Feeling low - Recently Diagnosed (RA)

For the last few months I've been suffering from heartburn and nausea, so was put on medication (lansoprazole). Last month my joints (fingers, wrist, knees, foot) stated to ache with serve pain. I thought it was the side effects caused by a mixture of my gym workouts and lansoprazole - so I stopped taking this and stopped going to the gym. However, my joint pain worsen.

After a blood test, I was diagnosed as having RA.

My GP has put me on a waiting list to see a specialist. Meanwhile, I have been prescribed Naproxen. However, I am scared to take this as the side effects looks severe.

Been a nervous wreck as my life has changed. Before, I was active and outgoing. However, the joint pain has left me with anxiety and panic attacks as I struggle with things I once took for granted. Even stepping off a train onto a platform is a mission.

Life has changed...and at a low place right now...

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34 Replies

  • Please take the drugs the dr has given you as they will help you darling.xxxx

  • I hope they do...many thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

  • Hi sunnydown

    So sorry to hear about your struggle. There are others here, myself included, who led busy, physically active lives until RA struck.

    You say you have not yet seen a specialist? So your GP has done blood tests for RF, CRP etc and suspects RA.

    There are other possibilities. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

    Meantime, as you wait to get a clearer picture, it might help to read some of the information on NRAS. And if you feel brave enough, do your own searches.

    Wishing you well,


  • Thanks for the kind words Angela.

    I did my blood test last week and this morning was called into my GP who says the blood results and symptoms indicate I have RA. My GP said he will refer me to a specialist. Meanwhile, to deal with the pain (so that I can go to work and pay my bills) he has prescribed me Naproxen.

    My other worry is that my previous health issues (nausea) hasn't been resolved. So taking more medication concerns me. Completely lost and scared :(

  • Not an easy time!

    Re diagnosis; it is a lengthy process in the UK, where you should be urgently referred by your GP.

    Diagnosis is not confirmed until further blood tests are done along with foot and lung x-rays.

    The specialist rheumatologist orders these and then makes the diagnosis.

    So, although Naproxen is suitable for RA, and I hope it helps meantime, diagnosis is not yet certain.

    Hope that helps. :-)

  • Dear, do not scare about the side effects, your doctor will monitor your condition for you. I was a very active and lively person too before I was diagnosed of RA. I almost decided to end my life as I could no longer handle the pain. Today, I am back to my normal life and I am glad that I fought back instead of withdrew myself from the people around me.

    Below links for you to understand how I came to this stage and I hope they can inspire you to move on positively.






    There are some very good videos that I posted, you may go to my site to check on them if needed.


  • It is great to see you've returned back to a normal life. I hope I get to that stage. Your links proves that a person can overcome RA.

    Right now, I am still at that stage questioning why & how I got this. I know this will never be answered...but just human nature to ask such questions.

  • You are right. I was at the same situation too. However, life has to go on and I chose not to move on the miserable way. Therefore I fought back and worked very closely with my rheumy and physiotherapists.

    You are not alone, trust me. I can do it, you can do it too. However, you need to see a rheumy to know your situation.


  • My GP has referred me to a rheumy. Just waiting for an appointment. Hope the waiting list isn't too long.

  • Early treatment, golden period of the first 6 months will have a better chance into remission easier.

  • Hiya sunnydown, welcome. Well, at the moment you have suspected RD (Rheumatoid Disease or RA) or an associated disease/condition. Until you have your diagnostic appointment with a Rheumatologist nothing's certain although the blood test/s your GP took must indicate inflammation & possibly Rheumatoid Factor otherwise you wouldn't have been referred.

    Being anxious is perfectly understandable, it's a wobbly knee time for you so don't worry, you're not the first to feel as you do. Anything to do with the unknown medical wise is sure to cause concern but don't worry, we'll help alleviate any fears you have, things will change & for the better once you're settled on meds, assuming you receive a diagnosis of course.

    If you'll take some advice from one who's been there, take the naproxen but take the lansoprazole too, that should help keep any unwanted symptoms at bay such as nausea & the naproxen will help ease any inflammation & associated pain you're experiencing. When I was first tested by my GP she prescribed me both an NSAID (which your naproxen is) & pain relief, advising me to stop the two a few days before my diagnostic appointment a fortnight later. I recommend you also do this with the naproxen as the Rheumy needs to re-take his own baseline bloods tests. These need to be without your inflammation being affected/reduced by the naproxen, to add to the full joint examination he'll do & he'll also order any imaging he decides is necessary in order to diagnose you & work out your med protocol.

    Maybe having a look through the NRAS site would prove helpful nras.org.uk & this in particular nras.org.uk/making-a-diagno.... These links may also help nras.org.uk/the-genetics-of... & nras.org.uk/what-is-the-cau..., plenty of reading for you do be getting on with! I do hope you're not about to join our elite club (!) but if that is the case you're very welcome here. If you have any questions that crop up in the meantime don't hesitate to ask, we've a wealth of information between us. 😊

  • Thanks for your reply. Means a lot to me.

    I will start to take Naproxen with Lansoprazole.

    Everything banks on my meeting the Rheumatologist. Once that hurdle is over...then I will know what needs to be done.

    My GP has referred me. I only hope my waiting time isn't too long...as my chances of remission might be missed :(

  • You're welcome. I think given your GP has prescribed them it's the best thing, he knows it should ease your inflammation but if it's not quite enough do check if he thinks a pain reliever may help too. I think you're right, once you know what you're dealing with then you're in a better position to cope with things & then once you're on meds you're in a better position still.

