For those that have pain within the joints, or difficulty in moving their hands and fingers at certain times, this might be an early sign of arthritis symptoms in the hands, which can result in a more severe condition. Depending on the gravity from the discomfort, the regularity and what activates the pain – you will find numerous issues you will want to think about. With particular types of discomfort you need to have them examined immediately, to ensure something minor doesn't transform in to something big. Knowing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in the hands and ensuring the pain or symptoms do not get horrendous, is something that will work as a protective measure, especially when the the issue gets addressed in the beginning.

There are lots of symptoms of arthritis in the hands, that one can feel. Based the kind of arthritis signs and symptoms that you are feeling, and the degree of pain, this can be a sign of something far more serious. Early on, a few of the symptoms that can be experienced include:

– particular joint discomfort (which generally feels dull, or similar to a burning sensation)

– problems with gripping or holding objects (irrespective of how big or small they may be)

– knife-like pains, which tend to take place when you are not doing anything at all, or if the hands are motionless for extended amounts of time;

– inflammation in the joint regions (particularly when it is excessive, this is often due to built up fluids, or possibly breaking down of the cartilage);

– irregularities within the surrounding joints (whether it is a new bulge, or a gap in the joints can begin to show up); and,

– warmth within the hands (regardless of surrounding temperature).

These are typically a few of the most common, early symptoms that one can initially experience. Obviously not everybody is going to experience the same symptoms, but if any, or a series of the above signs and symptoms exist, it's important to have all of them examined right away.

There are of course more serious signs and symptoms which might arise due to arthritis in your hands. Lack of mobility, tension, joints excessively swelling, bulges, rips in the cartilage and numerous other issues. Many of these problems are issues that can happen gradually, particularly when the problems are not dealt with right away. So, upon experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to seek out swift therapy options.

In the event you discover any of the above, go to your physician right away, to make sure issues do not get worse and to ensure your situation doesn't develop into a more serious case. In some situations, these signs and symptoms can grow into rheumatoid arthritis, which may become extremely incapacitating, especially if left untreated. Even if the pain and signs & symptoms appear minimal or trivial, you can by no means be too secure and it is well worth talking to your physician, if you notice a series of those, or perhaps if only certainly one of these persistent signs and symptoms inside your hands.

With arthritis, the symptoms have a tendency to develop over a time period and generally do not just show up in a day. So, if you believe that you might be developing arthritis, keep track of the pain within your joints, any kind of swelling around the knuckles, as well as other possible inflamation harm – these are essential issues to look out for. Other symptoms which certain individuals feel include:

– crepitation (where the joints truly feel as if they are loose or possibly detached);

– big cysts about the fingers (signs of tightness, and prolonged pressure on the joints); and,

– other signs and symptoms of joint inflammation, such as pain, redness or edema.

Some of the above symptoms might be a little less common, but can take place in a number of instances. With many individuals, it is important to be aware for just about any of these. Irrespective of how nominal or modest the discomfort might be, it's prudent to get it checked out immediately. There might be better treatment options when the arthritis is diagnosed early enough, and if the correct therapy methods are utilized right from the beginning.

Having each of these things in mind, along with looking at having treatment as soon as you possibly can, as soon as it's determined to be arthritis, is an important factor. Doing this will hold the discomfort to a minimum over time, and it is going to create far fewer signs and symptoms, if the treatment commences early. Understanding what arthritis symptoms of the hands is, how it starts, and when to have it treated, are some issues which have to always be taken into account by all individuals who feel joint discomfort, or notice edema in their hands and fingers. Doing so will assure that the arthritis does not grow in to a more severe issue.

About the author:

Source: http://www.sooperarticles.com/health-fitness-articles/arthritis-articles/discovering-plus-treating-arthritis-symtoms-hands-early-1039208.html


symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis

23 thoughts on “Symptoms And Signs Of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  1. devi

    Could you please explain when is surgery needed for arthritis. Is surgery needed for rheumatoid arthritis?
    And the symptoms? For instance, when crackling sound is heard on walking up the steps (which goes off on applying oil, but the slight pain is still there on walking upstairs, is it indicative of any signs of possible arthritis
    Crackling sound in the knees..

