22 with potential rheumatoid arthritis - my first consulation was this week

YoungMindOldBody Member Posts: 5
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:06 in Living with arthritis

Hi all, I may be on this forum for only a brief time depending on my upcoming tests and consultations but I'm being tested for suspected rheumatoid arthiris as a 22 year old female.

My family has a history of arthritis (grandma and great-grandma on mum's side, nan on dad's) but they're all osteo. I've been having cramp/dull ache pains in my wrists and knuckle areas for at least a year and I've suspected arthritis given how young I am (so less likely to be aging pains|) and that I have quite a family history.

I spoke with a doctor this week through video consultation and I sort of feel I didn't get quite into the issues I have. She asked me about my pain and I explained what it was and where. She then asked me about swelling which I don't have and then asked me about flexibility. I have very weak wrists and can't hold heavy things without two-handed support minimum and I can't flex my wrist even halfway. However, when pressed against something (like when she asked me to put my hands together and bend to a 90 degree angle), I can do it but it is very uncomfortable and painful if I hold it.

She believes it's potentially calcium deficiency as a first instance because of the location of the pains I described but also believes that RA is a posibility so I'm having a blood test next week and we'll have another appointment to discuss the results.

Personally, I feel it's arthritis but that's just gut instinct based on what I know about the condition and the aches I get. However, I don't experience "pain" as such, it's more just really uncomfortable. It's probably about a 2-3 on the "out of 10" pain scale so it's noticable and uncomfortable but is only rarely enough to stop me doing something (maybe once a week I'll have to stop and take a second to try and relieve a sudden strong pain).

That's why I'm here really. I don't really know what's "normal" pain vs what's "potential arthritis" pain. It's always depicted as being very painful and since I'm usually able to just get on with my life, I don't know whether I should accept a non-arthritis diagnosis or whether I should chase it up beyond a blood test depending on the results.


  • anneb82
    anneb82 Member Posts: 317

    Hello @YoungMindOldBody ,

    Welcome to Versus Arthritis and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    So you have a family history of arthritis, have been experiencing pain and stiffness in your wrists and knuckles, you struggle with holding anything heavy and have to use both hands. Your GP thinks that it could be calcium deficiency due to your age but is testing for arthritis due to the family history.

    First of all, pain can be subjective from person to person, so comparing pain isn't going to necessarily answer your question about what arthritic pain is like. We are all different so experience it differently. Your pain level at a one could be the same as my pain level at a 9, so ultimately depends on you as an individual.

    I have included some links below about pain in your hands and wrists but also ways in which you can manage your pain, as well as information on Rheumatoid Arthritis. I hope that you will find them helpful.

    I noticed that you have already started to post on the forum which is excellent. Please feel free to continue to do this and please do keep us updated on how you are getting on. I hope your appointment next week goes ok and you can finally start to get some answers.

    Take care

    Anne (moderator)