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RA diagnosis

jen0071313jen0071313 Posts: 10
Hi guys,
I'm looking for some advice.

I've had chronic pain in my knees, and at times lower back hands for the last 3/4 years. I have seen my own GP about this and he thinks I have RA but never had an official diagnosis. But recently the pain in my knees has been constant, it's just a constant flare it feels. I know that winter, changes of weather ect can affect this but it's never been this bad.

Only 1 blood test done 3/4 year ago but with no rhumetoid factor showing in it.

I take naproxen 500 and tramadol 50mg along with any paracetemol I feel I require, they do help. But I live on a top floor flat, and I'm now trying to ask for a move with my council to a lower/ground floor based on my medical needs. But of course, I only have my medication to back this up... no official diagnosis.

There is a family history of RA of 3 generations (4 if you include myself) and I was speaking with a nurse where I work (I work for NHS but not clincial) and she's said I should go back to my own GP and ask for a referal to rhumetology, not only for an official diagnosis but also to recieve all the services that come along side a specialist.

What do you guys think? Will he refer me? What do I do if he refuses? I just feel I can't keep going on without a definate diagnosis, so I can access any help that I may need. (Ie: I struggle to turn the taps off in my bathroom fully as the are a round style... not a lever like in my kitchen)



  • helpline_teamhelpline_team Posts: 2,019
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Jen,

    Thank for your post to Helplines. I'm sorry to hear about your ongoing issues with function and pain in your hands and knees. You didn't mention how old you are or whether you have any other health factors which might be affecting any arthritis.

    Common factors such as musculo-skeletal conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis) may need ruling out. So getting the most affected joint investigated may be mentioned. If you are into middle age osteoarthritis can be diagnosed on examination by some doctors. Body weight and your physical condition affect the course of arthritis, so it's worth expecting that these issues will be discussed.

    Inflammatory blood tests include more that rheumatoid factor, so it may be worth finding out whether the GP has done some of the commonly needed ones - ESR, CRP, FBC as well as RF (rheumatoid factor).

    If you are concerned that things are being missed, then it can be worth requesting a referral to a musculo-skeletal clinic. In some areas you can self refer online. If the medical professionals see signs of inflammatory arthritis they would be able to recommend referral to rheumatology which might help you get into the system.

    If you'd like any further information, or a chat on the phone do get back in touch with us.

    Kind regards

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