  2. marijuana

    What is the cause of pyoderma(skin infection) and how can it be treated and cured?

    My 4 yr old has got it on his face.Can it be due to the hot climate or is it contagious and viral. His eyes are also puffy and swollen.I am applying sandalwood paste and washing his face with cold water. Is it due to an upset stomach or is there another reason for it. Is a blood test reqd..
    Am applying nadoxin too.Pls help.

  3. jewel27410

    What causes warts and what is the best remedy to get rid of them?
    How do I stop my Exotic Persian male cat from antagonizing my petite female Bengal cat? He even tries to prevent her from eating!

    What exactly is Sjorgen Syndrome and what is the best remedy that can alleviate the symptoms? Does it ever go away?

    1. Marianne not Ginger™

      Three questions in one? lol all for the price of two points! Ok ……here goes:

      1) Warts are viral. Since they are a virus you have to kill it. Wart pads are easy. They look like little band aids (clear so you don’t even see that you are wearing one) with a medicated pad in the center. You keep them on 48 hours in a row. Then reapply. It literally will allow the wart to pop off. Scared the beejeezus out of my daughter when she was 6 and had the wart pop off and left a little hole in her finger……but it soon healed up and the wart never returned.

      Cats are territorial. I’m not sure you can stop him from antagonizing her other than removing him from a certain area. Let the female roam while the male must remain locked up in a certain room or wing of the house. After a lengthy period, he can be allowed back in, but may not feel he is king of this territory anymore. (worth a shot)

      3) Sjogren’s syndrome classically features a combination of dry eyes, dry mouth, and another disease of the connective tissues, most commonly rheumatoid arthritis.

      Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disease, characterized by the abnormal production of extra antibodies in the blood that are directed against various tissues of the body. This particular autoimmune illness is caused by inflammation in the glands of the body. Inflammation of the glands that produce tears (lacrimal glands) leads to decreased water production for tears and eye dryness. Inflammation of the glands that produce the saliva in the mouth (salivary glands, including the parotid glands) leads to mouth dryness.

      The treatment of patients with Sjogren’s syndrome is directed toward the particular areas of the body that are involved and complications, such as infection. There is no cure for Sjogren’s syndrome.

      Dryness of the eyes can be helped by artificial tears, eye lubricant ointments at night, and minimizing the use of hair dryers. When dryness becomes more significant, the ophthalmologist can plug the tear duct closed so that tears cover the eye longer. Cyclosporin eyedrops (Restasis) are recently approved medicated drops that can reduce the inflammation of the tear glands improving their function. Signs of eye infection (conjunctivitis), such as pus or excessive redness or pain, should be evaluated by the doctor.

      The dry mouth can be helped by drinking plenty of fluids, humidifying air, and good dental care to avoid dental decay. The glands can be stimulated to produce saliva by sucking on sugarless lemon drops or glycerin swabs. Additional treatment for the symptom of dry mouth are prescription medications that are saliva stimulants, such as pilocarpine (Salagen) and cevimeline (Evoxac). These medications should be avoided by persons with certain heart diseases, asthma or glaucoma. Artificial saliva preparations can ease many of the problems associated with dry mouth. Many of these types of agents are available as over-the-counter products including toothpaste, gum, and mouthwash (Biotene). Vitamin E oil has been used with some success. Infections of the mouth and teeth should be addressed as early as possible in order to avoid more severe complications. Diligent dental care is very important.

  4. Thomas N

    What is Polymyalgia Rheumatico and how is it treated? What are the symptoms?
    I am interested in the disease condition called polymyalgia Rheumatica, what are the signs and symptoms and how the condition is treated. Where is the pain located? – back, legs, arms, neck, where? How long does this condition usually last? Is exertion and/or exercise good or bad when one has this condition?

