Health + Wellness

10 Surprising Ways Arthritis Can Affect Your Whole Body

how does arthritis affect the body

If you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), you’re probably used to experiencing pain, swelling and stiffness in your joints. However, because rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, it can also affect your whole body and even lead to the damage of some of your major organs as well as a shorter life span.

So which parts of the body can RA affect? Keep reading to find out.

1. Eyes

Due to inflammation, people with rheumatoid arthritis are prone to experience dry eye syndrome or episcleritis, a redness in the white part of the eye.

If you experience this, over-the-counter or prescription drops can offer you some relief.

RA also puts you at risk of developing a more serious eye condition called scleritis, which if left untreated, can lead to vision loss.

Whatsmore, about 15 percent of people with RA develop another autoimmune disease, Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). This disease affects tear glands (as well as salivary glands), causing very dry eyes and other symptoms.

Because people with RA are at a higher risk for eye diseases, it is wise to get regular eye exams. Early detection is critical, so if you haven’t booked your appointment, now’s the time to do so.

2. Mouth

According to research, people who have rheumatoid arthritis may be more likely to develop periodontal disease.

Having RA also puts you at a higher risk of developing dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.

If you haven’t had your yearly dental appointment, it’s time to book it. Poor oral health can worsen your arthritis symptoms, however, your dentist can catch minor issues before they become a major problem.

RELATED: Your Feet May Be The Cause Of Your Joint Pain, Here’s why…

3. Hands and feet

This one probably doesn’t come as much of a shock, however, RA can do more than cause pain. RA can also cause other distortions and deformities if it is not treated as early as possible with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). These deformities include

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