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Are there any complications associated with rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can affect more than just the joints, bones, and surrounding muscle. About one-quarter of those with RA develop rheumatoid nodules. These are bumps under the skin that often form close to the joints. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis develop anemia. Other effects, which occur less often, include neck pain and dry eyes and mouth. Very rarely, RA results in inflammation of the blood vessels, the lining of the lungs, or the sac enclosing the heart. If you have RA, you may also be at increased risk for infections and gastrointestinal ailments.

In addition to joint pain and inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis may also bring other complications. For example, joints may dislocate, or range of motion may be severely limited. Rheumatoid arthritis may also affect other parts of the body, including, in rare cases, the blood vessels, the membranes around the heart and lungs, and the lymph nodes. The symptoms of these complications include damage to the nerves, chest pain, and eye irritation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.