Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Symptoms & Risk Factors

Rheumatoid Arthritis - The Symptoms & Risk Factors 

As Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) begins to affect your body, small joints like your fingers and toes may become warm, stiff or swollen. These symptoms may come and go, and can last a few days or a few weeks.    

As it progresses it can go on to affect larger joints such as shoulders, hips and knees and the period of remission may shorten and may cause joint damage within 6 months of onset. If  not treated adequately, RA can have a significant impact on a patient’s daily life. 60% of people who have RA but are not receiving effective treatment may be unable to work after 10 years.  

Other RA symptoms may include: 

It can be difficult to diagnose this condition due to the variation and severity of symptoms. The symptoms are also very similar to other types of arthritis which could cause a misdiagnosis.    

The root of RA is unknown, but several risk factors could contribute such as:   

  • Heredity  
  • Environment  
  • Lifestyle (e.g., smoking)