In the early phases, it is possibly tricky to differentiate the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis from those of some other health issues. For that reason, it is potentially challenging to diagnose this sort of arthritis, and misdiagnosis can happen. Even viral infections are likely to be misdiagnosed as the arthritis-related issues.
Such misdiagnoses happen partly due to the skill of the medical professional(s) involved. So, let us look at which those conditions are that could be misdiagnosed as RA.
If lupus impacts your joints, then it could have health issues akin to RA’s symptoms. Almost every lupus patient also has flares, meaning episodes of symptoms worsening before improving or disappearing. Some of the other RA and lupus signs are dry eyes, fever, and fatigue. There may also be a joint deformity in some lupus patients. The distinction is that that joint deformity occurs due to ligaments and tendons becoming longer and less tight. Two of the symptoms specific to lupus are Raynaud’s phenomenon and photosensitivity.
It is potentially tricky to tell this inflammatory condition and RA apart, especially if there is no clear symptom of psoriasis. As with RA, this type of arthritis causes joint pain and joint swelling. The swollen, painful joints can feel warm when these are touched. Anyhow, it is likelier to bring about toe and finger joint inflammation, foot pain, back pain, and nail changes.
A fewviral infections, like parvovirus B19, could bring about symptoms in joints that are likely to be associated with RA. Parvovirus in kids can contribute to fever, plus cheek rashes, but it does not generally cause joint issues. Anyhow, a grown-up who has been in touch with a parvovirus-affected kid may have swollen hands, wrist, knee and ankle joints.
Chikungunya is a different virus that leads to arthritic joint pain. Chikungunya results from mosquito bites, plus it has symptoms similar to RA symptoms.
This is among the rarest types of arthritis, characterized by recurrent and sudden joint inflammation. These joint issues may last some hours or many days, and they are described as ‘attacks’. Between palindromic rheumatism attacks, the health issue’s symptoms disappear, whereas the affected joints return to a normal condition, without any lasting damage. That can aid medical professionals in differentiating RA and this health issue. Anyhow, around 75% of individuals with palindromic rheumatism may gradually become RA patients, causing permanent damage to their joints.