    1. belgianlady

      Like most people, you’ve probably experienced stiff and sore muscles occasionally — maybe after a strenuous hike or a weekend of yardwork. Now imagine feeling that way all of the time. That’s what it’s like to live with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR), an inflammatory disorder that causes widespread muscle aching and stiffness, primarily in your neck, shoulders, upper arms, thighs and hips.

      Although some people develop these symptoms gradually, polymyalgia rheumatica can literally appear overnight. People with polymyalgia rheumatica may go to bed feeling fine, only to awaken with stiffness and pain the next morning.

      Just what triggers polymyalgia rheumatica isn’t known, but the cause may be a problem with the immune system, perhaps involving both genetic and environmental factors. Aging also appears to play a role — polymyalgia rheumatica almost always develops in people age 50 and older.

      Polymyalgia rheumatica usually goes away on its own in a year or two — often as mysteriously as it came. But you don’t have to endure the pain and disabling effects of polymyalgia rheumatica for months or years. Medications and self-care measures can improve your symptoms.

      Signs and symptoms
      Polymyalgia rheumatica causes moderate to severe aching and stiffness in the muscles in your hips, thighs, shoulders, upper arms and neck. Initially, you may have pain on just one side of your body, but as the disease progresses, symptoms are likely to occur on both sides.

      Stiffness is usually worse in the morning or after sitting or lying down for long periods. At times, the discomfort also may be severe enough to wake you at night.

      The aching and stiffness of polymyalgia rheumatica often occur suddenly, but sometimes may develop gradually. Polymyalgia rheumatica can cause other signs and symptoms including:

      Fatigue
      Unintentional weight loss
      Weakness or a general feeling of being unwell
      Sometimes, a slight fever
      Anemia (low red blood cell count)
      In the United States, approximately 15 percent of people with polymyalgia rheumatica have a related condition called giant cell arteritis, which causes the arteries in your temples and sometimes in your neck and arms to become swollen and inflamed.

      Causes
      Polymyalgia rheumatica is an arthritic syndrome that causes your muscles to feel achy and stiff due to mild inflammation in your joints and surrounding tissues. Most of the inflammation occurs in the hip and shoulder joints, but it may develop elsewhere in your body as well. In general, the inflammation isn’t as severe as that in inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

      In polymyalgia rheumatica, inflammation occurs when white blood cells — which normally protect your body from invading viruses and bacteria — attack the lining of your joints (synovium). Researchers aren’t sure what causes this abnormal immune system response, but they suspect that as with many disorders, both genetic and environmental factors are involved.

      There may be a link between polymyalgia rheumatica and certain viruses, such as adenovirus, which causes respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to pneumonia; human parvovirus B19, the source of an infection that primarily affects children; and human parainfluenza virus
      Risk factors
      Although the exact causes of polymyalgia rheumatica are unknown, certain factors may increase your risk of developing the disease, including:

      Age. Polymyalgia rheumatica affects older adults almost exclusively — the average age at onset of the disease is 70.
      Sex. Women are two times as likely to develop the condition as men are.
      Race. Although polymyalgia rheumatica can affect people of any race, the vast majority are white. People of Northern European and Scandinavian origin are particularly at risk.
      Giant cell arteritis. Also at risk are people with giant cell arteritis, a condition that causes arteries in your temples or sometimes other parts of your body to become swollen and inflamed. As many as half of people with giant cell arteritis also have polymyalgia rheumatica.
      When to seek medical advice
      See your doctor if you suspect you have polymyalgia rheumatica. Some people delay getting medical care because they think it’s normal to have aching and stiffness as they grow older. But persistent pain is never normal. And because doctors can successfully treat polymyalgia rheumatica, you can be spared months or even years of unnecessary discomfort and disability.

