20 Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Mirror

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Some physical signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis (UPDATED 2016)

If you’re interested in reading more on RA symptoms, check out these
All 54 (& growing) articles on RAW about RA symptoms
My 8/2014 list of all my RA symptoms to date
20 signs of rheumatoid arthritis pMaybe seeing signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the mirror is less significant than other problems, but it still matters. An RA diagnosis leads to big changes in our lives. And there are also some changes to the person in the mirror. I hope not many of these signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis are a concern for you, but here is a list of what I have learned firsthand or from other people with rheumatoid disease (PRD).

List of obvious signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. Weight gain from medication.
  2. Rheumatoid nodules on hands, elbows, or other RA joints.
  3. Extremely dry hands from washing so frequently.
  4. Weight gain or muscle loss from lack of exercise.
  5. Hair thinning due to medication.
  6. Shorter or simpler hairstyle because of RA hands, shoulders, wrists, or elbows.
  7. Rounded face due to taking prednisone.
  8. Joints which are swollen or misaligned.
  9. Fingers which are twisted or deformed.
  10. Rashes or acne caused by medication.
  11. No more high heels. Shoes that are as comfortable as possible.
  12. Less use of cosmetics due to RA hand or wrist disability.
  13. Altered gait due to RA hips or knees.
  14. No manicure:  sharp fingernails which cannot be filed due to RA hand disability.
  15. All over dry skin because it’s too painful to apply lotion due to hand pain.
  16. Use of braces or canes.
  17. Loss of height from osteoporosis or disc flattening.
  18. More easy to manage clothing with fewer buttons, etc.
  19. Loud noises from joints.
  20. Pale complexion due to anemia and lack of sun exposure due to sun sensitivity from meds.

Bonus 3 more signs of RA

  1. Dirty hair or body in need of a shower that’s just too difficult
  2. Easily bruised skin from vasculitis or long-term prednisone use.
  3. Frequent use of braces, wraps, or splints on any joint.

What signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis have you seen?

I couldn’t think of any more this morning. Maybe you have some suggestions…

RA Warrior avatar makeover

My daughter and I spent hours and hours working on a makeover for my warrior avatar with a photoshop program.  I like her sharper weapon. My four year old says her skin looks smoother and her earrings are pretty. I thought it was so funny because the real me could sure use the same treatment.

Personal note: As I update this in 2016 and add to the list, it’s fun to read the replies that have come in over the years! Roo is now 10 years old. And my daughter is working on learning to do much bigger research than helping me fix websites – helping immune mediated diseases like rheumatoid disease (RD). If possible, I’m even more dedicated to being a truth-telling warrior. And I still love to do Photoshop.

Recommended reading:

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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 21st, 2009 at 8:30 am and is filed under Living with RA / Managing RA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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