Could this be RA?

Sarahscary Member Posts: 3
Hi All. I don't have a diagnosis of anything at the moment (awaiting blood tests) but for the last 4 weeks my hands and wrists have been really painful. I struggle to grip/turn things and can't carry anything even slightly heavy. The pain is particularly bad in the knuckles. Over the last few days my elbows have also started to hurt. Could this be RA? I keep thinking not, as there's no visible inflammation, it's not worse in the morning (same all day), no fatigue (well, no more than usual - I always need a good 8 hours!)and no "flu like" symptoms. I have had knee and neck problems previously, which have been treated with physio and I know I have some degeneration of my cervical spine, although that's never been investigated further. I'm also B12 deficient (cause unknown) - no clue whether that could be related (I've seen something about a link with autoimmune diseases)? I've been doing loads of online research, but there's so much info out there that I've confused myself!Is there always swelling/fatigue with RA? Any clarification about first symptoms would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance, Sarah


  • Annah
    Annah Member Posts: 92
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I'm not sure if I'm allowed to answer this query, as I'm not part of the helpline team, but as I have experience of going through this kind of thing, I felt I wanted to say something.

    There's lots of things it could be, but while you have the tests my advice would be to try not to let your imagination (or Googling!) get the better of you.

    Joint conditions are complicated and sometimes it takes doctors a while to figure out what is going on. Your job, in the meantime, is to keep asking for help until you get it - politely and calmly, of course, but assertively.

    It is so, so difficult to cope with being one of the "undiagnosed". It can drive you nuts. But many of us have been there. Sometimes it turns out to be a condition you've never heard of before. Other times, you end up with a tentative diagnosis for a while, until some symptom comes along that confirms it. Generally though, conditions have a way of showing themselves after a while, if you are patient.

    Just don't do what I did and spend hours trying to Google your symptoms to find out what's wrong! Do let us know but in the meantime: Breath :wink:
  • Sarahscary
    Sarahscary Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for the very sensible advice Annah! :) The internet is a dangerous thing!! I'll just "breathe" and wait for the test results - no point trying to self diagnose - I think I just needed someone to say it! Thanks again and will keep you posted!
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi i am also a forum member not a member of help team it so scary we understand how scared you must feel but we are all different and affected differently keep a pain diary and try to rest when you need to. with the right meds life is so much better but it takes time to get there so be ready for a wait good luck val
  • ruby2
    ruby2 Member Posts: 423
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What good sensible advice annah has given.
    No one can say here it will be RA only the bloods and consultants will give you that info.

    You will get lots of support re your concerns over on Living with Arthritis.
    ask lots of what ifs etc.
    Everyone will be honest here, but diagnosis is a specialist field.

    Good luck
  • helpline_team
    helpline_team Posts: 2,400
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Sarah, (and thanks Forum folk)
    Welcome along to the Forum. We really appreciate how difficult it can be to hold onto this uncertainty. Even if you have a load of bloods done, it often does not lead to huge certainty either.

    As you've mentioned your history of musculoskeletal issues it may be worth discussing - whether they are in the mix too.

    But here on the Forum there is a really good understanding of the complexities of life with an uncertain diagnosis. Managing day to day is something that you can get good support about on here.

    I hope we can help as you go along.

    All the best


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