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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis?

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    Dr Anna Dorai Raj

    Rheumatologist

    Completed Rheumatology Training in 1998 and started working in Private Practice in 1999 in Canberra. Visiting Medical Officer at Canberra Hospital. Lecturer at Australian National … View Profile

    Patients usually present with pain in the joints, and they do have signs
    of inflammation, like local swelling, warmth, or redness in the joints. Not all symptoms are present in everyone, so some patients might have a lot of pain, but they do not have, necessarily, the redness, or the warmth.

    It depends on how much inflammation there is. It often tends to affect the function of the joint. If it is in the hands, for instance, sometimes making a fist is difficult.

    The inflammation type of pain after resting, because when you sit for long periods or when you get up in the morning, is another helpful symptom for us. That is one of the symptoms the patients will notice.

    It is also a systemic disease, so it is not something that is localized to the joints, so patients often feel unwell, not themselves and tired. There are not just joint symptoms, there is also a systemic symptoms.

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