Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the result of your immune system mistakenly attacking your own tissues. It primarily affects your joints and if left untreated, this condition can cause a lot of other issues. It can affect different systems in your body including heart, brain, eyes and even skeleton. The medication you take for controlling RA can also cause a wide range of side effects across your body. The following are some of the important parts of your body that will be usually affected by rheumatology arthritis if it gets advanced.
Usually, joints are the first systems in your body that will be commonly affected by RA. This disease can affect any joint in your body including fingers, hand, neck, knees, spine, shoulders, hips, ankles, feet, etc.
The primary target of rheumatology arthritis is the lining that covers your joints, called the synovium. It causes the inflammation and swelling of this lining. This will eventually lead to pain, stiffness and loss of mobility. These symptoms will be worse in the morning, and as the day progresses, it can reduce. Therefore, this can be taken as the first indication of RA. The pain caused by RA can be effectively controlled by rheumatic pain treatment.
In some people who are suffering from RA, there will be rheumatoid nodules formed near the joints. They are actually small and firm bumps that are made of inflammatory tissue. Such nodules can also develop under your skin, over bony areas. Most of them will be painless but some may cause discomfort for people.
RA may also result in inflammation in your skin that can lead to the appearance of swelling, red patches, lesions or ulcers. When rheumatoid arthritis become severe and affects your skin, then you may notice different symptoms including harmless red dots to ulcers on your legs or under the nails.
RA can cause your mouth to become dry. Patients suffering from RA are at a greater risk of developing Sjogren’s syndrome that causes dryness in your mouth and eyes.
Rheumatology arthritis might also cause your saliva ducts to narrow or close, thereby leading to dryness in your mouth and difficulty in swallowing and eating.
This disease can also result in inflammation in the eyes and also dry eye syndrome. The problems caused by RA on your eyes include:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Uveitis (inflammation of the inner eye)
- Scleritis (inflammation of the eyes’ whites)
- Blocked blood vessels in the eye