In the UK, more than 10 million people have arthritis or similar conditions. There are many types of arthritis with the two most common kinds being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can develop gradually but also come on quickly. Here’s one sign affecting your lungs, causing you to cough.
Apart from joints, rheumatoid arthritis is also linked to lung problems, reports the Mayo Clinic.
There are two lung problems connected to arthritis that can lead to cough, small airway obstruction and lung scarring.
Small airway obstruction occurs when chronic inflammation and infection affects the walls of the lungs, causing them to become thickened, inflamed, or injured.
This obstruction can cause a chronic dry cough, mucus build-up, shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness.
READ MORE: Diabetes: Two signs when you go to the toilet you have high blood sugar – symptoms
Another lung problem linked to arthritis leading to cough is scarring within the lungs, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Scarring caused by long-term inflammation can lead to a chronic dry cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.
If you experience any breathing problems as a rheumatoid arthritis patient, you should contact your doctor promptly, the health forum advises.
In some cases, rheumatoid arthritis treatment can include medicine for suppressing the immune system or even removing fluid surrounding your lungs.
Cough-causing symptoms are only some signs of the joint condition.
Some of the more common symptoms affecting joints include:
- Swelling, warmth and redness.
Apart from joint issues, some people also experience general signs ranging from tiredness and fever to sweating and poor appetite, according to the NHS.
Even though there’s no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, there are a variety of treatments available.
The treatments focus on reducing inflammation in the joints, relieving pain, preventing joint damage and tackling other issues.
Treatments can vary from taking medicine and surgery to lifestyle changes.
Early treatment can lower your risk of joint damage and limit the impact of the condition on your overall life quality, the NHS states.