Referred to rheumatologist and awaiting appointment
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to post here. I am feeling anxious about what may be wrong with me and wanted to get it out somewhere and see if anyone has any advice or thoughts please.
I have just been referred to rheumatology by my GP after blood tests showed a rheumatoid factor of 20.3 (their acceptable range is 1-13.9 but I know some consider up to 20 to be normal). I visited the doctor as I have suffered from back pain for years and feel more and more than many parts of me ache, both joints in spine and neck but a lot of muscle pain and stiffness. I am 35, a healthy weight and have a good diet. I play netball, horse ride and am fairly active in the garden but I have a constant level of discomfort these days, whether doing something or being still. I see a chiropractor once a month and she says I have arthritis in the lower back for sure and always comments on my stiffness.
Last year I also visited GP as lymph nodes swell in my armpits from time to time (every few months), can be different sides and no explanation. GP had no cause for that but blood tests then showed an iron deficiency with a ferritin of 5.5, extremely low. I was giving blood in those days, now ended, and do not eat meat. I was very tired but got my ferritin up with a few months of iron tablets and I now take iron regularly.
I also have a chronic cough which has been diagnosed (over the phone) as asthma. I am also often cold.
My pain is more of a widespread ache than one specific area but there are certain parts which ache regularly. Occasionally my hands feel slightly stiff in the morning but this wears off very quickly and joints of hands are fine.
I am assuming that having these pains and an elevated RF almost certainly means I have something wrong somewhere along the line… whether or not that is RA is yet to be seen and I now need to wait patiently. I would be grateful to hear from anyone in a similar situation or who has any advice for me.
Thank you again and I wish you all a pain-free and happy afternoon.
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