Hi, just found this forum yesterday and thought I'd make a post in case anyone was willing to give me their opinion - thanks.
Would appreciate your views on whether on not you believe Im suffering from gout or something else.
For 5 months I've had fairly symmetrical pains throughout my joints. First felt in my toes, then fingers, knees, wrists, arms and shins. I'm mostly affected now in my fingers, at the finger tips, with my index fingers becoming quite swollen with loss of motion. Also my arms are sore. I find it painful to pick up most objects, typing and putting some of my fingers in cold water is uncomfortable. My fingers are showing signs of what is either herberden nodes or possibly tophi (although not at all as extreme as some pictures you see). Looking at online pics I'm tempted to think they are herberden nodes. My fingers feel like they are almost someone else's, as a result of the swelling. I'm also finding I'm a bit clumsy with them dropping things occasionally.
One of my middle toes has gone quite thick 'bony' but apart from that there are no other physical "tells" that are obvious.
My GP asked for an x-ray of my hands in February which showed only minor wear and tear possibly osteoarthritis he thought in the fingers. However they have become much more swollen since then. At the start of the year uric acid levels were up to 440 from 400 in the previous year; and most recently were recorded as 590. I was put on a course of Colchicine in January to "test" for gout which had no positive effect, Prednisolone has been tried a couple of times which did help, and I've now been taking Allopurinol for 6 weeks with no positive effect, although in the first week of treatment it was combined with Colchicine - when on that occasion I was in less pain than on the first occasion when Colchicine was used.
Im a 47 year old male. Not over weight. Dont drink heavily but do enjoy a beer (which Ive currently cut out) re purines.
I'd imagine most people would agree that these are not the typical symptoms of gout; since they did not begin with swelling of the big toe, I have no 'redness' of skins, and I have sharp pains which have been going on for months, rather than 'flare ups for a few weeks only'.
However I think what's pushing my GP to think in that direction is the symmetrical nature (ie unlikely to be osteoarthritis but rather is inflammation of some kind) and the elevated uric acid. I've asked if I can be referred to a reumatologist and he's said they wouldn't look at my case while my bloods are not showing an issue e.g. no raised rheumatoid factor. Should I be pushing this? Or if necessary trying to get a (hopefully not to costly) private assessment?
I became convinced it was rheumatoid arthritis, however things are not worse in the mornings and as said bloods are not showing raised Rheumatoid factor. Reading about early stage RA experiences, it does however suggest that morning stiffness and positive blood tests may however not be present.
Appreciate greatly you reading my story (sorry for the length). If you have an observations then it would be much appreciated.
PS struggling to get pics of fingers to load but I'll try again later