The study found that many rheumatoid arthritis patients had visited their doctor with musculoskeletal complaints about their hand/finger, shoulder, or knees within four to six years (and especially the 18 months) prior to their diagnosis.
“But many also presented with issues that might not seem clearly related to rheumatoid arthritis,” CreakyJoints reports.
The study found that carpal tunnel syndrome was more common among those who later developed rheumatoid arthritis.
The study also found infections of the urinary tract and genitals were common among those who went on to receive a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the gums, lung, or gut also occurred more often in people who were later diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.
What’s more, some were diagnosed with psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), or gout in the period leading up to their rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.
The authors noted that, in particular, people who see their doctor with new musculoskeletal symptoms such as shoulder pain, chronic knee pain, or carpal tunnel syndrome seem to be more likely to develop inflammatory arthritis within the following 1.5 years.
“Consequently, they can consider referring these patients [to a rheumatologist], which may facilitate early diagnosis and treatment,” they wrote.
How to alleviate symptoms
The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can be life-limiting but there are proven ways to alleviate them.
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“For starters, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and beans but low processed foods and saturated fat, is not only great for overall health, but can also help manage disease activity,” explains the Arthritis Foundation (AF).
In fact, many of these components are found in a Mediterranean-style diet, “which is frequently touted for its anti-aging and disease-fighting powers”, notes the AF.
Among other things, the diet can help arthritis by curbing inflammation and aiding weight loss, the health body adds.
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed