Newly diagnosed , need some advice please


I’ve just been diagnoses with arthritis and it seems the rheumatoid factor test has come back negative, so I think my dr is going head straight for osteoarthritis diagnosis but this concerns me as to my understanding blood tests aren’t always indicative , also I have a family history, I myself have psoriatic nails so would prefer to be diagnosed by a rheumatologist. My question is how should I approach this and what should I expect next . I want to be prepared before I speak to my dr . Hi


  • Hi @Tripsy

    Welcome to the online community! I see that you're recently diagnosed and by the sounds of it are yet to find out which type you may have. I completely understand where you are coming from here with rheumatoid blood tests. You're right in saying that they are not always indicative- I've had this many times myself. The way you go about this with your doctor may depend on how approachable and open your doctor is but you definitely need to raise your concerns. Mention your family history and your nails- anything in fact that you think could help. Take photos of any swelling etc. if possible so that you can take them with you to show too. It can be a long process when your bloods are not an indicator, but don't give up!

    In the meantime, this link could be of use to you:

    We also have some general information about arthritis here, including some ways of managing symptoms and info about some of the different types around:

    I hope you manage to get to the bottom of this with your GP- do keep in touch with us and let us know how you get on! We are a very friendly bunch here!


  • pisica
    pisica Member Posts: 19

    I would recommend being up front with the GP, and just saying "I have Psoriatic nails and a family history of inflammatory arthritis. Please refer me to a Rheumatologist." My psoriatic nails were what got me the referral that finally got me a PsA diagnosis.

    With the best will in the world, GP are not experts in arthritis; because most of what they see is osteoarthritis, that is often what they assume if the RF is negative. Of note, in parts of Scotland at least (I don't know about the rest of the UK) RF isn't even a recommended test for RA in Primary Care. Specialists still request it, because its presence can inform treatment choices, but not GPs. Anti-CCP is more accurate, but still not infallible.

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    I expect you are nervous of what will be found but do not be led by your own thoughts, these will tear your confidence to pieces, be patient and wait for the medical world to give you a diagnosis, they are the ones giving you years of training and expertise in their own fields.

    A diagnosis is not everything and will not immediately, if at all lead you to improved health, you are at the start of a well travelled path that may lead to treatment and some improvement. If all this happens you will still have arther around and learning how to cope with it will give you peace of mind, not a diagnosis. Please do not spend your life waiting for the next appointment, there is a whole life to lead, do not be defined by arther, we are better than that.

    its a grin, honest!