Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can cause painful swelling in the joints and sometimes in other parts of the body. While it can affect people in different ways, and progression isn’t the same for everyone, there are four common stages of the condition.
See also: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Four stages of rheumatoid arthritis
While signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis sometimes come and go and can differ from person to person, there are believed to be four stages of the inflammatory disease - each of which has their own treatment.
See also: What is C-Reactive Protein (CRP)?
In the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis, the initial inflammation and swelling of the synovial tissue occurs. According to Mayo Clinic, in the early stage, rheumatoid arthritis affects the smaller joints such as your fingers or toes .
Sometimes referred to as the ‘moderate’ stage, stage 2 sees the inflammation cause damage to the cartilage. Symptoms such as loss of mobility or decreased joint range of motion may become apparent.
In stage 3, the damage the inflammation has caused spreads to the bone itself - making it clear why this stage is seen as ‘severe’. Pain, swelling and deformities may occur.
In the last stage of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation stops and joints may stop working completely. Common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis still apply, these include: pain, stiffness and loss of mobility.
If you’re at risk of a chronic inflammatory disease, it’s important to know more about your CRP levels as CRP is known to increase when inflammation is present in the body. It’s important to remember that CRP elevations are non-specific but can help in identifying an underlying inflammatory disease.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home CRP Test can identify inflammation in the body and can help in indicating your risk of degenerative disorders. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our medical team will be available to answer any questions you may throughout the process.
See also: What Does High CRP Mean?