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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

No. 6. Broken Bones

Some RA meds can trigger bone loss, which raises your risk of fractures. Your bones may also become weaker if you avoid exercise and physical activity.

A broken bone may be a clue that you're developing osteoporosis, a disease that causes your bones to get thinner. It can be treated once you're tested and diagnosed.

No. 7. Dry Mouth and Eyes

Some people with RA also get Sjögren's syndrome, another inflammatory condition. If you have it, you may have trouble chewing and swallowing, or it may feel like something gritty is in your eyes. Women can also have vaginal dryness and pain during sex.

There's no cure for Sjögren's syndrome, but medications or lifestyle changes may help you manage your symptoms.

No. 8. Mood Changes

Depression or anxiety sometimes go along with RA. It happens to about one-third of people with arthritis, according to a CDC study.

Talk to you doctor if you notice any changes in your mood. He can suggest therapy or medicine to help treat it.

No. 9. Hearing Loss

Some research suggests that RA or the drugs used to treat it may cause hearing problems. If you or your family notice a change in your ability to hear, your doctor may be able to adjust your medications or recommend a hearing aid. 

No. 10. Chest Pains

A 2015 study by Jeffrey Sparks, MD, a rheumatologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and his colleagues, found that people with RA are more likely to die from heart-related problems than those without the disease. "Chest pain, especially with activity, should be monitored by a physician," he says. "Our hope is that we can turn back the clock before patients develop these full-blown conditions." 

Overall, about 40% of people with rheumatoid arthritis have symptoms in areas on their body besides joints, MacLean says, like their skin, muscles, bones, eyes, and lungs. If you have mild symptoms that have developed slowly, tell your doctor about them during your next visit. Make an appointment right away if you've had any sudden or serious changes in the way you feel or how you respond to treatment. 

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Reviewed on December 02, 2015

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