Did you get a blood test to confirm your arthritis?

crabby85 Member Posts: 40
edited 3. Jan 2014, 14:45 in Living with Arthritis archive

Im new here. Im 28 and this is my story so far - Im in pain alot, and it seems to come in bouts. When its happening the pain is all day, every day and sometimes i have to just go to bed with hot water bottles and painkillers and feel like crying. I have a baby to look after so this isnt a great solution and im relying on family alot :(

Ive been back and forth to the gp about this pain over the last year. I had some blood tests and was diagnosed with a vitamin D deficiency which the doctor said was the reason for all my pains. I took vitamin D everyday but the pains continued. After 6 months i had more bloods done and the gp said my vitamin D level was normal now and i could come off the tablets. Because i was still in pain she agreed it wasnt the vit D deficiency and ordered some more blood tests, including testing for arthritis. My pains are mostly in my fingers, hands, wrists, the joint from my leg to my foot, arms and legs and between my shoulder blades.

I feel so weak and achey its affecting my everyday life now. It hurts to walk some days from aches and stiffness. One day my hands were so stiff and achey i couldnt grip my mug handle of tea in the morning and this really upset me. It just hurt too much. Im worried its going to get worse.

Anyway, i had the blood tests. They came back negative. Ive got another appointment with gp next week. I just dont know where to go from here :(

Did you all have a positive blood test for arthritis?

Thanks for reading x


  • valde
    valde Member Posts: 271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Crabby85
    My arthritis was seen in blood tests I had in the early part of this year. I am not sure if the gp has to request the blood test to look for arthritis. It may be worth having a conversation with him or her to ask if this was done. I know it was full blood tests that I had ie no food or drink except water from 10pm night before. I do hope you get some relief soon. Wishing you a Happy and pain free New Year.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My GP kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me.....I went with a "pain in my leg...towards the hip" never thought of arthritis at that time. After going back and forward and him saying he couldn't find anything wrong I insisted on a referral to the Hospital.....There I saw an orthopaedic surgeon, sent me for an x ray and when I went back to his office he said I need 2 new hips!!!!!!!!! So much for the GP :roll:
    Good Luck with the diagnosis

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello crabby..and welcome to the forum
    So sorry you are suffering like this..arthritis is sooo complex..I have OA but have had raised levels of whatever that said it look like RA..then they all came back negative...so had xrays that showed OA in multiple joints...so they should at the very least keep checking your bloods but should also back them up with Xrays or even better an MRI..it must be so hard a little one to look after, please let us know how you get on...and the one things I learned is you have to make yourself heard....good luck x
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello & welcome,

    I'm so sorry to read ure story so far :(

    I have severe chronic plaque psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), Osteoarthritis (OA) & Fibromyalgia (FM).

    I had a swollen ankle & was referred to a Rheumatologist in 2007, I was 37 & had all four of our children by the age of 24 so they were older, luckily.

    I had bloods taken & had xrays as well as a physical examination. In early 08 I had another appointment. My bloods were clear of the Rheumatoid Factor (RF) so it was less likely to be Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). I also have a lot of hypermobile joints. Because of the pattern of damage shown in my xrays & my medical history I was an easy diagnosis, one of the lucky ones, of PsA & OA.

    Two years later after complaining about the pain in my shoulders my Rheumy did a verbal & tender point test on me, I was diagnosed then with FM. It is a pain disorder that they are linking to the immune system as well as other factors. It has many, many symptoms but is finally becoming more & more recognized & diagnosed faster by Rheumatologists & most importantly GPs!!

    RA, PsA etc are autoimmune types of arthritis. They can often be very difficult to diagnose & many people have to sit with a diagnosis of 'Inflammatory Arthritis' until something presents itself that will aid a full diagnosis. If you have one of these types you'll often have raised inflammatory levels in ure blood, that'll be checked by either a CRP or ESR test on ure blood. There is no blood test for FM available in the UK yet.

    I would suggest you go back & talk to ure GP. Explain how badly effected you are by the pain as well as how upsetting losing ure grip can be. Ask wot they are testing for & even ask if they are considering an arthritic or FM cause!!

    If you aren't breast feeding it may be worth asking for some mild pain relief as taking something like paracetamol can have an accumulative affect so may help you.

    Please keep us informed. You have a voice & plenty of ears in here that understand chronic pain.

