Arthritis Action
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new problem

my mother died of rheumatoid arthritis that affected her lungs as well as other parts , i never even knew this was possible . i asked my gp if i could have a test for this condition as i am getting new pains that are completely different to my normal pain plus swelling . he said as this was not affecting my hands and the hands are always the first thing to be affected that it was pointless , is this the

case ? any help would be great . thank you .

8 Replies

Hi David...I would ask Google for any examples of research and then return to G.P. with ?any results....I asked my G.P. about stem cell research for OA and he seemed unaware of the studies...You have to be so proactive now with G.P.s even if you have a supportive G.P. they are so limited sometimes on an appointment that you can feel very unsupported and frustrated that you don't receive the advice/help you need. Good Luck



thanks for that , i was unaware that this form of arthritis always starts in every case in peoples hands . the pain and swelling i had was in my knee and ankle . I shortly will have an appointment with a surgeon and i would expect he will know what he is talking about . grateful for your reply .


Hi David. I've been diagnosed with RA Nov 2014. It is very frusterating when doctors think that RA starts in the hands. The majority of people have it in their hands first.....My ra started in my shoulder (2011)...a year later, It then went to my feet. I saw 4 different doctors and they all kept saying, " frozen shoulder....your shoes are too tight..." Finally one doctor ran a blood test..Low and behold, I have RA. ...I now have it in my hands 4 years after my first shoulder symptom.

My advice to you is to get a 2nd, 3rd, 4th opinion

I wish you well



thank you Sue , i have an appointment with a surgeon shortly i am hopefully going to get a proper answer . i can hardly walk with the pain and given the horrible way my mother died i need an answer sooner rather than latter .

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So sorry to hear about your mother. My Aunt died due to RA complications of the heart.RA in 2012. RA is an awful disease, but it can now be controlled with meds.


until she died none of us knew it could affect internal organs we thought it was just a joint thing . your right it is a nasty evil thing .



Hindsight is a wonderful thing but knowing what I do now I wish I had got my symptoms checked out earlier than I did.

I was having pains in my hands and legs.At first I thought I was doing too much exercise as I was really into mountain biking at the time (2008/9).I also put it down to the aging process and accepted that as I got older parts of my body would start to ache and pain.

Some 2 years after the initial symptoms we were away om holiday and I must have had some sort of flare up,when we got home a few days later my husband practically frogmarched me to the doctors and tests started for RA.It took a while to get it confirmed as RA and that it was quite advanced and very aggressive.It took months and months to get me to a stage where I could almost manage it.

I have been through numerous meds and injections and running out of options (partly due to other conditions but that's another story) and I believe that if I had gone to the docs before I did then I would have been diagnosed at an earlier stage and with aggressive treatment at that point I would be better off now.

Explain your concerns to your GP and as RA is often hereditary,let's hope he will take your worries seriously and perform a simple blood test which can help detect RA.It is not always detected through the blood test sometimes further tests have to be conducted but at least it's a starting point and it may help to put your mind at ease.

If the blood tests are not conclusive seek another medical opinion.If you have RA the sooner it is diagnosed the better.Good luck.

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Ask your GP to refer you to a rheumatologist. A GP is not qualified to diagnose RA or other types of inflammatory arthritis. It does annoy me when they dismiss people like this!


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