This condition affects all patients differently, but the most common warning signs are joint pain, warmth, swelling, stiffness (especially in the morning or after long periods of sitting), as well as fever, fatigue, weight loss, and decreased appetite. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. WebMD also explains that the symptoms can come on gradually over the span of several years, or happen quickly in a short period of time. They can occur in sporadic flare ups where the symptoms only appear for a short period of time, and then seemingly disappear or go into remission. Never ignore these symptoms, even if they aren’t always present.
One of the defining characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis is that any damage caused by this condition in one side of the body, is likely going to be mimicked in the other side. For example if it occurs in the right hand, it will most likely be present in the left hand, too. The same goes for knees or wrists. Healthline explains that this is how doctors typically distinguish between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The inflammation is often what causes other parts of the body to be affected as well.