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15 Symptoms of Arthritis

Fatigue During the Day

One of the symptoms of arthritis is getting tired at times when you shouldn’t be tired. If you find yourself getting tired throughout the day, as well as other symptoms, you might have rheumatoid arthritis. Fatigue is a symptom of many different conditions, though, so don’t just assume you have arthritis.

Morning Stiffness

Sure, everybody is stiff in the morning. As you age, you’ll definitely be less limber than you once were, making morning stiffness even more of an issue. However, if arthritis is setting in, you’ll notice even more stiffness than normal.


When arthritis first sets in, it’s not uncommon to see symptoms completely unrelated to your joint. Many people get low-grade fevers with temperatures below 100°F. If you start having these unusual fevers alongside other joint issues, you should consult a doctor.

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Joint Stiffness

Joint stiffness is one of the most common side effects of rheumatoid arthritis, but it’s not exclusive to arthritis. However, if you notice your joints getting stiffer over a period of weeks or months, especially in smaller joints like your hands, you might consider talking to a doctor.

Joint Pain

In addition to joint stiffness, people with arthritis often have joint pain. Typically, joint pain starts in the hands and can be triggered by simple movements. This can negatively affect your lifestyle, so don’t let chronic joint pain go unattended.

Minor Joint Swelling

Arthritis can make your joints swell. Even if there is no pain or stiffness associated with your joint swelling, you should consult a doctor about any chronically swollen joints.

Red Joints

Having red joints is not a painful or limiting feature of arthritis, but it is very common amongst people with the condition. Your joints may also swell, stiffen, or be warmer than normal.

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Decreased Range of Motion

As we age, we become less agile than we were once. If you notice your range of motion decreasing more than normal, you might be in the early stages of arthritis. Even if you don’t have arthritis, starting some sort of fitness regimens like Tai Chi or swimming will help prevent any further loss in your range of motion.


If you develop bumps, or “Rheumatoid Nodules,” there’s a high likelihood that you have arthritis. These nodules are firm bumps that form in the hands, fingers, knuckles, and elbows. It’s a symptom exclusively found in rheumatoid arthritis.

Dry Eyes and Mouth

It may surprise you but having dry eyes or a dry mouth may be a symptom of arthritis. Having dry eyes and a dry mouth is not just an uncomfortable thing, though. This happens because your own antibodies are now targeting your eyes and mouth. If you have these symptoms and suspect they’re related to rheumatoid arthritis, seek treatment, not just pain relief, right away.

Difficulty Breathing

If you’re experiencing an arthritis flare-up, you might have difficulty breathing. This is a result of your immune system attacking and scarring your lungs. These lung-related problems can often surface before joint issues do.

Numbness and Tingling

In advanced stages of rheumatoid arthritis, you may notice a numbness or tingling that feels a lot like pins and needles in your elbows, ankles, and wrists. This is often the result of carpal tunnel syndrome, a more advanced and problematic type of rheumatoid arthritis. While it’s unlikely that you wouldn’t have had your arthritis diagnosed by this point, it’s something that should be looked into.

Loss of Appetite

Having a loss of appetite is a symptom for many things, arthritis being one of them. The most dangerous side effect of having an arthritis-related loss of appetite is the weight loss that comes from depriving your body of nutrients. 


Anemia, a condition where your body cannot produce enough red blood cells, is sometimes found in people who have rheumatoid arthritis. Anemia can lead to fatigue, weakness, and headaches. Like arthritis, anemia is another condition that’s best to let a doctor diagnose and treat.

Digestive Issues

It seems like arthritis can creep into every area of your life. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you have a higher chance of developing digestive issues. This can lead to pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.