increases the risk of fractures. Bones can also be weakened if exercise and physical activity is avoided.
A broken bone can be a clue that want to develop osteoporosis, a disease that causes your bones to get thinner. It can be treated once you have examined and diagnosed.
No. 7. mouth and dry eyes
Some people with rheumatoid arthritis also suffer from Sjogren’s syndrome, another inflammatory condition. If so, you may have trouble chewing and swallowing, or you may feel like something is sandy in her eyes. Women may also have vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse.
There is no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome, but medications or lifestyle changes can help control your symptoms.
n. 8. Changes in mood
Depression or anxiety sometimes go along with RA. It happens to about one third of people with arthritis, according to a CDC study.
If you notice any changes in your mood, talk with your doctor. It can suggest therapy or medicine to help treat it.
No. 9. Loss of hearing
Some research suggests that RA or drugs used in treatment can cause hearing problems. If you or your family notice a change in your ability to hear, your doctor may be able to adjust your medication or recommend a hearing aid.
No. 10. Chest Pains
A 2015 study by Jeffrey Sparks, MD, a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and colleagues found that people RA are more likely to die from heart-related problems than those without the disease. “Chest pain, especially with activity, should be supervised by a doctor,” he says. “Our hope is that we can turn back the clock before patients develop these conditions in the making.”
Overall, approximately 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms in areas of your body besides the joints, MacLean says that, like skin, muscles, bones, eyes and lungs. If you have mild symptoms that have developed slowly, tell your doctor about them during your next visit. Make an appointment immediately if it has been subjected to sudden or severe changes in the way you feel or how you respond to treatment.