What Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Look Like?


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Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis that causes joint swelling and joint skin nodules, according to MedicineNet. The nodules typically appear on the skin of the elbow and finger joints. Over time, rheumatoid arthritis may deform the affected joints, notes Mayo Clinic.

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Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may also experience weight reduction, high body temperature and short-term joint stiffness, especially, in the morning, reports Mayo Clinic. Although the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is still unclear as of 2015, an individual is more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis if the condition runs in his family. Old age is also a predisposing factor, as the condition mostly attacks people who are above 40 years of age. Additionally, women are more vulnerable to rheumatoid arthritis than men.

Because rheumatoid arthritis patients may develop complications such as carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the compression of the finger and hand nerves, and osteoporosis, which is the weakening of bones, it is advisable for patients to visit a doctor as soon as symptoms appear to prevent worsening of the condition, states Mayo Clinic. Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis involves a physical exam to check the affected joints for symptoms, followed by blood tests. Although rheumatoid arthritis is not curable, joint surgeries and certain medications help to alleviate the symptoms, and reduce the speed at which the condition develops. The medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and steroids. The surgical procedures include total joint replacement and joint fusion.

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