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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Marg

Subject: Could this be RA

Hi my name is marg and I am new here. I have been having awful pain in my feet and legs for about 9months now and have been to my GP who has done blood test but says I don't have RA. The pain is worse in a morning in my feet when I get up and it takes about an hour and a half to get going, it's like walking on broken glass and pebbles at the same time. My legs hurt to touch all the time but when I walk any distance they are agony. My toes are also sore. I have other joint pain which can be assosiated with injury. I am at a loss as to what this can be. I am getting really depressed about it and dont know what to do. Any sugesstions appreciated.
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Patricia

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi Marg! Sorry you are having problems. I was diagnosed with RA/Inflammatory Arthritis about a year ago. BUT for a number of years before that I was having problems just as you are. I went to my GP on several occasions and, because I don't have the rheumatoid factor in my blood, was also told it wasn't RA. I was given diclofenac and then naproxyn but they really didn't help. I used to buy solpadeine max from the pharmacy but when the pain got so bad even they didn't work. I think I am right in saying that about 20% of us don't show the RA factor in our blood but we still have the illness. It is called sero negative. Do you get swelling also

In the end I had to go privately, through my husbands work, to get a diagnosis. Then I was referred to a rheumatologist at my local hospital.

I would keep going back Marg until your Doc listens to you. All the evidence says we should get an early diagnosis and be treated quickly. I would try to get some info printed out to show him/her if you can. I know it isn't easy but it isn't fair that you are being left like this. It seems to happen often.

Hope this helps a little.

Pat x
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: lynn h

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

hi marg i have pa (psoratic arthritis) simalar symptoms as ra but they dont show up the rhymotoid factor in blood tests, i have sore feet in the mornings and like you it takes me a while to get going my achilies tendon is often very sore at the back of my heel and i feel this affect my walking also., Do you feel stiff all over in mornings and what are your hands like? my hands are very painful. i hope this helps a bit.
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Lynn B

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi Marg, I also have PA and every thing you said about your feet I can relate too, Like lynn h says it can take a while to get going in the morning. Just like lynn my hands are very swollen sometimes and very sore, also shoulders knees back and neck. Sorry to go on but I realy think you should go back to your GP or change him, He does not seem to be helping you at all.Let us know how you get on. Take Care. x
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Gillian

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi. I was like you, lots of pain in my feet and hands. Again, I can liken it to walking on stones all the time and getting out of bed in the mornings was agony as I just couldnt get going. I had physio for a.tendon pain etc., but that didnt work. Blood tests revealed inflammation but no RA. Eventually when my mobility was a major factor the GP wondered if I was seronegative. Referred my straight away and yes I have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis. Now on Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine). I had steroid injection in my bottom at the time I saw the consultant and that was wonderful. As if by magic I could walk with little pain. Unfortuantely that was about 7 weeks ago and its starting to wear off. I am hoping the Plaquenil will kick in soon as I really dont want to be feeling like I was before I had the injection. My hands are not too bad at the moment. I feel very tired some times for days on end but when I first had the injection that went as well. Seems I can only have two injections a year. Hope you get some answers and medication soon. Gillian
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Paula

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi Marg

From what I know about RA there is no definate blood test to say yes it is or no it isn't. It is more of a clinical diagnosis with everything considered. I do know that you can have either a sero negative diagnosis or a sero positive one. The negative one is when your bloods are fine but you have all the symptoms.

I've read many stories were people have been told they haven't got it and then years down the line they are diagnosed with it. The problem is that GP's only get about 30 minutes training about RA, there is only around 400,000 people in the UK who have been diagnosed with RA and some GP's may never see a patient with it, so can't recognise the symptoms. I asked my GP if I'd got RA, he said no because my hands looked OK. It's normally years down the line that your hands get deformed, but my GP must of remembered something about hands and because mine looked OK I hadn't got it.

I knew that something was wrong with me, I was in so much debilitating pain that something serious had to be wrong with me. Luckily we had private health insurance at the time I asked to be refereed to someone private, which my GP did, I went in armed with my symptoms on an A4 piece of paper, even the fact that my eyes hurt, (thinking that it hadn't got anything to do with joint pain) and from what I told the consultant he told me straight away that he was certain it was RA, did the blood tests and I was diagnosed with sero positive RA (the worst of the two).

