What Does It Mean to Have a Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis?


Quick Answer

A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) means that the patient suffers from at least four of the seven warning signs of the disease at the same time for six weeks or more. According to WebMD, RA has active and inactive periods.

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Full Answer

The symptoms used to diagnose RA include: morning stiffness lasting more than an hour; swelling in three or more joints at the same time; at least one swollen wrist, hand or finger joint; and arthritis in the same joint on both sides of the body. According to WebMD, rheumatoid nodules on the body, abnormal blood work and x-ray changes in the hands and wrists also contribute to an RA diagnosis.

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