    Don't worry too much if you're not seen by a Rheumy as promptly as the guidelines recommend. Whilst it is preferable to start meds as early as possible after symptoms start NHS Rheumy departments are very busy so it's not always possible to be seen within the window of opportunity (12 weeks from onset of symptoms). I'm not sure how long you've had symptoms but many have had them considerably longer than 12 weeks before their first Rheumy appointment or even seeing their GP yet doing well on their meds & could well be in remission. You'll have read that DMARDs don't work immediately they take time to build up in your system. Generally it's around the 12 week mark before they become effective but often you'll notice subtle changes before then.

  • Such encouraging words from you and from everyone here. A big thank you to you all. I really appreciate the time, effort and advice you've all given. A great forum - so glad I found this as it has really helped me to cope :)

  • Pleased to hear that sunnydown. We are a supportive lot, it helps having somewhere to go to let off steam as well as be supportive to one another too.

  • Hi and welcome,

    have you been prescribed a stomach protector such as lansoprazole to take with the naproxen? If not go back to GP and ask for some as it will help. Eating probiotic things like organic plain yoghurt may also help.

    All the best


    Oops just read the above .... anyway still wishing you well even if my info is a double up!!! It’s one of them days!!

  • Take the drugs lovely it will give you some quality. When I was diagnosed with RA at 23 and put on multiple drugs I thought I’m too young for this and I’m not taking anything......days later I couldn’t get out of bed. Like you I was very active in competitive sports. I can’t do them all now (19years later) but I can do some and I walk as much as I can, I know this wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t take the drugs I don’t like them much but quality is everything. Keep smiling and don’t let RA make you someone you don’t want to be. Take care and BIG hugs x

  • Big thank you for your words. I will take NAPROXEN & LANSOPRAZOLE tomorrow morning and start this new journey in my life. It is a scary step...but I know many have taken this before...and succeeded!

  • Deep breaths,sunnydown and the best of luck for tomorrow.


  • Hope it's not too long before you can see the rheumatologist. Hugs. x

  • I hope so too.

  • It will get better but most days seem a challenge I agree when you are first diagnosed with something you know so little about. 😞 Hope the Naproxen lets you get on with work. Take care.

  • You should trial the naproxen but if you start feeling bad I suggest you stop taking it and immediately make an appointment with your gp. I was prescribed naproxen and experienced some quite bad side effects but then continued taking it due yto the amount of pain I was in which only made things worse for me. Everyone is different so trying it out is the best thing for now. Good luck 😊

  • Every drug has horrible side effects but luckily most people don’t suffer from them. I am taking Naproxen and it works fine no ill effects at all. So give it a go 🙂

  • I find Naproxen a life saver...keep taking the Lanzoprazole & try it.

    The more you try to tough it out with pain the worse your mood gets.

    There is usually a drug that will suit you, but it may take time. Your rheumatologist will prescribe what he/she considers best for you - don't think because a drug doesn't work after the first few weeks it's the wrong one.

    With RA it takes time...once you find the right mix things even out & you won't feel so apprehensive.

    Hope you get an appoinment soon....no harm in phoning to see if you can get emergency cancellation to be seen sooner!

  • This stage is the absolute worst, so I feel for you. I well remember how the early stages were terrifying, and how worried I was about the drugs and my long term future. But 7 years later I am doing fine, and 95% normal. I have been in remission for most of last 5 years and apart from taking 70+ pills a week and an injection the impact of RA on my life is manageable.

    Please stay away from Dr Google as you will scare yourself, and stick to reputable sites like NRAS.org.uk and arthritisresearch.org.uk

    Looking back I had my first symptoms at least a year before I was diagnosed, so although early diagnosis and treatment is the best it doesn't always happen. There can be a long wait for a rheumy appointment....

  • Oh dear it’s really sad that we have to get in a really bad place before anybody listens, there are other stomach tablets I never got on lansoprazole but I did get on with omeprazole I definitely tolerated those better ask your GP or rhumy nurse x I hope you get moving soon x

  • I was put on Naproxen for my arthritis but it didnt help what so ever. I was taking it twice a day.

  • When this didn't work for you...did you ask the Doctor for an alternative?

  • I was told the Celebrex was the next option . Mune isnt ra tgat i have mine is oa. Im still trying to find something that gelps . Tge was 2 years ago that i was given the naproxen.

  • Hi Sunnydown

    try not to be too down, as others have said take the meds and see what Rhemmy has to say...

    Big hugs pet



  • It is a massive shock when your told you've potentially got a life long disease that is going to change your life. I'm 3 years in and still ups and downs but def managing better. Best case a friend of mine had reactive arthritis and it burnt itself out in a year... I had terrible heartburn for a couple of months. Have been taking good probiotics and enzymes from the Heath shop to help with digestion and cross fingers helping. Drugs wise it's trial and error with all of them. Sounds like u are young and because your gp has been good and referred u early your in a strong position to get early remission. Good luck with everything and try and keep pisitive🙃

  • I suffered with a lot of pain after taking lansoprazole. Stopped taking it but occassionally take low dose omeprazole when I feel I need it. I find sea kelp/iodine tablets reduce the pain. Again I only take the lowest dose from Holland and Barrett. All the very best to you and everyone whose life is affected by chronic pain. X

  • I've been given naproxin totally useless 😢

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