Of the many symptoms that characterize rheumatoid arthritis, the one on the top of the list is joint pain. However, excruciating joint pain is a symptom of other conditions too, such as:
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus
- Infectious arthritis
- Crystal arthritis
Most of the conditions mentioned above include many of the hallmark arthritis symptoms, such as fatigue, high fever, and localized joint inflammation and swelling.
The diagnosis from a seasoned medical practitioner can help in distinguishing the patient’s condition from one another, and ruling out each diagnosis so that only one is left standing. The process of distinguishing one disease from another—usually that which has the same symptoms—is what is called differential diagnosis. It requires lab tests and visits to specialists to filter out what is the condition that the patient has. Consulting a doctor can help patients better decode what it is that they have.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition where the brain overreacts to pain signals and intensifies the pain in different parts of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia are two separate diseases.
How Is Fibromyalgia Similar To Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It causes musculoskeletal pain that is coupled with physical and mental fatigue. It is more common in women and is chronic in most cases- with periods of remission and exacerbation.
How Is Fibromyalgia Different From Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It doesn’t cause any swelling; however, there are chances of tenderness in specific parts all over the body. It is not a degenerative disease, as it doesn’t cause deformity or erosion of the bone.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that acts as the padding in the joint, wears down over time-over decades. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that erodes over age. Often times, the cartilage degeneration can be triggered by a traumatic injury as well.
How Is Osteoarthritis Similar To Rheumatoid Arthritis?
It is characterized with joint pain that worsens and reduces in pain- comes in fluctuation. The joint feels stiff and there is a loss in the range of motions as well. The affected joint is swollen and is warm and tender to touch.
How Is Osteoarthritis Different From Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Although swelling is a symptom in both, in the case of osteoarthritis the swelling is mild and less severe than in the case of rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is not a systemic autoimmune disease like in the case of rheumatoid arthritis and because of this, it doesn’t come with fever-like symptoms, fever and general fatigue.