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Signs & Symptoms Rheumatology

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Signs and Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis commonly affects joints in the hands and feet, but larger joints such as hips, knees and elbows also may be involved. The disease affects joints symmetrically, which means that if one hand is affected, the other also will be affected.

Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Swelling and pain in the joints
  • Difficulty moving
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Decreased energy
  • Lumps, called rheumatoid nodules, under the skin in areas subject to pressure, such as the elbows

The severity and range of symptoms may differ for each person. In addition, symptoms can affect other parts of the body in addition to the joints.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.