Looking for general advice

My GP has recently confirmed that the pain and swelling in my fingers and wrist is arthritis. He gave me painkillers and anti-inflammatories, which cause the most awful stomach upset. He told me to take the tablets when I needed them, and that was about all he said. Recently, my knee has become really painful and keeps swelling up. Should I go back to my GP-is it possible that I have arthritis in my knee? I felt he was really unhelpful, and didnt give me any information about the condition, or advice on anything else I can do.

15 Replies

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  • I'd go back to your GP and ask for a referral to a rheumatologist. Could just be Osteoarthritis, but if your knees are swelling could be inflammatory arthritis. And also ask for some stomach protectors (proton pump inhibitors) as they stop the anti-inflammatories upsetting your stomach.

  • Thank you. I didn't realise there was different types of arthritis. The GP didn't give me any information. Would the cold weather be making the pain worse? My fingers throb, and sometimes it feels like a burning sensation. My index finger keeps cracking which is quite unpleasant, and my knees are constantly stiff and sore at the moment.

  • I agree with the advice helixhelix has given you....go back, perhaps see another GP in the practice (?) and state your case. The earlier that you get these symptoms sorted out, the better it will be for your future IF it is arthritis. Its so important in this day and age to get sorted as quickly as possible since with the correct medication a "normal" life can resume. Sometimes you have to give different types of medication a try to get the correct one for you, but don't give up!! Tell them about your gastric problems too; this can easily be sorted with good medication. Remember- its your body and your life; keep on at them until you feel some progress is beginning for your relief from the pain. Good luck and hugs xx

  • Hi i'm new to this site, You should ask your doctor to do some blood test to rule out RA, My doctor done the test on me and my rheumatiod factor was 689, The reason i am saying this is because I was diagnosed early September by my doctor and on Wednesday i have my first appointment,

    I could'nt believe how long i had to wait to see a rheumatioloist........

    Maybe you could ask to see another doctor, As far as i am aware most arthritis are worse in the winter. But as i said i am new to this site and disease, But have found the people on here very helpfull.

    Hope you get it sorted out soon x

  • I had a four month wait to see a rheumatologist on first diagnosis x

  • Hi there, my inflammatory arthritis started with knee swelling. Looking back, I remembered that this first happened for about 6 weeks when I was 16 (I'm in my '50s now) and I actually found a drawing in my diary from 1972 of me with a whopping great left knee! Next time was January last year, again, swollen left knee for about 6 weeks. I thought that was all but on reflection I was starting to feel awfully tired and generally weaker after having been a big, strong gal all my life! Then, last December I ran down a hill and my left knee swelled up again & it's been swollen ever since. The right knee joined in, then my left wrist .... but I didn't feel truly ill until March / April this year. After a lot of half-hearted faffing around and assumptions that it was nothing much, I was diagnosed with inflammatory arthritis in June (RA or Psoriatic Arthritis - it's a bit of a saga!). I so wish I'd pushed for a Rheumatology appointment earlier but I knew nothing about this disease.

    I feel uncomfortable repeatedly saying how unhelpful GPs at my surgery were, as if it was me that was the problem, somehow .... but the truth is they failed me by not at least seeking to eliminate the possibility of inflammatory arthritis or even taking much of an interest.

    A lot of us on here acknowledge that we need to be proactive, more proactive than you might think necessary, and wish we'd been pushier sooner.

    Please do push for an appointment with a Rheumatologist as soon as possible. You need blood tests too, and your GP can do those while you are waiting for an appointment. Hopefully you do not have inflammatory arthritis but if you do then prompt treatment can help considerably, delay does not.

    All the best,

    Christina x

  • Hi there, I agree with all the other advice given to you. Can I also suggest in the meantime that you make sure you take your anti inflammatory tablets AFTER you eat something even if it's just a biscuit, this may help with the stomach upsets.

    Good luck

    Judith x

  • Others have said important stuff but what you need to know, without getting unduly scared, is that the reason you need to see a rheumatologist as soon as possible is because inflammatory arthritis is more serious than osteoarthritis so it needs to be ruled out - and this can only be done by a rheumatologist- not a GP. Inflammatory arthritis is an autoimmune type of arthritis and can affect people of any age.

    Osteoarthritis will affect everyone as they get older to a greater or lesser degree. Unlike RA/ inflammatory arthritis is is not systemic and is more mechanical in the way it affects joints whereas inflammatory arthritis can affect any part of the body including tendons and soft tissue and even internal organs (rare). So it needs to be diagnosed in the early stages if possible and treated promptly with disease modifying drugs. That's why your GP should refer you and take blood tests for your rheumatoid factor and your inflammatory markers (ESR and CRP) straight away.

    I was diagnosed quite early on because my blood markers were positive and I had a good GP. My RA is now very well controlled with drugs, good diet and exercise. Good luck. Tilda

  • I am appalled at the ignorance of your GP!

    If you have RA it is most important you see a Rheumatologist ASP

    There are plenty of medications, these days. The sooner you start them the better.

    Persist please

    xx

  • Hi i also had bad tummy from anti inflamatry tablets you need to go back to doc to get something to shild your tum from them hope you get sorted soon x

  • hi i was diagnosed 2years ago with RA, my gp was great i went to see her because my hands and feet were painful and swollen she took one look at my hands and asked if anyone in my famiky had ra , which my dad did . within 6 weeks i was seen by a specialist had mri , ultra sounds and xrays that all confirmed ra though i am serum negative. go back to your dr and get them to send you to a rheumatologist asap.And you can get lots of advice and different view from people on this site especially if you are havng a bad day and need to let of some steam.

  • As others have said, your GP should not be the one diagnosing and treating "arthritis". If there is any suggestion that you have inflammatory arthritis, then they should be referring you to a rheumatologist, as national guidelines are really pushing for early diagnosis and treatment, and that has to come from a rheumatologist.

  • I agree, the GP shouldn't be the one diagnosing RA, the Rheumatologist should do it - after blood tests. Personally, I never go to my GP regarding my RA - they know bugger all!

  • Forgot to say, I take Naproxen , always make sure I have something to eat beforehand (even if its only a biscuit) and also take Omemprazole to counteract the effects on the stomach, I've not had any problems.

  • Thank you so much everyone for the comments, advice and information. I have an appointment for next week to see my GP again, but feel more confident this time, in asking for a blood test at least and hopefully an appointment with the Rheumatologist. Hopefully she can give me something for my stomach as well, so I can at least take the anti inflammatories. I recently lost my husband to cancer after a 2yr battle, and I guess my own health went on the back burner, but have now realised my own health is so important. Its nice to know there is a site that can offer such support and advice.

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