According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are over 1.5 million people in the United States living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Though it is more common in women, and usually occurs over the age of thirty, it is, in fact, a disease that can strike anyone. And while it's well known for affecting your joints and tissue, there are other, less well known symptoms. Below are three lesser known effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Anemia is caused by a decrease in your red blood cells or, in some cases, an insufficient amount of hemoglobin in those cells. It can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness, and a lack of concentration. It can also cause your hands and feet to get cold very easily.
The inflamed tissue caused by RA affects the body's ability to produce red blood cells, making anemia one of the more common symptoms of the disease. Arthritis is a painful disease, and pain wears you out. Add anemia and its symptoms of fatigue and weakness, and it's no wonder so many RA patients don't want to get out of bed. Tell your doctor if you suspect anemia; a simple blood test can confirm it, and there are medications that will help.
While some doctors believe the most common cause of bunions is constricting footwear, there is no denying the fact that some RA sufferers develop bunions no matter their shoe choices. The bunions caused by RA can be severe, causing the big toe to bend inward so far that it crosses over the second toe.
If you have RA and have noticed pain, calluses, thickened skin, or a bump on either of your big toes, consult your doctor or a podiatrist such as Aboite Podiatry Associates PC. There are medications that can ease the pain, and splints or shoe inserts that can help keep the bunion from progressing. There are also surgical options, if the bunion is more severe.
Rheumatoid Arthritis has a reputation for deforming hands and feet. Usually it's the stiffness in the joints that cause the fingers and toes to curl in, causing the hand or foot to appear misshapen. But there can be another cause: nodules.
Nodules are firm lumps underneath the skin of RA patients. They can be as small as a pimple or as large as a walnut. They often appear near the affected joints, but can also form in spots that commonly have outside pressure exerted on them (if you lean on your elbows, for example, or rest your head against a high-backed chair). There are even cases in which bra straps caused nodules to form along the tops of women's shoulders.
Most nodules are harmless, though they can be irritating. Sometimes, however, they form inside the body, on the lungs or the heart. These obviously need to be taken care of quickly, so if you've started developing nodules that you can see, have your doctor check for the more dangerous nodules you can't see.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is manageable, and so are the other medical issues that can travel alongside it. It helps if you know what to look for. If you've been diagnosed with RA, talk to your doctor about what to watch for, and remember to have any symptoms checked early. It's easier (and cheaper) to prevent than to cure.Share
2 December 2014
My parents taught me healthy eating habits and I played outside a lot as a kid. Once I was old enough to work, I got a job as a waiter at a restaurant and kept waiting tables throughout high school and college. After college, I got my very first desk job, and my health started declining. I soon realized that even though I had never stepped foot in a gym, I was living a sedentary lifestyle for the first time in my life. I wasn't getting exercise playing outside or running around at work, so I decided to commit to going to the gym. My health began to improve and I now greatly enjoy bodybuilding. I know many other people are in ill health and can't figure out why, so I decided to start a blog to share my health tips and inspire everyone improve their health!