late diagnosis

I was diagnosed as having RA 2 weeks ago,and wondered if anyone else had a late in life diagnosis,i am in my sixties i have had painful joints for years feet fingers and elbows ,However i had a blood test for the Rheumatoid factor plus the ESR,this was positive,the surgery rang up to tell me to make an appointment to see the doctor, its the medication that worries me I already take Meds for Diabetes also Heart probs do you think the RA medicatons really make a difference.What do you think.

Seasons Greetings too all!!

10 Replies

Hi there,

I'm in my 50's so not exactly youthful when diagnosed 2 years ago. Only you can decide whether tackling the pain and disability is worth taking strong medicine, but for me it was an easy choice as I was quickly becoming bedridden and could hardly walk. I was frightened of the medicine too, but now would not be without it. It's changed my life, and I'm now nearly normal again.

When you're trying to decide do remember that it can be a progressive disease, so although you can manage now it could be harder when you're in your 70's and 80's. You do need to talk to the docs about your heart problems tho', as RA could make a difference. Good luck.


I was in my 70s when i started with it and i have both Arthritus


Hi there, I was in later life when diagnosed 4 years ago (early 60s). I had had problems for a couple of years before that but RA was the last thing on my mind and just put it all down to stress! Then when my hands and feet started and the GP confirmed it was arthritis, it all began to fall into place.

The treatments now are very good and I was told by my consultant that being diagnosed later than normal should mean that I don't get the damaged joints or other problems normally associated with RA.

I also have osteo in both knees and in one thumb (caused by an accident) and I think I also have it in the top of my spine as well - caused by whiplash.

I have Angina as well as thyroid disease so have to take a cocktail of drugs anyway. The RA drugs do not affect the ones I am on already so go for it and give yourself some peace of mind as well as controlling the symptons and pain. You won't regret it. LavendarLady x



I was diagnosed at 46, but same as lavender lady, thought was stress for a longtime. I think would be worth taking the methotrexate, my aunt is 80 next year and she takes it and is very independent, her hands are bad, but her mobility ok, if only she d quit the g & ts she d be a lot better, but that's another story!

Xx Gina.


I agree with Auntie,,,I take mtx and I love my Cider, (used to be G&T but too easy to be too generous with the measures), I also naughtily drink on methotrexate days as I really don't like any other beverages, tea and coffee I hate, milk is a no no (veggie), I like juice but only in the mornings so I drink Cider after evening meals, and have a soya drink before bed. If I live to be 80 I will be very happy especially if only my hands hurt and my mobility is good.... way to go Auntie xxx


for me ra medicines work really well, enbrel,mtx8,naproxen, you should have a word with your gp or consultant


They will assess your pre exisiting medication and chose the appropiate treatment accordingly.. people often suffer from more than one condtion unfortunately., but medication can be adjusted to suit.


Thank you all for your comments I appreciate them all .Have not made a appointment yet but i will tomorrow, looks like it will be more medications ,oh and the g+t 's not all bad! i will let you know the out come.

think positive x


Oh yes they do! The most important thing to know is that the anti-inflammatory meds, or the NSAID's, which you will hear alot of, are to reduce the inflammation, thus reducing pain and prevent or slow down the damage to the joints and small bones, so you can remain functional. You don't want to have joint damage, as it is not reversible.

Also, with Ra, you will have tiredness, lack of ambition, less energy, so there too the anti-inflammatory meds will help that as the inflammation decreases.

Many people with arthritis are also Diabetics, they are both auto-immune diseases.

There is no conflict between the meds used for Diabetes and Arthritis, none that I know of, of the heart meds, should interfere either.

So, by all means, see the Dr., likely a Rheumatologist, who will continue to monitor your blood levels , after you begin a med. Usually the first drug is Methotrexate, possible one other, as they work best together.

You will read here, from time to time, that most prefer the injectable MTX as it does not cause the nausea the oral form might.. Usually. And Drs. agree, it is more effective at lower dose.

Let us know how it goes. All the best. Loret



Just thought it might help to talk to someone about this. Not sure if you are based in the UK but, if so, I think it may help to talk to one of the NRAS helpline team and possibly to talk to one of our volunteers about the medications and the possible benefits of them. As one of the other authors said, it is quite common to have several other diseases running alongside your RA and your consultant will work closely with the other consultants you see to ensure that there is no interaction with your current meds. Certainly all the evidence points to the importance of starting on a DMARD (a disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug) as these are the drugs that help to control the inflammation and help to slow down any joint damage. You can read more about the drugs and how they are used on this link

You can contact the NRAS helpline on 0800 298 7650 ( please note our lines are closed over the Christmas period and we will reopen on Tuesday 3rd January 2012)

Best wishes and Merry Christmas



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