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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
My Symptoms
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About this blog
By Pamela Engelhard
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Nov. 9, 2012 4:07 p.m.



Today I will go over some symptoms of RA.

I realized I needed to figure out why I was hurting ALL the time when it came to the point that the pain in my hands, shoulders and elbows would wake me up. A feeling of numbness would go through both arms. My first thought was “Oh great. Now I have carpal tunnel.” I know this doesn’t make sense, but my hands would burn and hurt at night.

I can now look back and see that RA had been plaguing my life for some time but things were happening in such a manner that we didn’t put it together. I have had many battles with bronchitis and pneumonia (RA affects the lungs), it has attacked my heart (RA can cause heart problems), and I deal with ulcers because RA attacks the stomach.

I also developed a severe case of insomnia. I would stay awake all hours because I just couldn’t get to sleep, or when I did, the pain would wake me up. Even when I didn’t have the pain, I would just wake up for no reason and not be able to get back to sleep.

I was exhausted all the time, no matter how much sleep I managed to get and I thought it was only insomnia. It was that, but also so much more.

The symptoms for every person are different. Do your research, talk to your doctor, visit a rheumatologist if you think this is a possibility. Beginning medical treatment as soon as possible is the key to slowing down the disease.

This is information I found on www.rheumatoidarthritis.com:

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF RA

“Joint pain is one of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It often goes along with warmth, redness, tenderness and swelling in the joints. These symptoms will usually occur symmetrically — on both sides of the body. Another common symptom is stiffness, especially in the morning. All of these symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the disease. These symptoms mean that the joints are being attacked, and if left untreated, this can lead to deformity. That's why it's important to get a diagnosis as early as possible.

Beyond the joints

People with RA may have other symptoms that go beyond the joints. When the immune system attacks the body, as it does in people with RA, symptoms can be felt throughout the entire body. These symptoms show that RA affects more than just the joints. Many people with RA may experience:



  • Fatigue or tiredness


  • Decreased quality of life


  • Difficulty performing daily activities


  • Occasional low-grade fever




People with RA might also have trouble performing activities they used to do like climbing stairs or carrying groceries. They may feel less able to participate socially, or feel that they have less energy and can feel sad or down.

If you think you may be experiencing RA symptoms, make an appointment to see your family doctor or a rheumatologist, a specialist who deals with joint diseases. During your appointment, be sure to tell him or her about all of your symptoms, even if some of them only happen once in a while, or seem unrelated.” (http://www.rheumatoidarthritis.com/ra/understanding-ra/signs-and-symptoms.htm)

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