Along with pain and aching in one or more joints, chronic arthritis can cause the following specific symptoms:
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body (such as in both hands or both knees)
- Weight loss
- Fatigue or tiredness
In addition to these, individuals can suffer from more general symptoms. These can include fatigue, a high temperature, sweating, loss of appetite and weight loss. Dry eyes and chest pain can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis due to inflammation spreading around the body.
It is advised that when suffering from any of the above symptoms for a prolonged period of time, individuals should seek medical advice. When seeing a GP, individuals will have multiple tests, physical examinations or scans to achieve a correct diagnosis.
The NHS also explains that genetics also may play a part in who is affected by the condition. There is some evidence to suggest that rheumatoid arthritis can run in families, although the risk of inheriting it is thought to be low, as genes are only thought to play a small role in the condition.