Denial or incorrect diagnosis

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gilliangull
gilliangull Member Posts: 4
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis
Hello, this is my first time using a chat forum so I'm not sure of correct way to go about it so apologies if I'm posting to the wrong place but I really need some friendly advice.
About 5 months ago I suddenly started experiencing severe pain in my hands especially my left hand, I went from being totally pain free one week to in agony the next, the pain is always there but is worse first thing in a morning or when I'm holding something or my daughter tries to hold my hand, my hands also get very stiff again especially first thing in a morning, I initially put this down to the kind of work I was doing at the time and just took painkillers to try and ease the pain although they don't really help much!
Then 3 months ago I started to get niggly pains in my feet and now I find my feet are so painful all the time, again my left is worse than my right foot, when I first stand after sitting my feet are stiff and sore and I find myself hobbling around until the stiffness eases much to the amusement of my young daughter!
About three weeks ago I went to the Drs about all if this and I had lots of blood tests that came back clear and x rays on my hands that came back clear so the Dr said I had "probably got arthritis" and to come back when the pain got worse [emoji17]
I guess my question is I'm not convinced I have arthritis (I'm only 40) so would you guys go back to the Drs or does it sound like this is what I have? If it is what I have how bad does the pain have to get before you can be given treatment as traditional pain killers do nothing.
If you're still reading this ridiculously long message thank you [emoji177] and any advice is much needed and greatly appreciated xx


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Comments

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi gilliangull and welcome to the forums.

    Yes, you are in just the right place to ask for advice regarding what your doctor thinks may be some form of arthritis. The pain in your hands and feet must be terrible.

    Arthritis doesn't respect age and can happen to anyone - its not just "old people" who are affected, although osteoarthritis does tend to be more common as we all get a bit older.

    There is more information here on osteoarthritis:

    https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/osteoarthritis/

    Its worth discussing what pain relief your doctor can prescribe for you, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, as described in the link above.

    There are also some great suggestions on the for managing your symptoms.

    Do join in on the forums and let us know how you get on.

    Best wishes
    Brynmor
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I certainly don't think yours is 'a ridiculously long message' and I have to agree with Mod Brynmor that, unfortunately, arthritis can start at any age. I was diagnosed with RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) at 15. Autoimmune types are more likely to strike in younger people but even OA (Osteo), which is commonly - and wrongfully - thought of as an old person's disease can rock up in much younger people especially if they have had a former trauma to a joint, smoke or are overweight. Or none of these :roll:

    GPs don't like it much as there's very little they can do for it other than prescribing pain relief, physio sessions and a Pain Clinic. It's more about what we can do for ourselves. (I say 'we' because I also managed to get OA too - just greedy :wink: ) You'll find some useful ideas here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis . I'd advise you to be very sensible with the footwear. Always wear good, strong, supportive shoes.

    There is just a chance that you could have an autommune form of arthritis though it should have shown up on the x-rays if you did. GPs do simple blood tests and, if the rheumatoid factor isn't present, or is very low, sometimes think that rules out the autoimmune forms such as RA. That's not quite so. Psoriatic Arthritis is sero-negative as is Ankylosing Spondylitis, Reactive Arthritis and, in a few cases, even Rheumatoid. But an autoimmune flare usually results in horrible, flu-like fatigue. My OA flares when I've overdone things. My RA is very well controlled these days but previously used to flare whenever the mood took it. Stress can be a big factor.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • gilliangull
    gilliangull Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Sticky wicket

    Thank you very much for your comments, at the minute because everything is so new I just find it all really confusing but I'm steadily doing more research and a friend suggested taking fish oil and yoga so I'm starting to do both of those.

    I'd never really thought about the autoimmune side of things before, I have had autoimmune conditions in the past, so I'm now wondering if it would make me more susceptible to an autoimmune form of arthritis [emoji848]

    I can see lots of research in my future!


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  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    You are not too young for arthritis, people who know little about it associate it with the elderly but that is incorrect. I began my first one, psoriatic arthritis, when I was 37, it was finally accurately diagnosed when I was 46 which changed nothing. Osteoarthritis was diagnosed six years after that and now, being 60, I feel as though my disease is now fitting better with my age. :lol:

    I was always a candidate for the disease as I was born with auto-immune nonsense but the osteo diagnosis was a shock as I thought I had ticked the arthritis box: another one of life's rich travesties. :roll: OA is by far the most common version of arthritis but the auto-immune junk can start at anytime. Arthritis cares not for age, gender, class, religion etc., it is an equal opportunities disease. Dealing with it is a case of mind over matter, if it is arthritis (and it sounds a distinct possibility) you will mind but that doesn't matter. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have had autoimmune conditions in the past, so I'm now wondering if it would make me more susceptible to an autoimmune form of arthritis


    Te simple answer to that is 'yes'. If either you, or a (genetic) family member have autoimmune issues then another one could join the party. If your GP isn't aware of this he/she should be told. It doesn't mean to say yours is definitely autoimmune, only that you are a more likely candidate.

    The yoga might well help though don't get too competitive :wink: Fish oil? I think the jury is still out but, as my Mum would have said, if it does you no good it'll do you no harm.

    As for research - it's good as long as you stick to reliable sites and don't take one person's opinion as gospel truth. Good luck with it all.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Gillian my advice would be to keep on at your Dr you need some treatment for this and not everything shows in our bloods :roll:

    AND - take someone with you next time you go who will back you up and say how things are affecting you. You have more power and strength when you're not alone.

    I would also suggest a short list of what your symptoms are when they are worse/better anything else 'odd' extreme tiredness/ rashes etc.

    As for trying fish oil etc n problem trying anything so long as it's not harmful. It can show your GP your own efforts to improve things.

    Best of luck and do let us know how you get on.

    Toni x
  • gilliangull
    gilliangull Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you guys for all your opinions and suggestions I really appreciate it, I think taking somebody with me to the Drs is a brilliant idea and I will definitely do that next time I go.
    It's really daunting trying to make the right choices and look for the right resources so I will definitely be sticking to this website. Thank you xxx


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  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,719
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Definitely good to take someone. Often we can be so anxious to remember the right questions we forget to listen carrefully to the answers. A second pair of ears is really useful.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • felicityh
    felicityh Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Unfortunately arthritis can happen at any age - I'm 20, was diagnosed at 17 but had symptoms from childhood. When going to see the dr as well as taking someone with you, take a list of any questions you had and ask them to write things down for you so you can remember everything that is said. I hope you can get some proper answers and some relief from your pain. Have you been referred to a rheumatologist? x