Hi, I'm 52 and developed an acute onset attack of RA after having persistent and resistant throat infections last winter. I literally went to bed fine and woke up barely able to move. I could hardly walk for the pain in all my joints and couldn't hold a cup, my hands were so swollen and painful. Long story short, my CRP was dangerously high, my GP ended up putting me on steroids and sent an 'urgent' referral to a rheumatologist. She told me I'd get a phone call from them but as it turned out I was sent an appointment in the post for two weeks later and by the time I got it, the symptoms had more or less completely gone. That was early in the year and since then, whenever I have a cold or other viral condition, my joints get a bit achy and feel a little unstable. However, this week, they're much more painful (although nothing like as bad as the first time) and I don't have any virus that I'm aware of. I'm going to call my GP in the morning as I thought it was getting better but took the dog out a wee while ago and when he pulled on the leash on seeing another dog, could hardly hold him. My hands don't look swollen but feel tight and my ring is tight where it's normally loose. All my other joints are painful too. Anyway, I'm naturally worried that the initial episode was not a 'one off' as the rheumatologist hoped, and wonder what I can do to help minimise or delay the effects of this on my joints. I'm looking into RA diets, etc, but any advice from someone who has experienced something similar would be so welcome. The RA blood test was negative and there is no family history of RA.
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