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Symptoms Associated With Rheumatoid Arthritis

October 12, 2022
Man holding harm while suffering from joint pain.

The inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis can lead to symptoms that affect vision, hearing, heart disease, dementia, breathing, oral health, and more.

Close up of male brown bloodshot eyes and redness with vessels.

There is acute and chronic inflammation:

Acute Inflammation

Generally, acute inflammation is the body’s response to an injury, allergy, or infection, causing redness, warmth, pain, swelling, and limitation of function, to restore the health of the affected area.  It may last days to weeks, and then settles down once the cause, such as an injury or infection, is under control.

Young woman having rheumatoid arthritis takes a rest sitting on the couch. Hands and legs are deformed.

Chronic Inflammation

It can develop for no medically apparent reason, last a lifetime, and cause harm rather than healing. This type of inflammation is quite different and often linked with chronic disease, such as excess weight, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke certain infections, such as hepatitis C, autoimmune disease, cancer, stress, whether psychological or physical.

But if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), learn what to look out for and how to keep symptoms in check.

Symptom 1 - Skin Rash

When RA affects the blood vessels, it can cause RA.  These rashes may appear as clusters of dark red or purple bumps, hives, or irregularly shaped raised pink patches on the skin and most commonly appear on the lower legs. Sometimes these rashes are itchy, painful, or burning.

Hands of elderly woman scratching legs.

Symptom 2 - Gum Disease

Gingivitis and periodontitis are both associated with RA and can lead to gum damage and tooth loss. Regular dental checkups and good oral hygiene at home are advised to help improve oral health. Talk to a Pillway Pharmacist or your medical advisor for ways to ease rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, such as joint tenderness and swelling.

Woman checking teeth and gums.

Symptom 3 - Numbness or Tingling

A damaged or pinched nerve can cause numbness and tingling in the hands, or feet. Here are a couple of ways Rheumatoid arthritis may contribute to nerve injury:

  • Swollen joint tissues cause a nerve to be pinched (for example, carpal tunnel syndrome can result from swollen joints in the wrist)
  • Vasculitis related to RA affects blood flow and causes nerve damage

It’s always best to report sensations of numbness and tingling to a physician. Addressing the cause may help prevent nerve problems from becoming worse or chronic.

Older businesswoman holding wrist close up, suffering from strong pain in hand.

Symptom 4 - Difficulty Breathing

The lungs are commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis, especially if the RA is long-standing and has not been well-managed.

Shortness of breath accompanied by a chronic cough, fatigue, and/or weakness may be a sign of scarring caused by chronic inflammation of the lungs. It’s key to discuss these issues with a physician or Pillway Pharmacist.


Woman sitting on cement step holding chest.

New or unusual symptoms may not be associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis and should always be discussed with your doctor. Managing your arthritis is essential but can be a lot to handle. Pillway helps to streamline all aspects of your medication and pain management prescription care, so you find immediate relief.

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