Plz someone help! 29years old - Rheumatoid Arthritis???

Good afternoon,

I have been having pain ( more a constant ache ) and quite a lot of

stiffness and little swelling in both my hands for quite a few months, I

finally went to the doctor who requested X-rays of my hands which came

back clear (great news).

He then requested bloods, which to my surprise came back positive for

rheumatoid. He has referred me to rheumatology at Blackpool Victoria

Hospital and my appointment isn't until 26th April. I have searched the

disease but I'm unsure what I should be reading apart from early

diagnosis sections.

I would like some information on my first appointment for me and my

husband to read on what to expect, what to take, what they will do,

what's the likely hood of it actually being rheumatoid arthritis with

the positive test etc.

Also I'm not sure how to approach family or friends to tell them this is

what i may or may not have and wondered if you anyone were able to help in any

way.

Kind regards Mrs Jill Lyon

5 Replies

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  • look at nras.org.uk for their pages on newly diagnosed people - very helpful. Just because you have a positive rheumatoid factor doesn't mean it's 100% guaranteed that you have RA. At the hospital they will do more sensitive blood tests, and examine you to come to a diagnosis as there are a number of similar conditions. GPs aren't trained to do this.

    The most useful thing to do before the appointment is a) don't panic! RA can be managed and for most people can be controlled so you can get a normal life back again. And b) keep a diary of how you feel, such as when it hurts and when you are stiff or sore, and if there are any joints that swell.

    It's only a month off to the appointment, so maybe tell your employer you have to have tests, but otherwise probably best not to tell people until you know what you have. Generally people don't understand RA anyway, so it is unlikely to help you much.

    but really it does sound as if whatever you have has been picked up early (well done your GP) so with treatment it'll be fine. Good luck. Polly

  • Good luck Jill and try not to worry too much...easier said than done i know. You've found this site so you're heads up already!

    From my experience ask as many questions as you can when you go the hospital...I didn't get much time with the Consultant, so make the most of it!!!

    Best wishes

    Maddie

  • Hi Jill,

    I was diagnosed in Oct 2012, was very fit run 5 miles a day then started getting lots of pain in my feet, then I could barely walk with the swelling & Pain. After going to my doctor had 12 different blood tests came back Positive RA factor of 382, he put me on Naproxen 1000mg per day which is an anitinflamitory and Omeprazole which you need to combate the Naproxen hurting your stomach.It really did work taking the swelling down, not the pain though. Went to my first Rheumatiod appointment and the consultant confirmed RA the agressive type as the onset was so fast. She put me on Methotrexate 10mg which is the most common drug, had xrays on hands feet and chest (all good) because they have to make sure your lungs are healthy before you go on methotrate. They gave me a really good booklet to explain RA had more blood tests and was told to have 2 weekly blood tests because of the side effects of Methorexate on the liver and blood count. The only side effect I have had is the low blood count when they increased the dose and feeling sick initially.I had to come off the anti-inflamitories after 3 months as they affected my stomach, but they did help. My feet are alot better just my big toe is inflammed. My hands are worse now can not use my left hand some days. But I still work in retail as a manager full time, I do get tired and have had to adjust my life, I can not do sports anymore. I did not tell my daughters unitl I got it confirmed from the hospital, but be aware as I have found out everyone is different, and the website is very daunting, the most important thing is to take each day as it comes. You will still feel confused after your appointment my 2nd appointment was better I wrote lots of questions down, but be perpared that they don,t know all the answers as this conditions is unpredictable.

    Good luck with your appointment, hope this has helped and if I can be of any further help please do not hesitate tp contact me.

    Christine.

  • Hi Jill

    As Polly mentioned, if it is rheumatoid arthritis (RA) then it sounds as if they have caught things very early which is very positive as getting started on the treatments as early as possible is the best way to prevent damage to the joints and offers the most positive long-term prognosis. However, the rheumatoid factor in your blood can be raised for a number of reasons and so a positive rheumatoid factor test is not a definintive way of diagnosing RA. When you see the consultant for the first time they will usually look at running more blood tests, talk to you about the symptoms you've been experiencing, examine your joints and perhaps get some further scans or x-rays taken. We have an article all about what to expect at your first appointment which you might find helpful to read: nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoi...

    If you are diagnosed we have a range of booklets which can be downloaded from our website (please follow link below), including information for newly diagnosed patients and information on things like work and symptom management: nras.org.uk/help_for_you/pu...

    I hope your first appointment goes well.

    Kind regards

    Sarah Kate

    NRAS

  • I got diagnosed aged 34 just after having my youngest baby boy.

    I was in so much pain, I couldn't even pick him up out of the crib.

    I first thought I had a very bad flu and was devastated when the blood test was on maximum for Rheumatoid Factors and I got diagnosed with RA.

    I got put on Methotrexate, but as it takes up to 13 weeks to work properly, I got put on Steroids too. They turned me into the Monster from the Black Lagoon ... a FAT one at that, but at least the pain lessened significantly.

    I have had RA for over 8 years now, just recently was diagnosed with Fibro too (quite common).

    The Best Advice is:

    - Make sleep an absolute priority, as your body builds up anti-inflammatories during sleep.

    - Eat healthily, try to avoid red meat as it appears to cause inflammation.

    - Avoid emotional and physical stress as your body reacts with infammation.

    - Make sure your family and friends know how the RA may affect you, therefore they'll have to make concessions.

    - Don't overdo it and take regular breaks. If you don't you'll suffer five-fold after.

    - Ensure you take all meds at regular times, get a pill box.

    - If medications don't work, don't wait, ask for alternatives. Different meds suit different people.

    - Don't hesitate asking for help from family and friends.

    - Try to exercise, it will help relieving some pain, but make sure it's low-impact. Walking & Swimming are perfect.

    - Understand that you may have to change your life around, but make sure you still have fun!!

    God Bless you, I hope you'll be ok and respond to treatment well. xx

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