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Date: 27.02.2014
From: red head

Subject: RA or something else

This is my first ever post. i have had aches in my elbows wrists hands fingers feet and knees for almost a year. plus bilateral hip bursitis for about the same time.Bad fatigue and the odd tingling sensation in hands and feet. my gp ordered a ton of bloods and rheumatoid factor came back positive at 41 but everything else was normal. was sent to a rheumatologist, had xrays more bloods done. she kept telling me that 41 was low and she could be sat there with a factor like that and more or less said i must have a low pain threshold. gave me a steroid shot and said see you in 6 weeks. i had a few days relief then pain returned. told her on my next appt along with other sore areas that had appeared. She wrote me a script for methotrexate and folic acid and said if i want to function properly as im only young (32) take it and if i don't want to get better don't take it !!! Would any of you guys take the meds with such a low factor ? i ache all the time especially in my feet and hands and this fatigue sucks when i want to play with my young ones. have asked to see someone a little more sympathetic so awaiting that appt. any advice much appreciated
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: RA or something else

hi , alot of us been on methotrexate for years , myself since 1998 , some have problems with it , how much folic acid they given you , some consultants give one 5mg tablet a week & its better if you take more like the six I take a week & also how much methotrexate they given you

alot of us start RA in our 30s & you got to think how many years you are going to have to put up with this , RA is all about protecting your joints & the best way it to take the medication .

the RF means very little , if its raised & you got joint problems then there is a good chance it RA , the hip bursitis dont normaly go with RA ,
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: red head

Subject: Re: RA or something else

Thank you for your reply. She wrote a script for 15mg of methotrexate a week and folic acid twice a week. she did not want to see me again unless i started the meds yet she explained nothing about the condition to me really and certainly didn't tell me anything about the meds which is why im anxious to take it. i only know what i have researched myself and this stuff is scary
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: rhona

Subject: Re: RA or something else

Welcome to the forum. I don't blame you for asking to see another consultant as she doesn't sound as if she knows too much.

Around 80% of people with RA test positive and the 20% that don't are classed as sero-negative RA and don't usually get it as bad.

As Colin has said taking the medication helps to stop or slow down the joint damage but if you feel like you would rather wait until you see the new consultant then it might be a good idea to try diet and supplements for a short time and see how you manage. Fish Oil capsules can help too but if you are still in pain after a few weeks and you haven't had the appointment through then it might be an idea to take the mtx. Did they give you some booklets to read about the medication and the disease? I have been on mtx for around 10 years now along with other drugs. If you do take the mtx there will be frequent blood tests to make sure your liver etc is ok. I felt the same way as yourself when I first went on it but if your pain is troubling you then I would probably try it. xx
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: RA or something else

I agree with rhona & maybe ask to see another consultant at some point , they should give all the information about the drug & as rhona said you would need monthly blood test , you can get a booklet from your surgery to have your results updated , just remember you need to protect your joints because you are going to get damage if you dont take anything , talk to your GP or maybe one of the rheumy nurses at the Rheumatology department or one of the free helplines

in the link section about , your will find links to http://www.nras.org.uk/ ( National Rheumatiod Arthritis Society ) Arthritis Care & Arthritis Research UK , the first two has free helplines & they all publish information on the drugs

http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/drugs/methotrexate.aspx

http://www.nras.org.uk/about_rheumatoid_arthritis/newly_diagnosed/which_drugs_are_used/methotrexate_in_rheumatoid_arthritis.aspx
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: Red head

Subject: Re: RA or something else

I was given a arthritis association booklet about methotrexate but nothing with regard RA. i have been taking cod liver oil capsules but can't say i have noticed a difference. maybe it is time to bite the bullet and take the meds. i just worry as she didn't seem overly convinced and the medication is serious stuff.
Its not severe pain but almost a constant ache in many joints.
My feet are the worst but it seems every day something else seems to be happening.
Biggest new thing is a headache most days along with bouts of dizziness. not sure if that's due to the fact im sooo tired.
Pretty sure im a moody mare at the moment xx
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: Red head

Subject: Re: RA or something else

Thank you Colin.
I have already requested an appt with another rheumatologist so im just waiting on a date.
My gp did state im not the first person to ask so maybe its not just me feeling let down.
I will check out those links , you guys are great.
So glad i have found this forum , and i do hope im not wasting anyone's time as i know what im experiencing is probably nothing compared to you guys xx
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: rhona

Subject: Re: RA or something else

I meant to ask if you have stiffness? when you have RA this is one of the main things you will have and usually mornings are worse. I also used to get really hot joints, it would feel like acid burning inside my fingers. Hope you get sorted out. x
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: Red head

Subject: Re: RA or something else

I can't really say stiff joints but certainly tight in my hands in the morning and my feet throb like crazy the minute they hit the floor. my hands and feet often feel like i have just immersed them in hot water although they do not always feel hot to others.
When my shoulders start to ache i have noticed red patches appearing.
My main stiffness is my lower back, have had facet joint injections and all sorts to no relief.
Often wonder if its connected as its been much worse lately xx
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Date: 27.02.2014
From: rhona

Subject: Re: RA or something else

There are many different types of arthritis so perhaps it is something else that you have. I know when my feet first got sore it was the middle joints under the toes. I suppose everyone is different but I would think the main symtoms of RA is stiffness and hot painful joints. It doesn't usually affect the back or hips at the start of the disease, when the hips are involved it is usually later on in the disease but then I suppose there is always exceptions to the rule. x
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Date: 28.02.2014
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: RA or something else

your lower back problem is not linked to RA & think that is the reason you have some problems with your hips & can give burning sensations down the leg but not sure about what you descibed

still think you should take the methotrexate , atleast it can control some of your problems , pleased you are getting a second opinion
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