The joint pain and swelling plus fatigue you've been feeling over the past few months? That tracks.
Rheumatologist Susan M. Goodman, M.D., attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, reveals how to spot the early red flags of rheumatoid arthritis.
Well, the earliest clear symptoms of RA tend to be joint pain and swelling.
Many patients, when they look back realize they've been feeling poorly for months prior to a formal diagnosis or clear-cut complaints to bring them to the doctor. In fact, if you look back, you can see that missing work and missing school have gone up in the six months prior to a diagnosis without any specific complaints. The most common presenting complaints, at the point someone gets to the doctor, is arthritis, pain, swelling, stiffness of the joints, as well as the systemic symptoms such as fatigue.