Hi everyone , being diagnosed

Lisamm Member Posts: 2
edited 30. Nov 2018, 01:34 in Say Hello Archive
Hi im lisa and just turned 30 this year. Decided to join a forum as I feel like no one gets what I go through on a daily basis and its frustrating... I need somewhere to go for support.

For at least 5/6 years I have suffered with swollen hands every morning ( 10 x worse in winter), the loss of strength and grip especially my right hand. Sore joints and fatigue. The doctors did blood tests and scans back when it started and found no joint damage and nothing was ever done about it but its getting worse every year. I wake each morning my hands like balloons, unable to make a fist as they are so sore and tight. My strength is getting worse when they are bad I struggle to get dressed or open a bottle of water. I get lumps across my knuckles that are painful especially if you accidentally knock your hand against something! It takes about 40 minutes to get use of my hands in the morning and at night the swelling comes back - not that it ever really goes down much! Sometimes my toes are the same lumps underneath warm and sore in the mornings. I am constantly tired everything takes it out of me and I used to be very active. During the day my hands go white across the knuckle area as if poor circulation / cold. Arthritis is rife in my family with members having operations due to damage, I can’t seem to get a doctor to take me seriously.

Of course I can’t just diagnose myself but i’m pretty sure i have arthritis or something in that area - does anyone have any advice?


  • johnnyk32uk
    johnnyk32uk Member Posts: 41
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lisa,

    I can't see why you are not being referred to a Rheumatology consultant to properly diagnose you.

    I would go back to your GP and strongly suggest this as this looks like the only way forward for you to get help. I have lots of similar things to what you are prescribing but there are of course various kinds of arthritis.

    This sounds like you have arthritis to me but I know how hard it can be to convice others this.

    Good luck.

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lisa and welcome from me too. We're not docs and can't diagnose but you certainly sound as if you have something going on which could be some form of arthritis. Do you know what type of arthritis family members have? That might help your doc with a diagnosis. Also, some types of arthritis give negative blood tests and not all GPs are aware of that. Psoriatic and Ankylosing Spondylitis are two that come to mind but even Rheumatoid can occasionally be negative. This might help https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/rheumatoid-arthritis/diagnosis/ . I suggest you take photos of your hands in the morning (yes it will be difficult :roll: ) and show them to your GP. And maybe print off some of the info on here about rheumatoid arthritis https://www.nras.org.uk/seropositive-seronegative . Please let us know how you get on.
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Lisamm, welcome to the forum.
    That sounds really frustrating if you feel like you are not being listened to and your symptoms aren't being investigated properly. Is there an option to see another GP at your practice? Or even change practices? There does seem to be a lot of variation between the knowledge level of arthritis amongst GPs and their willingness to take symptoms seriously and refer onwards.
    Stickywickets advice to take photos is good, that's what I ended up doing, because it felt as though my symptoms were never visibly bad when I actually had a GP appointment. When I got referred the consultant was really interested to see the pics too. So that's definitely worth doing if you can manage it.
    Going to a GP appointment armed with knowledge, a polite-but-assertive manner and even, as sticky wicket has suggested, information printed out can be really helpful. Have you tried asking outright for a rheumatology referral? Have you mentioned your family history?
    Good luck, don't be afraid to seek out another GP if necessary, let us know how you get on.
    best wishes,
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, when I began my arthritis back in 1997 my then GP had not one clue about what might be the cause of my inflammation (mine was then localise around my left knee). GPs now are generally better informed but there will still be those who have gaps in their knowledge.

    The general perception of arthritis is that it comes in two kinds and only old people have it - both are completely wrong but why would anyone think differently? There is osteoarthritis, which is by far and away the most common, and then there are around three hundred kinds of auto-immune inflammatory conditions including auto-immune arthritis such as rheumatoid, psoriatic, ankylosing spondylitis, polymyalgia rheumatica etc. It is the latter kind that tend to run in families as they have a genetic cause: osteoarthritis may appear to run in families (and there is some thinking now that that could also have a genetic link) but as it is so common who knows? There are around ten million people in the UK with arthritis of whom around eight million have OA.

    I began psoriatic arthritis when I was 37 (I was born with eczema and developed asthma aged 7 so this was no great shock, both of those things are caused by an over-active immune system) and my OA resulted thanks to the joint damage caused by the PsA. We are not docs and cannot diagnose but you do need to see someone who has more understanding - hopefully reading on here may give you more information that you can give to your GP, at the very least he should offer blood tests or, depending on what kind of arthritis runs in your family, a referral a to rheumatology where there are people who know what lot about a little.

    OA is easy to diagnose, the auto-immune kinds not so you could be in for a trying time. GPs deal with OA and you are not too young for it, not in this day-and-age. I wish you well. DD

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