      Screening and diagnosis
      The signs and symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica are similar to those of a number of other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and polymyositis — a disease that causes muscle inflammation and weakness. For that reason, your doctor will diagnose polymyalgia rheumatica only after ruling out other possible causes for your pain and stiffness.

      To aid in the diagnosis, your doctor will interview you about your medical history and current symptoms and conduct a thorough physical exam. You’re also likely to have one or more tests, including:

      Sed rate. If your doctor suspects polymyalgia rheumatica, he or she will order a blood test that checks your erythrocyte sedimentation rate, commonly known as the sed rate. This test measures how quickly your red blood cells settle when placed in a test tube. Generally, the blood cells fall faster — that is, the sed rate increases — when inflammation is present. But because many conditions can cause inflammation in your body, including infections and chronic diseases, such as arthritis and other rheumatic disorders, an elevated sed rate alone can’t confirm the presence of polymyalgia rheumatica.
      Rheumatoid factor (RF). RF is an antibody — a protein made by the immune system — that’s often present in the blood of people with rheumatoid arthritis, but not in the blood of people with polymyalgia rheumatica. For that reason, this test can help your doctor distinguish between the two conditions.
      Other blood tests. Your doctor may also check the number of red blood cells and platelets (thrombocytes) in your blood. Platelets are colorless blood cells that help stop blood loss when you’re injured. Most people with polymyalgia rheumatica have an unusually high number of these cells (thrombocytosis). On the other hand, many people with polymyalgia rheumatica have a lower number of red blood cells than normal and are often anemic.

      You may also have a simple and inexpensive blood test that checks levels of C-reactive protein in your blood. The protein is produced by your liver as part of a normal immune system response to injury or infection. Among other things, high blood levels of C-reactive protein may indicate the presence of inflammation.

      Checking for giant cell arteritis
      If you receive a diagnosis of polymyalgia rheumatica, your doctor will check for a related condition called giant cell arteritis, which occurs in some people with polymyalgia rheumatica. Signs and symptoms such as new headaches, a tender scalp and pain when you chew, along with the results of a sed rate test can help determine whether you have this disorder.

      The only way to confirm a diagnosis of giant cell arteritis is by taking a small sample (biopsy) from the scalp artery in your temple (temporal artery). The sample is then examined under a microscope in a laboratory. Because polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis are both treated with corticosteroids, your doctor may simply suggest beginning treatment, rather than perform a biopsy.

      Complications
      The most serious complication of polymyalgia rheumatica is giant cell arteritis. The exact relationship between the two conditions isn’t clear, but up to 15 percent of people with polymyalgia rheumatica also develop giant cell arteritis and nearly half of those with giant cell arteritis have polymyalgia rheumatica.

      Giant cell arteritis causes the lining of arteries to become inflamed and swollen. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Although giant cell arteritis can affect the arteries in your neck, upper body and arms, it occurs most often in the scalp arteries in your temples. Untreated, giant cell arteritis may lead to vision loss, a stroke or an aortic aneurysm, a potentially life-threatening bulge in the large artery that runs down the center of your chest and abdomen.

      Polymyalgia rheumatica itself causes few other serious problems, but the corticosteroid drugs used to treat the disease can cause a number of serious side effects, such as weight gain, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, high blood sugar levels and cataracts.
      Treatment
      Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) can be effective in treating mild symptoms of polymyalgia rheumatica, although long-term use can cause stomach and intestinal bleeding, fluid retention, high blood pressure, renal insufficiency, worsening congestive heart failure, liver function test abnormalities, and possible cognitive changes.

      Corticosteroids
      For more severe cases, the usual treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica is a low, daily dose of an oral corticosteroid drug such as prednisone. Relief should be almost immediate. If you’re not feeling better in a few days, it’s likely you don’t have polymyalgia rheumatica. In fact, your response to medication is one way your doctor may confirm the diagnosis.

      After the first month, when your sed rate and platelet count have normalized, and any anemia is improved, your doctor will gradually start lowering the amount of cortisone you take until you reach the lowest possible dosage needed to control inflammation. Some of your symptoms may return during this tapering-off period.

