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What are some common symptoms of rheumatism?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of rheumatism, or rheumatoid arthritis, include swelling, warmness and tenderness of the joints; morning stiffness that can last for several hours; and firm bumps under the skin of the arms, states Mayo Clinic. Weight loss, fever and fatigue are also possible.

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Full Answer

Joint pain from rheumatoid arthritis results from inflammation during active periods of the illness, and it can also occur from damage caused by past arthritis, according to MedicineNet. Joint tenderness resulting from compression of an irritated joint capsule causes immediate pain and can lead to difficulty sleeping. Swelling of the joints may be minimal or readily apparent, potentially affecting range of motion. Redness over the inflamed joints sometimes occurs, and warmth may accompany swelling or redness. In cases of chronic arthritis, the affected joints can become permanently deformed.

In its early stages, rheumatoid arthritis generally affects smaller joints such as those of the fingers and toes, and symptoms may spread to the knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and shoulders as the disease progresses, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms may flare up followed by periods of remission. Symptoms normally affect both sides of the body. People should make an appointment with their doctor if they notice joint swelling or discomfort that doesn't go away.

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