Over 1.5 million people living in the United States have rheumatoid arthritis. Most people know about the joint swelling and pain that go along with the disorder. However, what many people might not know about are the variety of symptoms that can come from rheumatoid arthritis. It can affect much more than just joint health. Below are some potential symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis to watch out for.
• Breathing trouble: rheumatoid arthritis can lead to scarring of the lung tissue. Lung complications are one of the more common complications that arise from rheumatoid arthritis.
• Fever: certain medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can raise the risk of infection.
• Chest pain: rheumatoid arthritis can cause heart complications.
• Eye problems: rheumatoid arthritis can cause damage to the eyes. This can lead to worsening vision.
• Stomach pain/digestive issues: rheumatoid arthritis raises the risk of stomach conditions such as diverticulitis and ulcers. The inflammation from the disorder is a contributing factor as well as potential side effects from medication.
• Skin rash: rashes can either be a sign that the inflammation is spreading away from the joints or a reaction to medication.
• Hearing loss: just like the eyes, the inflammation can damage ears.
• Dry mouth and eyes: having rheumatoid arthritis raises the risk of developing Sjogren’s syndrome, which causes difficulty with chewing and swallowing.
Note that rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are different conditions, and this article is not about osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect many areas of the body. It’s important to keep track of overall health to catch potential complications before they get too serious.