Arthritis Action

Auto immune arthritis?

Hi I'm new to this forum :)

I was diagnosed with auto immune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's) 3 years ago and struggle to keep my levels within range.

I have now developed severe hand and hip pain/stiffness. Very swollen fingers and knuckle joints. I can't get any rings on my fingers and they look a bit like chipolatas! I have no grip and can't manage opening any jars, bottles, stupid food packaging where you have to pull a tiny flap of plastic etc. Buttons and zips are hard to do up. The pain is constant.

My hips literally seize up if I sit for more than a few minutes (feel a bit like the tin man when I try to get up and walk). Very painful to walk and I am a walker. Until recently I could walk miles with the dogs. Now I can only do short walks and then have to rest.

Finally, I have now got very red,scaly, itchy elbows! This has gradually got worse and spreading.

So after the long pre-amble could I have now developed a form of auto immune arthritis? I've read a lot of articles and this sounds like the one associated with psoriasis possibly?

I have a GP appointment on Monday (waited 11 days for an appointment) and want to know from any others if they have similar symptoms. Are there any tests I should be asking for? My doctor tends to fob me off as regards my Hashi's and I want to be able to discuss with her fully.

Thanks in advance for any advice

Jan

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I have Hashimoto's it's just Thyroid failure and easily treated, your GP willbe able to do a simple blood test for Rhumatoid Antibodies thus your posative but not all people who are posative get the condition and similarly no antibodies but people still get it. Best advice look up the NRAS website and you'll see the RA pathway of treatment. But don't get scared RA is treatable and life is normal for the vast majority of people. It can just take time for the right medication for you to be found.

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Hi thanks for replying. I'm quite an expert now on my under-active thyroid lol 🙂 I don't convert T4 very well so dose is increased. I'm still outside 'normal' range though.

I am sure I will get some answers about the joint symptoms from my GP x

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Meday-lady : sent my mail to the wrong person, so here it is again :

"Hi, just read your post saying don't get scared RA is treatable and life is normal for the vast majority of people. I am so glad to hear that and also kind of sad because I am still not part of this majority. I have RA, tried many medications and no one worked for me. I am always in severe pain and don't see what medication will give me relief. Wish you can tell me how it's treatable and how life can be normal again. Also, still wondering how do we get RA out of nowhere, from one day to another, cannot really figure out. I will appreciate your comments for some hope." Hannah 44

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There are about 6 or 7 different types of drugs, with a couple or more in each group. So all in all, maybe 25 to 30 different ones that could work for you. You don't say which of the groups you've tried, but here's a link to the NRAS guide about the medicines used in RA so you can have a look and maybe discuss with your rheumy which might be suitable for you.

nras.org.uk/data/files/Publ...

(And it's already out of date as doesn't include the JAK inhibitors which I think you've tried without success).

And yes, sadly RA can seem as if it comes out of nowhere. I went from normal to immobile in the space of about a week.

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Hi Hannah

I take LEF and yes for a while side effects but they did go and it put my RA into remission. There is no one size fits all but it can be a combination or just one med that will work for you if you have RA . The thyroid thing is really no big issue its common ( Hashimoto's ) and I really don't want to sound unsypmathatic but am not sure how long your talking about. It took me several medications and a bit of trail and error and patience too so I'm afraid it may just be same for you. As I said look up NRAS website for medication lists. And bear in mind that many people have RA and its usually not posted about in a posative light. It might be a good idea if more people did say that they have RA and like me no pain or swelling at all.

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Hi,

The pain and stiffness certainly sound like they could be Rheumatoid or one of the related auto immune arthritis conditions - though there are no doubt many other conditions which could cause such problems.

When I developed RA many years ago, the two tests that were most relevant were ESR and Rheumatoid Factor. ESR is a measure of general inflammation. When it got up to 70 I felt dreadful. It is now down to 2 or 3 and I am fine. (There is another similar test). As said by someone else, the Rheumatoid Factor test supports an RA diagnosis but is not conclusive one way or another. At the end of the day, a Rheumatologist will go by the overall set of symptoms.

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