Most people who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) know all about its primary symptom, joint stiffness and swelling. While this is the most common and noticeable symptom it is not the worst problem that RA patients can suffer. While managing pain is an important part of treating rheumatoid arthritis, a rheumatologist will treat more than just that. Any tissue in the body, not just the joints, can be affected by inflammation caused by RA. This means there are some serious symptoms and complications that any person with rheumatoid arthritis should watch out for.
The Serious Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Shortness of Breath – The heart’s muscles can become inflamed due to RA. Due to the potential for swelling, patients suffering with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased risk for heart problems including heart attacks.
Numbness & Tingling – Rheumatoid arthritis can cause the connective tissue in the hands and feet to become inflamed. This inflammation can cause impingement of the nerves, which can cause the hands and feet to feel numb or tingle. Worse, the pressure on the nerves can cause permanent nerve damage.
Problems Lifting Limbs – The same problem that can cause the hands and feet to feel numb can also make them difficult to move. This symptom also means there is a potential for not only nerve damage but also for paralysis.
Spots On Your Fingers – The blood vessels around the body can also become inflamed from rheumatoid arthritis. This inflammation can actually stop the blood from flowing to the tissues. That lack of blood flow can cause the tissues to die, which can create red or black spots, usually first seen on the fingers and fingertips.