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Thyroid UK
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How do I ask for a rheumatoid arthritis test??

I'm only 28 so I dont know if the doctor will think am stupid or dramatic. For the last couple of months I've had pain in my hands particularly at the base of my thumb and heel of the hand. So bad I can't weight bear on it. I've always had achy hips and back and now my shoulder is sore most days. And I can feel a grinding in it. My mum has r.a and has had knee replacement and she's not even 60. My aunt has lupus a s fibromyalgia so there's deffy issues in the family... How can I see if this is arthritis as my thyroid levels are all optimal..

10 Replies

If you explain about the joint pain they might do a test. On the other hand, could it be osteoarthritis as I'm not sure if there is a test for that. Is your thyroid medication optimal and have you got tested for vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin D?


Mentioning your mother and aunt should get you the tests. My father had R.A., and I mentioned this when starting on the long road to getting my hypoT diagnosis -- though I didn't have swollen joints. I've been tested a couple of times since, plus lupus and coeliac disease, without prompting, but I did have to ask for Sjögren's syndrome to be tested, after complaining about dry eyes and mouth for years (came back negative).

Proximal joint/muscle pain (hips and shoulders) may be due to hypothyroid myopathy, and CK and other inflammatory markers should be tested. These came back negative for me, yet the hip pain after climbing stairs has been enough to crease me in half. This has been relieved by a brief rest, and I've seen a comment from someone who believes that myasthenia gravis is the only condition with this feature, so I may be getting a warning signal of that dark cloud on the horizon.

Best wishes!


Small blue thing

Have you consideeed that your hip problem may be tendonitis ? ..

I had a couple of MRI scans as severe pain on my outer hip joint was very debilitating especially when standing from sitting position !

I thot I needed a hip replacement it was so bad

For hree years and more .

I Was pleased to see it was tendonitis ..... but THATS not easy to heal either it seems ..



Thanks. Luckily, the incidences of severe pain have been rare, although my hips will ache and I often wake with an ache from hip to ankle, which makes me wonder about a nerve involvement.

I often experience a lack of drive when walking, first noticed with difficulty raising my leg when climbing stairs in a shopping mall when out for the day. I've also had incidences of my eyes being too tired to rotate. I had a relative with myasthenia gravis. I don't think there's a genetic risk, but it is associated with hypothyroidism.

I've had several hyper swings, including last year when I'd been treated for 2-1/2 years. In fact, one of them, when I was tested regularly, should've got me treated, but I was acting a bit irrationally, not helped by a feeling my GP was clueless. The last one affected my arm strength and gave me a frozen shoulder. It also seemed to weaken my lower back and make my right hip ache.

I hope your own problems resolve!


sounds like it may well be tendonitis ... mine shows on MRI scan as 2 or 3 sacs of fluid around hip joint . it's as sore as H... !!!

I have Graves' disease and can also associate with some of your symptoms .. however i am now Euthyroid .. but supplementing is the way i am staying Euthyroid .....

perhaps you need to get your bloods done soon to let you know if you are low in certain things like D3 , Magnesium , B12 etc....

Luv Mx 🌹


Sounds like Trochanter Bursitis. Have had it both sides for a long time. Have been using Osmo Patches from Oz with great success. UK company but they come from Oz.

I think the fluid sacs you mentioned are bursae so muscles and tendons can glide over the bony Trochanter - like shock absorbers 😊

Ouch 😴


Optimal means zip

Post your thyroid results


Your doctor can run a test to confirm R.A. If you are hypothyroid many develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which means there's swelling in the wrist due to hypo. Being prescribed thyroid hormones can help reduce swelling.

If you've not had a recent blood test for thyroid hormones get a new one. The earliest possible, fasting (you can drink water) and if on thyroid hormones allow a gap around 24 hours from last dose and test and take it afterwards.


I have Hashis and primary Sjögren's, which was first misdiagnosed as RA. RA usually starts in small synovial joints of the hands and feet - which isn't the base of the thumb or palm - not your back or hips or other larger joints. These joints really can hurt due to inflammatory arthritis of Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus or Sjögren's though. Osteoarthritis less likely at your age.

I had these with lower back ache, hip pain and knees and wrists excruciating and it turns out it that these were all Sjögren's related secondary osteoarthritis and tendinitis, rather than RA. But it imitated RA so well (as Lupus can do too) that two rheumatologists and my GPs were all convinced!

Re bloods - sadly no one tested my ANA for Sjögren's or Lupus until I was a few years into DMARDs and steroids - when they all came back inconclusive. My Rheumatoid Factor, inflammatory markers CRP and ESR/ PV were all elevated though - and still often soar. Once off everything my ANA came back clear positive and I was given a lip biopsy last year which was 100% positive for Sjögren's.

There is a tendency for doctors not to test for Sjögren's in anyone under 40 (which is nonsense!) but most have either positive RF or ANA (can be run by GP) and then a rheumatologist can run the more specific panel of bloods for RA, Lupus, Sjögren's etc once you've been referred. Definitely don't just blame this on Hypothyroidism please! There was a young Olympian Judo player speaking about her diagnosis of primary Sjögren's on radio 5 live the other day and other young people too.

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Hi Kim, from your last post you are still undermedicated since your Tsh is 2. The target for those treated with Levo is one or below, or that which gives ft3 at least in top 1/3 of range. Hypo can cause joint and muscle pains, as can low vit d which is very common with hypo, have you had yours tested recently?



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