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any advice welcome

Hi everyone, can someone advise me plz? My RA has got steadily worse over the last few weeks or so, particularly since my flu jab..The pain has traveled from my lower back to the tops of my legs, it's so painful trying to stand and walk...also, horrors of horrors, both my knees have started playing up, does this mean the RA has gone into my knees as well? my legs have started swelling more and more, at their worse they look like elephant legs ! When I went to my GP, all she said was its an age thing, caused by excessive fluid and do i want stronger water pills !!! nooooooooooooo I dont....I want the swelling and pain to be sorted out and not just be put down to age and fluid...should i ask to see a specialist, is it worth the trip, or should i just put up with it ?

6 Replies

Maggie, I suspect I'm just the first of a long line of people who are going to tell you not to be fobbed off by your GP. If a doctor told me that something so unpleasant was just 'an age thing' I think I'd succumb to quite a serious 'depression thing' followed by quite a violent 'rage thing'.

It sounds as if you are really suffering and if all your GP can do is ask you if you want stronger water pills (how are you meant to know if this is the right treatment??) then yes, you should ask to see a specialist. I know nobody can fit their whole story into a blog so maybe there's some reason for you considering putting up with the swelling and pain. But to me what you are going through sounds dreadful and I think you should make another appointment with your GP - do they do double length ones at your surgery? - and go there determined to get some action.

Hope you get sorted,

Christina xx


Hi Maggie I agree with Christina. For one thing fluid retention doesn't cause pain and also you presumably have a diagnosis of RA from a rheumatologist? If so they should be taking blood tests from you to check your inflammatory markers at the very least. It could be that the flu jab has triggered a flare up but as Feather says don't let them fob you off with this fluid retention/ age suggestion. Tilda x


And another in the line of people saying don't get fobbed off.... Maybe it is the RA, and maybe it isn't but either way you need a better answer than it's an age thing. (RA inflammation is usually more local round the joints, not whole leg...) And if you're on RA drugs then they should at least be checking that there are no problems developing with your kidneys as a result of the drugs that are causing fluid retention. Pollyx


Definitely ask for a referral to a Consultant - I too was told in my 50's that I should "expect a few aches & pains" - being Bolshie by nature I immediately asked around for the name of a respected Consultant and askd my GP for a referral. She was a bit sniffy - but less so when It was confirmed I had Sero Positive RA. Good Luck with some relief of your symptoms.



ask gp for mri on your back

to cansel that area out could be the pain in your back are ya getting pain inside are of legs ie groin area.

also im a bit wary of flue jabs last week had that bad cold going round and it sort of gave me imune system somthing else to fight with instead of me

that jab may have upped your immune system to fight it also


Hi Maggie

If you have RA you should already be under a rheumatologist and therefore shouldn't need the GP to refer you, as you should be able to contact your hospital to get an appointment. Hard to know for sure whether or not it's the RA, but certainly worth getting it checked out by the rheumatologist, especially if you think that generally your RA is bad at the moment.

If you've not seen a rheumatologist and have only ever seen the GP then they should refer you to a rheumatologist as soon as possible, as the diagnosis of RA has to be confirmed by a rheumatologist, who can then prescribe the necessary medications for you.

Kind regards


(NRAS Helpline)


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