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Date: 09.01.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Could this be RA?

I saw my GP in the summer of 2013 complaining of tiredness and bad aches and pains in both feet (top) ankles and knees. At times the pain makes me think that someone has bashed my bones with a sledge hammer!

Basic blood tests were run with normal results. I returned to my GP around October time as things were no better (getting worse - pains extended to achilles area with difficulty walking long distances).

A new blood test revealed a slightly raised Rheumatoid factor. I think the reading was 17. My GP has referred me to Rheumatology but given the low reading she does not think it's RA. I'm still waiting for an appointment.

At the same time as the pains started, I began gaining weight for no reason at all. My stomach often extends making me look 7 months pregnant but subsides fairly quickly. My weight has escalated by 21 lbs (I have a small frame, typically 8 stone 10lb before weight gain, and it's not what I'm eating!). I have been tested for celiac but that blood test was negative.

This week, I can hardly touch the outside of my right knee. It feels really bruised but there is nothing to see! Sometimes I wake at night with aching pains in ankles and knees. My veins feel swollen at times!

Do you think this sounds like RA, if so, could weight gain also be a symptom?

Thanks in advance.
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Date: 09.01.2014
From: rhona

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Julie, I have never heard of weight gain being a sign of RA. I actually lost quite a bit of weight prior to being diagnosed. It would be hard to say what is causing your symtoms but it is good that you have been referred to a rheumatologist to find out what is going on.
Good luck. x
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Date: 09.01.2014
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

hi Julie , realy got no idea whats going on with you , most of the arthritis is treated the same , is your inflammation markes raised in your blood test ( CRP & ESR )
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Date: 10.01.2014
From: Sean

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Julie
You do not need to have celiac to be sensitive to gluten and for it to do lots of damage. The bloating might be a sign of intestinal inflammation which can be a precursor to inflammation elsewhere in the body.

http://glutenintoleranceschool.com/gluten-intolerance-bloating

http://chriskresser.com/50-shades-of-gluten-intolerance

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/gluten-what-you-dont-know_b_379089.html

Interestingly - you mention veins - my veins in my legs used to stick out and itch like mad when I had too much dairy or accidentally eat wheat.

I hope you can find some relief and answers soon!

Sean
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Date: 10.01.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Rhona

Many thanks for your reply. I made an enquiry with the hospital yesterday and they have advised that I will not be called for an appointment until around April so still some time to wait!
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Date: 10.01.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Colin

Thanks for responding. I'm pretty sure my GP said that CRP and ESR tests were fine! Something is going on though!
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Date: 10.01.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Sean

Thanks for your comments. I will have a look at the links you have provided. Thanks once again for your input.
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Date: 11.01.2014
From: Denise

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Hi Julie

I had a raised RF of 40 in 2009. Consultant concluded it was a false positive. So accepted the situation and struggled on. Two years later finally diagnosed with RA and an RF of 235 !!!! So don't let this linger on like I did, make someone listen to you.

Good luck
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Date: 16.01.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Thanks for your comments and advice Denise. Hope all is well for you at the moment.
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Date: 28.02.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Well, after 8 months of waiting for an appointment, I saw a Dr in the Rheumatology Clinic yesterday. The Dr was nice and listened to what I had to say but I left feeling disappointed.

After a few questions and a basic exam which included lifting both arms, touching my toes, flexing my ankles and bending my knees, I was told that I do not have RA and it's no more than wear and tear. I am under 50 years of age and have had a desk job for all of my working life.

There was some tenderness in my hip area and physio/injection was mentioned. Both ankles, knees and achilles continue to give me pain on a daily basis. I know my body and I cannot see that this is wear and tear. I was advised to take off the shelf pain killers.

There was no record of the blood test taken in the summer so I've had another lot of bloods taken.

I've tried cutting out various foods but to no avail. I think I'll get myself to a good health shop!

I am grateful to the NHS but I'm just feeling a bit disappointed and frustrated at the moment :-(
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Date: 01.03.2014
From: Molly

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Just a though when you said your knees are very sensitive and painful to touch - could it possibly be something like fibromyalgia?

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Fibromyalgia/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

I don't know but it is something I have looked into too. Good luck.
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Date: 01.03.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: Could this be RA?

Many thanks for your comments and link. To be honest, I've read up about Fibromyalgia in the past and some of the symptoms are familiar. The Rheumatology Dr didn't mention anything other than wear and tear which I find hard to accept. At the moment my pains are more bone aches in both ankles and knees together with burning Achilles. I will provide an update if and when I get to the bottom of this frustrating and painful condition.
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