You could ring up the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society help line up and have a chat with them 0800 823 524, they may be able to point you in the right direction of what to do.

Paula
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Date: 25.05.2011
From: Marg

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Thank you all for your helpful advice, I no longer feel on my own. I have pain in my back but that is due to a prolapsed disc 16years ago. I Was diagnosed with cervical spondalitis 3years ago, and I broke my scaphoid bone 3years ago which has never been right since and gives me a great deal of pain. I am taking naproxen at the moment which does help with the back pain but nothing else. My feet do swell up if I have been walking or standing for to long. I went to a wedding a few weeks ago and my feet where swollen for 3 days after. I just want to get a diagnosis of what is wrong and if possible get some relief from the pain. I am going to see my GP tomorrow armed with all my symptoms maybe I will get some answers. I will let you know. Once again thank you.
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Chloe

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi marg. I'm chloe and I'm also new here I was diagnosed with RA last year, I kept on going and going to the docs til I found out what was wrong with me it just happened my GP was off and it was a stand in doctor who ACTUALLY referred me to the Rheumatoid unit at my local hospital. I had been constantly at the docs with my pains for around 3 years before being diagnosed (I'm 19 and had to suffer through school in my last years always being sore and missing days and work, I've also had to drop out of tech and am faced with losing my job as condition still isn't under control) and he never knew what the problem was. (Idiot) I had been told I should have got a second opinion from a different doc about my pains before diagnosed. So think about seeing another doctor and getting a second opinion. You were saying about broken bones and things hurting, I've broken my finger and my hand and sometimes I would feel increased pain in the areas also.

Hope you feel better soon and get to the bottom of your condition.

Xxx
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Marg

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Have been to my GP this morning and had a list with me of all my symptoms,asked her again about RA she said that i have no antibodies in my blood so no its not that, she told me it is nerve pain and has given me tablets.When i got home with the tablets i have read the leaflet with them and they are actually antidepressants. I give up, she obviously thinks i am depressed.
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Patricia

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Oh dear! You must be really fed up Marg.

I went to four different GP's in my practice and none of them diagnosed RA!!! They put it down to stress and then Osteoarthritis. I also didn't have any antibodies for RA, and still don't, in my blood but I have the illness. They make it so hard for us and I am not sure why. I am sure there are some lovely Doctors out there but I know of other people who have had a really hard time getting referred to a Rheumatologist. The only way seems to go privately but that is really expensive and why should you.

I do think that there is an antidepressant called Amitryptiline that is used at lower doses for nerve pain which I think works quite well. I suppose you can only give it a go and then go back to see her if it doesn't work. Keep going back Marg if you don't feel well. You absolutely must. Take someone with you. I always find they are more likely to take action then.

Take care....x
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Paula

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

I was prescribed amitryptiline when I was first diagnosed along with my other drugs. Like Patrica said it is given in low doses to help you sleep at night by relaxing your muscles.

If it doesn't help you MUST go back to your GP's, if you can see another GP. If you google the charity that I mentioned earlier you can print off some information about RA and take that with you. If you ring them I think that they will send you some info in the post.

Like I said before it is not force to show up in your bloods but you still can be suffering from it. The best possible outcome if you have RA is to start treatment asap, they say there is a three month window of opportunity, to get the best prognosis.

Do not give up.

Take Care
Paula x
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Gilliam

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Hi. My blood had no rhematoid factor but my CRP levels were raised, and rising with each subsequent blood test which means there is active inflammation. Did your GP mention CRP levels. It was raised CRP levels that made my gp think it was seronegative RA. Please dont give up. Its important that the appropiate treatment is started as early as possible. Take care. Gillian
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Marg

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Thanks I will keep pushing if the tablets do not help. To my knowledge no other blood tests where done, so do not know about the CRP level Gillian. Paula I will print off some of the information on the website you mentioned and take it with me if the tablets do not work. Thank you all for your advice.
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Date: 26.05.2011
From: Gillian

Subject: Re: Could this be RA

Marg the CRP is part of the 'full blood count' blood test. It will be worth asking your doctor.
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