KathyH Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hi There
I am 56 and have been diagnosed with Arthritis mostly in my knees but also hands and toes. My Gp immediately thought it could be Rheumatoid, blood results apparently were confusing. Physio was unsure. Waiting for more blood results. What are the different symptoms? I have a huge amount of pain especially in my knees and particularly when resting and at night. My knees are swollen and sort of feel locked difficult to fully straighten or bend. My hands hurt especially in the morning but the right one aches all the time. My toes have shooting pains sort of like cramp. Its difficult to walk but it does feel better afterwards and I have felt generally unwell for months..... Any clues?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kathy
    Welcome to the forum sorry you are going through a lot at the moment we understand what you are going through as everyone here has a form of arthritis.
    We are also friendly and welcoming. The most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat
    So just choose one or all and start chatting.
    All the best Christine
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you and I am sorry you have had to find us. Diagnosing and auto-immune kind of arthritis (such as rheumatoid) is not the job of a GP because they know a little a about a lot: given there is some query about the bloods you must now be referred to a rheumatologist because they know a lot about a little - GPs and physios are the wrong people at the current time to help.

    There are around three hundred kinds of auto-immune inflammatory conditions and arthritis is on that spectrum. To further complicate matters auto-immune arthritis comes in two kinds, sero-positive (where rheumatoid factor is in the blood) and sero-negative (where is isn't). I have one of those, psoriatic arthritis (PsA) which is related to psoriasis but I don't have much of that. It damages the joints in a different way to rheumatoid.

    GPs are unable to prescribe the medications that people like me need, the meds control disease activity by suppressing the immune system, stopping it from swinging into action over a non-existent threat (my immune system has done that from birth so for me this is just more of the same). When my PsA is active I feel very tired, generally yucky and can do for weeks if not months (this still happens despite the medication). Mine began in my knees (it isn't supposed to, PsA is meant to target the smaller joints which, twenty years later, it has now done) and I have osteoarthritis too: of the two I far prefer that because it is more honest in how it presents, I know what it's going to do and when it's going to do it, the PsA has no rules and is very sly. Age is not a factor with arthritis, yes it is more common in older folks (they usually have osteo) but the auto-immune kind can affect children and babies. It also runs in families, my parents dodged the genetic bullets they fired into me, I chose not to run the risk of spoiling another's life, a decision I have never regretted.

    Please ask your GP for a referral to rheumatology. Sit with your feet up and your knees supported whenever you can, if they are hot and swollen then ice them (I used to find a bag of frozen petit pois the best ice pack). I have for years slept with a pillow running lengthwise between my legs, being a side sleeper it keeps the upper hip in a straight line and cushions my knees and ankles). I think you need further tests and investigations and firmly believe the sooner one begins the meds the better the outcome can be. Good luck and please let us know how you get on. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,491
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Kathy

    Lovely to meet you.

    As for your diagnosis have you read up on RA? This link might help you

    But remember there are many many types of arthritis, I think over 200??? so diagnosis can take a good while.

    Many of them are inflammatory/autoimmune and luckily are treated in a similar way so diagnosis can be not quite as essential as I used to think. I still don't think I have a proper diagnosis myself. It's been 'inflammatory' palindromic and Sero-negative Rheumatoid over the years, but so long as I am on the right treatment I am ok with that.

    Please come on in and join us we are very friendly :)

    Toni x