      The amount of time on medication varies from person to person. Most people are able to discontinue steroids within two years. Don’t stop taking this medication on your own, however. Because corticosteroids suppress your body’s natural production of cortisone, stopping suddenly can make you very ill.

      At the same time, taking steroids, even in low doses, for long periods can lead to a number of side effects. This is especially true for older adults — those most likely to be treated for polymyalgia rheumatica. That’s because they’re more prone to develop certain conditions that also may be caused by corticosteroids, such as:

      Osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become so weak and brittle that even slight movements such as bending over, lifting a vacuum cleaner or coughing can cause a fracture. Older women are most at risk of osteoporosis, and taking steroid medications increases the risk. For this reason, your doctor is likely to monitor your bone density and may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements or other medications to help prevent bone loss.
      High blood pressure (hypertension). Long-term corticosteroid use can also raise blood pressure. For that reason, your doctor is likely to monitor your blood pressure and may recommend an exercise program, diet changes and sometimes medication to keep blood pressure within a normal range.
      Cataracts. Cortisone increases your risk of cataracts, a condition that causes the lens of the eye to become cloudy, impairing vision.
      Other possible side effects of cortisone therapy include weight gain, decreased immune system function — making you more prone to infections — muscle weakness and high blood sugar levels, which may increase your risk of diabetes or worsen diabetes you already have.

      Because of these risks, researchers are investigating other medications to treat polymyalgia rheumatica. Researchers have reported some success with a combination of the drug methotrexate and corticosteroids. People on this combination were able to stop taking steroids sooner.

      Self-care
      Once you start taking medication for polymyalgia rheumatica, your pain and stiffness should greatly improve. But the suggestions below also can help:

      Exercise regularly. Exercise can reduce the pain of polymyalgia rheumatica and improve your overall sense of well-being. It can also help prevent weight gain, a common side effect of taking corticosteroids. Emphasize low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking and riding a stationary bicycle. Moderate stretching also is important for keeping your muscles and joints flexible.

      If you’re not used to exercising, start out slowly and build up gradually, aiming for at least 30 minutes on most days. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program that’s right for you.

      Eat a healthy diet. Eating well can help prevent potential problems such as thinning bones, high blood pressure and diabetes. Good nutrition can also support your immune system. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats and fish, while limiting salt, sugar and alcohol.

      Get adequate amounts of bone-building nutrients — calcium and vitamin D. If you find it hard to get calcium from your diet because you can’t eat dairy products, for example, try calcium supplements.

      Pace yourself. Try to alternate strenuous or repetitive tasks with easier ones to prevent straining painful muscles. Use luggage and grocery carts, reaching aids, and shower grab bars to help make daily tasks easier.

  5. JB

    Im worried about taking Lidoderm, do I have a reason to be?
    about 6 or 7 years ago, my step mom Stacey (RIP) was on fentanyl for her rheumatoid arthritis, she passed because the patch was faulty and sent too much into her system at once.

    I recently really messed up my back at work, after several sessions and no help my doctor gave me Lidoderm patches, 30 total. He wants me to wear one for 12 hours then go 12 without. Should I be worried or scared at all?

    1. Pangolin

      Nope. Fentanyl depresses breathing; lidocaine does not.

      You should be told what the warning signs of lidocaine toxicity are, and if you get any of the early symptoms, remove the patch. (Numbess/tingling around the mouth, ringing in the ears, lightheadedness)

      I hope the patches help your back. Back pain can be very difficult to treat. If he patches don’t help, consider seeing a pain management specialist.

  6. ronnie

    is rheumatic athritis a dangerous kind of arthritis? is it deadly can it be cured?and what are the symtoms ?
    my son is suffering from arthritis though the doctors cant tell wat kind of arthritis it is yet. i want to know wat is the dangerous kind of arthritis , my son is 19 yrs old. my son had series of blood test urine etc. but we havent got the results yet.

