Rheumatoid arthritis: How to spot arthritis bumps – location and size

Five warning signs of rheumatoid arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition that causes pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints. It is autoimmune condition, which means it’s caused by the immune system attacking healthy body tissue. However, it’s not yet known what triggers this. The main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are joint pain, swelling and stiffness.

However, there are other visual warning signs to watch out for.

Rheumatoid arthritis can also give rise to bumps, also known as nodules, on specific joints.

According to Stanford Health Care, these nodules range “in size from a pea to a mothball form”.

As the health body explains, they are seen in one-third of people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

“Nodules usually form over pressure points in the body such as the elbows, knuckles, spine, and lower leg bones,” it adds.

Non-specific symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • A loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Mild fever.

How to manage the condition

Rheumatoid arthritis can be highly debilitating, making it hard to perform even basic tasks.

However, there are things you can do to alleviate arthritis symptoms.

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One of the most important tips is to lose any excess weight because it puts extra pressure on the joints.

“Excess weight can make some specialist medications ineffective, may increase disease activity and delay remission,” explains the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

“If you are carrying more body weight than you should, try and lose the excess weight by combining healthy eating with regular exercise.”

In fact, improving your diet can provide direct benefits for arthritis management.

BDA explains: “The amount and type of fat you eat and use in cooking influences blood cholesterol levels, and might also influence the level of joint pain and inflammation.”

Healthier fats are found in plentiful supply in a Mediterranean-style diet.

This type of diet includes poultry, fish, and less lean red meat than a typical UK diet, plenty of vegetables (fresh, frozen or canned), fresh fruit, olive oil, wholegrain cereals, peas and beans and nuts and seeds.

In the diet, saturated fats are reduced and replaced by unsaturated fats including omega-3.

Research has shown an improvement in the symptoms experienced by people with rheumatoid arthritis when following this diet.

Exercise is one of the key treatments to help reduce the disability often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise can boost strength and flexibility in people who have rheumatoid arthritis.

“Stronger muscles can better support your joints, while improved flexibility can aid joint function,” the health body adds.

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