When do I seek help

Hi, I have nodules on big toe joints, knife like pains in ankles and my feet feel like painful hot lead bricks in bed at night. I did show my busy GP the nodules when I was seeing him about other things and asked if it was RA. He replied 'yes'. End of discussion. I am 71, maybe he puts it down to aging. I am just about coping using dietary changes, massage and exercise but I am afraid this will get worse. I would appreciate a little or big push if it is necessary. Thank you.

14 Replies

  • I would ask for an app with a rheumatologist. V unprofessional for a GP to behave like that. sorry you had that experience. X

  • Hi AnnaVic,

    If it is RA then usually what happens is that your GP would refer you to a rheumatology consultant at your local hospital. It may be worth going back to your GP ( and perhaps take someone with you ) and just checking that it is RA that he suspects. Generally a GP can suspect RA but the official diagnosis is usually given by the rheumatology consultant. There are very good drugs to treat RA these days. If you would like to talk more about this please feel free to call the helpline on:

    0800 298 7650 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4.30pm

    Hope this helps


    Beverley (NRAS Helpline)

  • Hello you need to seek advice when you suffer pain over an extended period.

    Make that appointment, you need some form of relief. You can purchase NSID Cream over the counter, you rub that into the tender joints.

    You can also take Paracetamol over the short period or NSID medications until your GP decides the best way forward for your condition

    Good Luck


  • that's not satisfactory, but I had similar experience in 1999 when the young GP dismissed it as 'wear and tear', looking at my weight. Now my mother had RA and I went back to see the older partner who knew how to listen and he referred me to the local hospital. It was sero-positive RA and here I am, years on...

    So I'd suggest that you get a second opinion if you're in a group practice.

  • oh yes and its useful to read the NRAS info so you can identify if you have symptoms.

  • Hi, thank you all for your help. Right, its 1,2 3, take a deep breath and make an appointment. I'll try to be less apologetic and make sure he is aware how painful it can be. Will update you on his response. Thanks again.

  • Please do update us AnnaVic. If it is RA then for the best possible outcome you need to be seen by a rheumatology consultant as soon as possible.

    I have put a link to the section on our website about diagnosis and symptoms for you to look at:



  • I think your doctor graduated at the bottom 2% of his class instead of the top 10%...Go find another doctor. You need to find a rheumatologist.

    All the best


  • Hi, thank you. Made me smile. Got an appointment for 29th. A lady this time. Will keep you posted. Cheers.

  • I hope the outcome of your next appointment is better. Like borderreiver said the cream and paracetamol would help if you can take them.

    I know it's hard not to be apologetic when seeing the doctor as we always hear how busy and stressful their job is on the news. But their job is to care for people not make them feel worse.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Big hugs


  • What is your GP thinking of or, more likely, not thinking of?!!

    Go back and ask to be referred to an RD consultant ASP. Did you get blood tests done because that would have been the first step for your GP to do. It is important to be seen soon to prevent progress of the disease. I was 69 yrs when I as diagnosed. There was such a long waiting list for the NHS that I went privately for the initial consultation and then continued with him on the NHS. I am utterly shocked by your GP's inaction.

    Now, ten years later, I am well but, because I was not seen early enough [my fault as I put down symptoms to old age!] I have deformed hands and feet. However, now I am able to walk several miles a day to keep fit mentally and emotionally as well as physically,

    Go for it! xx

  • Thank you all so much for your help and encouragement. It was information on this site that made me realise that early intervention is important. I am doing a lot of reading and will go on 29th armed with information and notes (in case I go brain dead). I WILL ask for a referral. Hoping for a better outcome. Thanks again all. XX

  • Hi, Just a quick update. Have had blood test for ra. Came back normal. Rceptionist says 'no further action needed'. I still have aching feet and sleep for about an hour at a time before discomfort wakes me up. I am using feldene gel and taking kapake for pain or ibuprofen - as little as I can get away with. I dont know now if its my old restless legs becoming painful. But that wouldnt explain nodules on toes or pain in ankles and side of foot. I think I will have test done privately as I cant cope with fighting this every night. 😫

  • Blood test can still come up "normal", and still be RA.

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