  7. Billy boop

    Is it ok to use a tens machine when having rheumatoid arthritis?
    The box says: “Not to be used if you have inflammation”

    But a boots specialist said it was ok to use but there are to types

  8. Lina M

    Looking for naturopaths who could treat psoriatic arthritis in Sacramento without Enbrel?
    My young son is on Enbrel for arthritis. His uncle had psoriatic arthritis also and had been on Enbrel for 3 years, then had cancer 3 months ago. He died last week from it. His doctors thought Enbrel caused the cancer. We’re looking for doctors to give alternative treatment without Enbrel.

  9. Middy S

    Anyone here who has ARTHRITIS OF THE SPINE?
    I am fairly young (30ish) and was diagnosed after a full spinal MRI and I am suffering with this alot, and it just appeared out of nowhere in the last year or so.

    Anyone else have this specific type, and are there any good webpages that deal with this form of Arthritis?

    Thanks.

  10. silky1

    Any 1 with rheumatoid arthritis use Arava for symptoms?
    I just started the drug and need to know if there is anyone who can give me some insight on the drug. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Is the liver damage a potential risk worth not taking the drug for?

    1. fairyglitter478

      I do not take Arava but I can give you some insight on the drug. It stops the structural damage caused by arthritis. It is metabolized via the GI tract and liver; excreted through the kidneys and liver. When taking Arava, arthritic improvement may take longer than 8 weeks. You should not take it if you have a history of liver or kidney impairments. Your doctor will prescribe the correct dosage according to your history (whether or not you have liver or kidney impairment).

      However, the Arthritis Advisory Committee concluded differently by a unanimous vote (12-0) on March 5, 2003, stating that the benefits of Arava outweigh its risks. The Arthritis Advisory Committee also voted that effectiveness data supports Aventis’ latest claim that Arava improves physical function in rheumatoid arthritis patients, in addition to its current indication for relieving the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and retarding structural damage. Aventis is the maker of Arava.

      78% (101 patients) were treated with other hepatotoxic medications (medications potentially toxic to the liver) along with Arava

    1. Dr. Mojo M

      Hi,
      The symptom of pain, swelling, or stiffness with limitation of joint movement is called arthritis. In certain serious types of arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) the stiffness and limitation of joint movement is especially worse for prolonged periods in the mornings. Occasionally, the symptoms may be acute with red, hot swollen joints. In chronic cases the joints may become deformed. The term arthritis, therefore, is non specific. By itself it does not refer to any specific disease. It simply denotes the symptom of some joint disease.

      Only further analysis of symptoms, careful examination of the joints and a few relevant investigations may reveal the actual disease that may be the cause of the joint symptoms. The speciality dealing with arthritis and related diseases is called rheumatology. The physicians specialising in this field of medicine are called rheumatologists. In patients with arthritis of long-standing and who are unfortunate not to have been seen and treated by trained and experienced rheumatologists, the joints may get damaged and their structure completely disorganised and destroyed. In such situations the only way out is to get the joints replaced with artificial joints the so-called joint transplantation. This is done by surgeons called Orthopaedic surgeons. It is to be noted that orthopaedic surgeons specialise in surgery but not in making the diagnosis of different types of joint disease. The job of making a diagnosis by taking a proper history, carrying out accurate physical examination of the musculoskeletal system including(often called locomotor system – see below) joints, and ordering relevant investigations with their proper interpretation is done by a trained rheumatologist only.

      Feel Free To Contact

      Dr.Mojo

    1. a2gal

      in both conditions, patients present with joint pain due to inflammation; however, osteoarthritis pain is not as bad in the morning and get worse as the day progresses. RA pain is worst in the morning and improves as the patient’s joints are used throughout the day.

  11. <3 lkb4jsd <3

    What should I know and expect before my first Remicade infusion Friday?
    I have Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was born with it and diagnosed @ 18 months of age.

