Common symptoms? When to get tested for RA?

Hi it's Coeliac Awareness week in the UK which is another auto-immune condition. RA is associated with patients with Coeliac Disease. As many of our members still feel ill despite a Gluten Free Diet for life and additional vitamin supplements we were wondering if any of you would like to give them tips on when to go and ask your Dr to test for RA instead of muddling along with gritty eyes, aches and pains and fatigue?

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  • the answer would be a soon as possible.. blood tests can be down quickly by gp , but not everyone including me has postive rheumatoid markers.. two type of rhuematoid arthritis sero postive and sero negative.. waiting lists to be seen by a rheumatologist can be v long .

    I am sure out expert patient lyn-w will comment for you.. she has a great knowledge of rheumatiod arthritis

  • Great thanks. Which blood tests is it important to ask Drs for? We know that many Coeliacs are vitamin D deficient which can cause stiffness, aches, fatigue and muscle spasms. Anti-nuclear blood tests are sometimes done to see if there are markers for other auto-immune diseases at hospital coeliac clinics. Likewise DEXA bone scans are done initially to assess any osteo problems due to coeliac disease. Many of our group have stiffness in the morning, pain in hip, back, ankles, shoulder, neck that anti-inflamatories help a little, plus painful feet from walking a short distance. GPs often dismiss this as old age, lack of exercise etc. Yet surely having such symptoms in your 20 yrs - 50 yrs esp should be investigated further?

  • correct rhematoid factor. viscosity, crp and ant ccp are the usual tests used as a barometer of possible rheumatoid. im not an expert in this field just an unfortunate suffer of ra..x i!!

  • GP can initiate tests as spec by Summer - but whether it's RA, OA, ME or whatever you're entitled to a referral to a Rheumatologist. Keeping a symptom diary for a month is a good idea - logging stiffness, joint pain, fatigue etc.

    Cece x

  • NRAS has some useful posters & stuff to try to raise awareness of RA and they focus on the 3 "S"s,

    Stiffness - Early morning joint stiffness lasting more than 30 minutes

    Swelling - Persistent swelling of one joint or more,especially hand joints

    Squeezing - Squeezing the joints is painful in inflammatory arthritis

    Lots of useful stuff on the NRAS site

    nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoi...

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