Possible RA

Hello everyone.

I'm waiting on my first rheumy appointment so I have not had my diagnosis yet.

My (several different ) GPs have all said that it could be RA hence my referral tof the rheumatologist . Here's the thing I'm only 29. I had 2 esr bloodtest 6 weeks apart, the first was 10 and the second 15.....what does this mean for me? at my age? as iv read some posts that esr can be a dodgy subject.

Iv been riddled with pain for 3 months in my lower body, my left leg is very bad with pain and stiffness and I have been walking with a crutch all these months, I feel like a prisoner in my own home as I can't get about and I don't drive, I also have bipolar (7 years) so am now trying to manage the 2 things together. I'm so depressed. and the tramadol they have given me is horrible and makes me badly constipated. just need to get things sorted but really can't see anything positive coming of this.

Thank x

11 Replies

  • Hi Carrieann87,

    I am very sorry to welcome you here. RA pain is bilateral, it happens on both side of the hands, legs, shoulders and so on. Learn more from the 2 very informative videos below to help answer your questions. They did answer most of my questions and cleared my doubt to fight on.


    I started with ESR 98 and CRP 177.6, they are both swelling indicators. Yours are very low hence you may be in a better positive than me in the recovery process. You need to stay positive, you can live a normal life again. Have a look at my recovery process, I hope it will give your some light ahead.


    Also, you need to do your daily exercise to ensure your joints are mobile and your muscle is strong. I know it is very painful to keep exercising at the peak of one suffering, but you can always start something simple. Have a look at what exercises that I did during the peak of my suffering, I believe it can give you a good idea to do something on your own.


    Do not despair, do not give up. Give yourself a year, you will have a normal life again. It is very painful, I know it through experience. But I am having my very normal self back after 1 1/2 years of treatment and I am in remission now.

  • Thank you Amy. I have it in both sides I just seem to have it a bit worse in the left. I will look at your links now. really appreciate it thanks x

  • Watch the videos, they are very very informative and good. Let me know how you feel after you watch them. Share your feeling if you need to .

  • Hi Amy


  • Wow!! are you Chinese? 你好!很新奇见到这里有人用华文书写。

  • 是的,我是华人。我看到你的名字就猜你也是华人。很高兴认识你!

  • Hi Amy_Lee great to hear you're in remission. What RA drugs are you on and how long did it take to feel normal again?

  • Hi Barb66,

    I started with mtx and prednisolone, of course other pain killers. I stopped prednisolone after about 5 months. My rheumy said she wanted me to speed up my recovery hence added leflunomide after a year of treatment. I am still taking mtx and leflunomide until today. But mtx has been reduced from 20 mg to 12.5 mg now.

    About 10 months after the treatment, I was quite independent already but still felt a bit of the pain but very very much lesser and I could start to do some yoga exercise then. About a year after the treatment, I could squat a little but not entirely could sit on the floor yet. About 15 months after the treatment, I could squat and sit down on the floor well. I continue felt the improvement each day.

    I could walk quite well, I mean my ankles and knees could balance my body quite well after about 10 months of treatment. A milestone improvement after my 8 days trip to Japan. I walked a lot in Japan because we went backpack. I still could not squat low and could not sit on the floor yet when I went for my trip. After I came back, rested for about a week, I started to feel my ankles and knees had great sense of balancing my body. Another week later I could squat and sit on the floor already. Therefore I strongly believe walking is great for RA patients.

    My rheumy declared my remission after 1 1/2 years treatment when my ESR and CRP continuously very low for many months. I keep a very details blood work record since day one. I also keep a details record on my medication and the food I eat. I find this is very important for me to monitor my own progress and for me to raise questions during my visit to my rheumy.

  • Hello there.

    I also have bipolar disorder. I became so stiff I couldn't even roll over in bed. I made the decision to stop my bipolar meds as I thought this might be the cause of my problems. Quitting was hell!

    However, my inflammation markers went up to 78 (not high compared to some) but I felt terrible. I was diagnosed with seronegative arthritis (psoriatic arthritis).

    I am better since steroid depot, but the dmard I took sent me a bit nuts. I think BP folks need to be a bit careful of steroids and certain dmards.

    You will feel better soon. Make sure you eat right and exercise as much as is comfortable.

    It's good you have been referred. It will take time to get answers, so be prepared to wait. It is possible to manage both issues. Good luck.

  • I also have bipolar and when I'm in lots of pain, it really affects my mood (low). My pain is not always bilateral. Good luck x

  • Thank you everyone. it is such a relief to know that there are other ppl out there in the same situation as me. I have severe and complicated form of bipolar. this last 3 months of pain has cause a very big depressive episode, thoughts of self harm and suicide. it's very difficult. I have everything riding on my first rheumatologist appointment. my mental health team are disscust that it has taken this long for an appointment when myou symptoms are so acute. still I know there is a way up with this, I have hope lol x

You may also like...