    1. Em

      Remicade Infusion

      Remicade (Infliximab) is a drug used for the treatment of Crohn’s disease and rheumatiod arthritis.

      How to prepare for the infusion

      * The infusion takes two to three hours
      * Dress comfortably
      * Confirm that you have had a TB test within a year or since any travel outside of the United States or high risk areas.
      * Please bring reading or other quiet activities for your comfort.

      What to expect once you arrive for your infusion

      * An accurate weight will be obtained to calculate a correct dose
      * Your vital signs will be monitored frequently in case of a reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include: hives, difficulty breathing, high or low blood pressure.
      * An intravenous line will be inserted.

      Note: Preparation of the drug occurs once pharmacy has confirmed that the patient is present and a accurate weight is obtained. This may result in a slight delay.

  12. roxy

    What are the symptoms of a staph infection?
    What kind of symptoms do you get? How painful is the site of the infection? How does staph look?
    A Staphylococcus Aureus or staph infection?

    1. Jayaraman

      Like many healthy people, you probably have some Staphylococcus aureus bacteria — usually simply called staph — on your skin or in your nose or throat. Most of the time, the bacteria cause no problems or relatively minor skin infections. But staph infections can turn deadly if the bacteria burrow deeper into your body, invading your bloodstream, urinary tract, lungs and heart.

      Staph infections can range from minor skin problems to food poisoning, fatal pneumonia, surgical wound infections and endocarditis, a life-threatening inflammation of your heart lining. As a result, signs and symptoms of staph infections vary widely, depending on the location and severity of the infection and on whether your illness results from direct infection with staph bacteria or from toxins the bacteria produce.

      * Skin infections. Staph bacteria cause most skin infections, including boils; cellulitis, a potentially life-threatening infection that leaves skin inflamed and tender; impetigo, a rash common in young children and infants; and scalded skin syndrome, a serious, blistering condition that mainly affects newborns. Though each condition has specific features, most begin with skin redness, swelling, warmth, tenderness and sometimes fever. Some staph infections are localized; others can cover your entire body.
      * Food poisoning. Signs and symptoms of staph-related food poisoning usually come on quickly — as soon as one to six hours after eating contaminated food. They include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The illness often leaves just as suddenly as it came, and most people recover in a day or two, though the effects can be more serious and longer lasting in children and older adults.
      * Toxic shock syndrome. This life-threatening condition, which has been linked to the use of certain types of tampons and less often, to skin wounds and surgery, usually develops suddenly, with a high fever, nausea and vomiting, a rash on your palms and soles that resembles sunburn, confusion, muscle aches, seizures and headache.
      * Septic arthritis. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis, which may result from an overzealous immune system, or osteoarthritis, which develops after years of wear and tear on joints, septic arthritis is often caused by a staph infection. The bacteria usually target the knees, but other joints can be affected, including your ankle, hip, wrist, elbow and shoulder. You’re likely to have swelling and severe pain in the affected joint, along with fever and shaking chills.
      *

      Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the 1970s, a particularly dangerous and drug-resistant form of staph infection called MRSA appeared in hospitals. It was one of the first bacteria to outwit common antibiotics. MRSA infections often begin as a superficial skin problem that resembles a pimple or spider bite, but which can quickly turn into a deep, painful abscess that requires surgical draining. Infections in surgical wounds cause pain, redness, swelling and sometimes draining pus.

      If the bacteria spread deeper into your body, they can cause fatal infections in your bloodstream, bones, heart lining or lungs. The symptoms vary, depending on which part of your body is affected, but most infections are accompanied by fever, chills and sweats.
      * Community-associated methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. (CA-MRSA). Once confined to hospitals, a new kind of MRSA is now increasingly common in the general community. Called CA-MRSA, some community-acquired strains cause skin infections or a deadly pneumonia. Signs and symptoms, which are similar to those of other types of pneumonia, include cough, shortness of breath and chest pain, but the bacteria also cause massive inflammation and destruction of lung tissue.-

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