RA or Fibromyalgia ?

Hi all...2 years ago I was diagnosed with RA even thou my blood tests were all negative but doc said that hands and feet X-ray shown some deformities typical for RA...I was taking prednisolone and methotrexate but had to stop because of liver problems.. they were not helping at all anyway...I have difficulty swallowing food or drink...have chronic headache.. can't lift my left arm because my shoulder hurts..I can't sleep because of severe pain in my arm and also burning pain in three fingers..I can't walk for long because my muscles are weak and sore and I feel extremely tired all the time and to be honest i feel more pain in my muscles and ligaments than in my joints so after reading about RA and Fibromyalgia I think my symptoms are more of fibro than RA..does anyone have these symptoms ?

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  • A significant number of rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have fibromyalgia as well, so it's quite likely that you do.

    I have both fibro and rheumatoid, and I manage reasonably well most of the time, tho' I lose a few days when I get flare-ups!

    The main thing is to get the right 'cocktail' of medication to suit YOU - it varies so much from person to person.

    As you have been unable to cope with the prednisolone and methotrexate, you need to go see your rheumatologist ( or get a referral to one) so that you can be started on other disease-modifying drugs which may suit you better.

    Whatever the cause of your severe problems, please don't suffer in silence. There is usually a way of improving even the worst symptoms with a bit of persistence, so insist that your doctor takes some action to help you with your pain.

    Write a list of your problems and take it with you when you see any doctor - it pays to be businesslike about it, as doctors tend to switch off if you just moan. I know it sounds like I'm being hard, but doctors have human failings too, and believe me they will take more notice of a patient with a concise list of complaints, rather than one who just says "Oh. I feel terrible and I hurt all over!"

    I do hope you manage to find some help - keep persisting until you do - and don't worry about 'bothering' your doctors, as they actually get paid rather well to be bothered!

    Very best wishes and hugs ... Moffy x

  • Hi you may have secondary fibro which really just means that it comes after having another illness such as r.a ,you will only know for sure if you ask to be referred to a rhumey department of your local hospital who will give you a full body exam and then their opinion upon the findings.I have o.a and fibro which is classed as secondary due to having o.a first.Hope this helps x

  • I was diagnosed with RA in 1998 and took medication all this time until last year when I saw a new Rheumatologist who said she thought my RA had burned itself out and that I now had Fybro, she said keep taking the painkillers and gave me antidepressants and discharged me!!! I get more pain now than I ever I had with RA, but there's nothing they can really do about it, it seems you have to learn to live with fybro and keep smiling :-)

  • HI,

    I suffer from every single symptom you have mentioned and have been diagnosed with FM for just over a yr now, be persistant with your docs and tell them what you want or need. I will say though I'm on a cocktail of 28 tablets a day to try and manage FM, depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the majority of the tablets are pain management, however I'm still in horrid pain everyday!!!! I'm unable to work and the fatigue is unbearable.

    Go back to your GP and ask for another referral (maybe to a different RA consultant) and ask for more pain relief. xx

  • Hi I have had fibro for many years ... 4 years ago I was diagnosed with RA as my foot swelled horribly for no apparent reason and I was in agony ended up in a wheelchair for 3 months... Was given methotrexate . It nearly killed me I have never had a tablet reaction like it... Turns out it wasn't RA eventually it was put down to fibro and osteo arthritis which I have in my knees and hands... Every blood test I had for RA came back neg too. I had my lovely dr then and he sent me for a second opinion with another rheumatolgist where I got what seems to be the correct diagnosis.. Good luck and if you have a good gp see them and ask for another opinion

  • This sounds so very familier,I too was diagnosed with RA and put on Methotrexate and Prednisalone even tho I didnt have the Rheumatoid factor,I eventually took myself off the Methotrexate,it wasnt doing anything for me,apart from making me loose my hair although I will still have an occassional course of Prednisalone which suits me when flare up is too much The pain I have is in my ligaments and muscles not my joints,my shoulder problems for which I have undergone two decompressions was due to impingement in the shoulder joint (please see you GP) because NOT every ache/pain is down to Fibro I am pleased to say the decompression sorted that problem out, any burning /stinging/stabbing like pain is more than likely due to nerve pain and that could be linked to your shoulder pain. I do hope you get it sorted out, sometimes you really do have to be dogmatic and resolute, polite and very persistent when you see the Doctors. You know your own body write it down,bullet point it whatever, however but dont put up with it.

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