    I wish you well.
    Xx xX
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Auto-immune arthritises can be hard to diagnose, as Debbie said. I went for years under the umbrella title of 'inflammatory arthritis' (thanks to obscenely high levels of inflammation in my bloods) until my skin obliged with a bout of pustular psoriasis on my palms and soles: only the label changed, nowt else. GPs know a little about a lot so I think you should ask for a referral to a rheumatologist because they know a lot about a little. I think GPs learn about osteo arthritis (because they are the ones who treat that) whereas the auto-immune versions are covered for about thirty minutes on the third Thursday of February in the second year of training. :wink: They simply do not know enough (which is not their fault) about the varieties and vagaries of this type of arthritis. I wish you well. DD
  • tjt6768
    tjt6768 Member Posts: 12,170
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi crabby. Hope you are not suffering too much today.
    My bloods were clear for a long time but I had plenty of pain. I already had Osteo arthritis but this was a different pain in different joints. I was diagnosed with sero negative rheumatoid arthritis. My bloods came back positive recently so now I am a bog standard sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis without the sero. .lol

    Bloods can be a good way to tell a lot of things but not all things.

    Best wishes and some Yorkshire Blokey Hugs.. :xmas_cheesygrin:
  • pot80
    pot80 Member Posts: 109
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    About 20% of those with RA have a negative blood test - I did. Try and see a rheumatologist asap and get an accurate picture as to what is going on.
  • Mat48
    Mat48 Member Posts: 1,161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi - I think that it's nearer to 30% who have sero-negative RA but may be wrong. Some people don't even show inflammation in their blood but it can be found by ultrasound of the joints. I think you should push your GP as hard as possible for a referral to a rheumatologist - it is too specialist an area for a GP to diagnose by bloods or symptoms (or both). There is a test which is more specific to RA and only rheumatologists can order it and it's called the anti-CCP. Even if this is negative (as 40% of RA sufferers are) it doesn't rule RA out for you but one way or the other it needs proper investigations. If it is one of the autoimmune types of arthritis then the sooner it's diagnosed and treated the better chance you will have of getting back some normality and being free of pain.

    Good luck and don't take "no" for an answer from your GP please - it's your life and your body and you are too young to be suffering in this way without proper advice and support. Mat x
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had a bone density scan as well as blood tests to get diagnosed I've been diagnosed with Osteoporosis and inflammatory arthritis. I hope you can get diagnosed soon and get your pain under control.
  • lavenderlady
    lavenderlady Member Posts: 409
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I've had bad OA for years and was really suffering with bad muscle pain and fatigue they thought it was MS etc then I found a lump in my neck had biopsy's etc but when the blood tests came back it was positive for RA Lupus and Sygrones ( cannot spell it ) I have got a lot of auto immune health worry's like type 2 diabetes and under active thyroid and a lot of my symptoms over the years have been found to be because of all this , I am now on MTX as well as numerous painkillers and pills, I had a TWR in 2010 and a large toe joint removed as the OA had really deformed them, my knee is badly deformed and will need doing soon as well as my right hip, but what I'm trying to say is all the symptoms I've had for years are mainly due to these health problems all found out by a blood test for a lump thought to be cancer,
  • crabby85
    crabby85 Member Posts: 40
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou all for taking the time to read and reply.

    I have been back to the gp and she has agreed to refer me to the rheumatologist. She said it could take up to 6 months but at least i've been referred. Im glad someones going to take a look at me, i know somethings not right!!! x
  • Mat48
    Mat48 Member Posts: 1,161
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good - do let us know the outcome please. Mat x
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 1,406
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck crabby - I'm a sero-negative but got a diagnosis pretty quickly (give or take a bit of doubt around the edges as to RA/lupus), I think mostly on the state of my joints by then and probably high inflammatory markers. As whatever I had was an inflammatory something-or-other and the meds would have been more or less the same (apparently), & inflammatory arthritis is where they've stuck, to what I'm 'down as'.
  • Starburst
    Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    crabby85 wrote:
    Thankyou all for taking the time to read and reply.

    I have been back to the gp and she has agreed to refer me to the rheumatologist. She said it could take up to 6 months but at least i've been referred. Im glad someones going to take a look at me, i know somethings not right!!! x

    Good luck, crabby. A step in the right direction, at least! As others have said, some kinds of inflammatory arthritis don't produce anti-bodies that show up in blood tests. It's also not overly unusual to have negative inflammatory markers (ESR and/or CRP) but still have active inflammation in the joints.

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