Arthritis: Doctor gives advice on best foods to help ease pain
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Arthritis affects more than 10 million people in the UK, according to the NHS. But there could be plenty of other people across the country that don’t know they’re at risk. It’s crucial that everyone recognises the early warning signs of rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK.
Almost nine million people have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, whereas there are about 400,000 people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of auto-immune condition, whereby the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the cells lining joints.
Left untreated, it can lead to permanent joint damage, cardiovascular disease, and widespread inflammation.
The most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include joint stiffness and unexplained fatigue, according to the Winelands Rheumatology Center.
You might even start to feel tired before any other symptoms start to show themselves.
The stiffness could affect just one single joint, or it might be completely widespread.
The smaller joints are more likely to be affected in its early stages, it warned.
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“Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation of joints,” it said.
“Rheumatoid arthritis tends to begin slowly with minor symptoms that come and go, usually on both sides of the body, and progress over a period of weeks or months.
“Symptoms of this chronic disease vary from person to person and can change from day to day.
“Bouts of disease activity are called flare-ups, and inactive periods are called remission.”
However, there are also a number of common signs you might not be aware of.
For example, simply difficulty sleeping or a loss of appetite could be linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
Some patients have even reported chest pain when breathing.
You should speak to a doctor if you have a combination of any of the following symptoms, and they won’t go away.
Early rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Numbness and tingling
Decreased range of movement
General weakness or malaise
Dry, itchy or inflamed eyes
Chest pain when breathing
Hard bumps of tissue under arm skin
Loss of appetite
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