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Date: 28.02.2012
From: Dion

Subject: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

I was diagnosed with Probable Seronegative Rheumatoid Arthritis 3 years ago. I have inflammation in my joints and connective tissue. My disease is very complex.

I have one question that nobody can answer or is wiling to answer me and today when my mother and carer tried to ask the Doctor refused to answer her, went on about others things and then insulted my mother to the point she got up and walked out. I crucially need to know the simple answer as to why I can be physically swollen and inflamed to see, yet when I'm given blood tests or Nuclear Bone Scan or MRI, which, I have had at the same time as being clearly swollen, they all come back recording that I have no inflammation, although, it is clear to see before the Rheumatologist eye.

Due to this he rejects what he see's, accepts tests and now claims I have no health problem and has removed all my triple therapy of DMARDS. Some doctors try to say it is all in my head, although, Clinical Psychologist at Chronic Pain Centre has said I have a real problem and Chronic Pain Syndrome and there is no sign of psychological problems.

Please some body help me know why ESR and CRP and Bone and MRI Scans fail to show inflammation in me when it is clearly seen?
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Date: 28.02.2012
From: bsk

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

Hi Dion,

I've had scans that have recorded no inflammation even when my joints are clearly swollen. My blood tests are always normal, this is because I am on steroids, according to my rheumatologist. I've also got a friend who had an MRI which showed no inflammation when he was swollen and in pain. A good rheumy will go on the visual evidence and patient's experience and not just rely on blood tests. Arthritis is a complex disease, as you say.

It seems to me that you need to change your consultant. You could ask your GP to refer you to another one.
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Date: 28.02.2012
From: Kim

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

Hi Dion
My rheumy only goes by blood test results and like you I suffer with inflammation, pain and stiffness and my blood results do not always mirror this. My consultant also seems to change his mind about my diagnosis, initially I had a positive rheumatoid factor now nearly ten years on he says I have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis sometimes he calls it arthropathy. I too am on steroids, co codamol metho and am about to start cimzia. I would love to know what is going on inside my body but feel like my consultant couldnt care less. I am building up the courage to see my gp to get his view, the only other alternative is to save up to see a private consultant. I hope you can get some better advice and help soon.
Take care x
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Date: 29.02.2012
From: lynnr

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

Hi dion

I like u have no immflamation showing in my bloods I have chronic psoriatic arthritis which is similar to rheumatoid but does not show up in the blood's, it's a shame u are going through all this as I know that these symptoms are very real I am really thin and my dr used to say I didn't look swollen I now take my wedding band with me so they can actually see what size my fingers used to be.
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Date: 29.02.2012
From: Jeanette

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

Dion

When I went back for the results of my RF test which were abnormal and high score my GP said I cannot believe you have RA with normal inflammation results luckily she still sent me to a Rheumatologist and obviously he went by the state of my knuckles not my inflammation markers. It's that sad case of the computer says no maybe you should think of a referal to somewhere else.
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Date: 21.03.2012
From: Deborah

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

Hi Dion,
I have pshoriatic arthritis for 12 year,s now and when I was diagnosed at the start I happened to ask this very same question to a Doctor who was acessing me at the time, why does your blood results show that your are positive for arthritis and other times not? he reply was that sometimes the rhematiod factor will be present RH pos and then sometimes not RH neg but
that did not mean that you did not have arthritis. In my opinion I find that you can experience a lot of pain but that it wont show up in your blood results for a few months because you are on treatment and that masks the disease until the drugs are not as effective and then it will show up in the blood results and I think the treatment you were on was masking the disease and thats why it did not show up in your blood results.The rheumy probably knows this but can only go on what information he has in front of him and that maybe his hands are tied so to speak what with so many cutbacks that he can only deal with the evidence in front off him and that maybe he has taken you off some off your medication in order for it to show up after you have been off it a while but he should have explained this to you if this was the case it was very rude of him to say to you that there is no health problem when it is obivious there is and he as a rheumy should be trying to help you as much as he can he forgets that he is a public servant and therefore your servant there to help you sometimes they forget this and maybe I would consider a change of rheumy.It does not take a genius to see plainly that a person is suffering from inflamatory arthritis regardless of their blood results even I can tell and I am no expert but it is not fair that you have been left to suffer in the meantime and been told that it is all in your head I think this is a dreadful thing to say to anyone with arthritis especaily when they as health specialists know how unpredictable this disease is .I hope this answers your question a bit and hopefully you will get the treatment and respect you deserve.
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Date: 21.03.2012
From: kylee

Subject: Re: Swollen joints but no inflammation shows on blood tests

My bloods always say theres no infalmmation always have done my rhummy took 3 siringes of fluidfrom my knee and 1 siringe from sholder as they were soooo swollen and painful. b4 he took the fluid out he did a blood test and the test came bk normal yet he knows there was fluid in my joints as he drained them. he says if he was to go by bloods i wouldnt be being treated but he doesnt believe much in bloods
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