As per a 2021 news report, 1.3 crore people in India suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. The US CDC defines rheumatoid arthritis as an autoimmune and inflammatory disease, which means that your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake, causing inflammation (painful swelling) in the affected parts of the body.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune and inflammatory disease. In this case, the body’s own immune system attacks its healthy cells thus causing inflammation. The effect is usually seen in the joints. The US CDC says, “rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects joints in the hands, wrists, and knees. In a joint with RA, the lining of the joint becomes inflamed, causing damage to joint tissue.

Rheumatoid arthritis is not related to age. Only one type of arthritis, Osteoarthritis, is associated with age. In this case the joint’s cartilage gets damaged. This leads to deterioration of bone health and tissues that attach muscle to bone and hold the joints together.

There are several symptoms linked with the rheumatoid arthritis like: fatigue, joint pain, joint tenderness, joint swelling, joint redness, joint warmth, joint stiffness, loss of joint range of motion, many joints affected (polyarthritis), limping, joint deformity, both sides of the body affected (symmetric), loss of joint function, anemia, fever, and depression.

Joint pain or tenderness that lasts for more than six weeks is said to be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis. Experts say usually small joints are affected first and gradually the same joints on the both sides of the body get affected.A visible sign of rheumatoid arthritis can be morning stiffness for more than 30 minutes as per rheumatologists.

Swelling of proximal interphalangeal (PIP) and metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints of the hands is a commonly early finding, say experts at the John Hopkins Arthritis Center.Occasionally inflamed joints will feel warm to the touch, they have added.”Inflammation, structural deformity, or both may limit the range of motion of the joint.

Due to inflammation of the joints, the body experiences low fever. Low fever is always a sign of inflammation. It has always been an underlying condition of the majority of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.Experts say fever in rheumatoid arthritis can range between 100-102F.

The inflammation can lead to overall physical weakness, drowsiness and exhaustion. Fatigue should not be confused with tiredness. In fatigue the body feels completely drained out of energy. It increases the need for sleep and reduces the concentration power of the body. Many people describe fatigue as uncontrollable.