Dr is testing me for RA but im not convinced i have it

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I have been back and forwards to Dr for years with complaints of sciatica. the base of my spine and hips are extremely painful at times. It has gradually been getting worse and travelling down my legs, it feels like what i imagine growing pains felt like as a child, but now i am getting the same pains in my shoulders, arms, elbows and hands. Doctor has took bloods to test for RA. I have no swelling, redness, the affected area is not painful to touch, i have no disfigurement. Can anyone tell me if they have had similar symptoms that have turned a positive result for RA.

Im a 30 year old female with 3 children (thats when sciatica type pain started in legs, during pregnancy)

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  • Posted

    When I first started getting symptoms, it was very similar to yours, esp the sciatica...then it moved to hands elbows shoulders etc....I never had it on both sides of body at same time, never had swelling , heat or redness...but after a trip to a & e after 15 years going undiagnosed, they suspected it, and then I fianlly got the diagnosis..I do get swelling and heat now, but I didnt at first....Good luck hope you can get some answers
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    • Posted

      Oh great, not what i was hoping to hear haha. My mam has Fibromyalgia, that is what i was initially worried about to start with, I guess i will know more when i get blood results, im just so impatient.

      At times my arms feel like they are too heavy for my body, can you relate to that?

      Thank you for responding.

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    • Posted

      Hi Stacey.....dont worry too much, stress is not good for you....Just want to point out that a diagnosis is not necessarily a sentence.... I am still working as a full time gardener (I am self employed, so have no choice), but I do manage...in fact, Im sure that as I am fairly active, is the reason why I can cope with it...there are plenty of drugs out there that wil help with whatever the problem is..I can relate to yu being impatient, and I can relate to the feeling of heaviness...Once again good luck 
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  • Posted

    Hi Stacey and sorry to hear of your predicament. Im replying on behalf of my mum who was diagnosed last year after a 'first' presentation where she woke up with swollen read legs which i thought was cellulitis. Eventually, after the clourse of this changed, including being prescribed antibiotics etc, legs went down, ankles became swollen and hands, wrists fingers also were bad. By then I was thinking RA and ultimatly we got that diagnosism sero positive. Looking back, what I would say is that my mother had aches and pains for many years, neck, armas, legs etc etc, but never an acute flare. I may be wrong but I wouldnt be suprised if there wasnt someting then linked to RA. Even myself, at 52, I have had some years of stiff joints, very hard in the mornings and similar aches in limbs at times. Ive put mine down to menopasue and hopefully it is but it makes one wonder. Wish I could be more help abd I wish you well and hope everything goes ok for you.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Paula. My partner has a condition called EDS which is quite similar and i am so worried i will end up poorly as i want to be sure i am well enough to look after him. I guess what will be will be, i hope your mum is managing ok and fingers crossed your aches and pains are your bodies natural response to the menopause
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  • Posted

    I have the same dilemma. Got my sciatica when I was 30 (I am now 65). Started hurting again this year when my left knee swelled up and hurt to walk on it. My Rheum says RA. Let me know wht happens to you.
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    • Posted

      I will do, should have results back on Tuesday but I think it is Wednesday for RA results, they said they take a bit longer. I'm only 30 but had sciatica for approximately 8 years. Even been.offered surgery for it but I declined as there is only 50% success rate and a very strong possibility it would make it worse.
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  • Posted

    Hi Stacey, I was 34 when I was diagnosed with ra. Although it was a huge blow and took a long time to come to terms with it it was also a relief! I finally knew wot was wrong with me and treatment could commence. Even on the really bad days my two young kids kept me going. Fingers X you don't have ra but the doc is doing the right thing by testing you for it even if it's to rule ra out. Any of the pain killers you're on doing anything for you?
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    • Posted

      Pain killers don't really work, ive had nefopam which just keeps me awake all night, codiene only works for a few days then it stops being effective, I've just been given naproxen which makes no difference at all. I have had amitrypline but that is no good for me as it knocks me out for days and I have 3 children to look after.
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    • Posted

      Sounds like you've tried a couple then. Ibuprofen not improve ur symptoms? I still take slow release dihydracodeine, paracetamol ( don't know why I take these, like taking smarties!! Doc says to use them as a building brick) ibuprofen. During my last flare I was prescribed slow release morphine tablets and oramorph. Extreme Pain Is a difficult thing to control as you feel it's unrelenting and affects you physically, mentally and emotionally. I think yoga helps me too as well as an extremely understanding helpful family. Keep doing wot ur doing to get you through till you get a diagnosis. Fingers X it's not ra. Please let us know how you get on. G.
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  • Posted

    Hi Stasey. Do you have a centralized pain in the lower back? RA does propagate but some points still hurt more than others... If it's periferical I optimistically would think that it's not RA... RA also does not make certain parts feeling heavier than others - with fatigue you just can't move. Everything is heavy (and aching when in flare). Pregnancy does give nerve damage sometimes. Which should be treated... Hope for you that it is not RA. If it is, it's time for diagnosing it. Good luck in either case.
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    • Posted

      My back was the first pain I noticed, then my hips, then down my legs which is why I have been being treat for sciatica for so long, now it is in my shoulders, arms and fingers. It doesn't all hurt at the same time, it's a different but body part in different days but my hips hurt for weeks at a time.
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    • Posted

      Is it a bone/joint pain or is it more muscles-related? With RA you ache a lot but there are diff levels of pain at least from time to time and there is always some pain in already affected areas. Do hot water or hot pillow help? With RA there are affected joints and then other that may hurt more or less. But it's not about pain moving around. There is almost always pain in specific areas and from time to time pain in other areas too. So "traveling" pain seems like something nerve related to me. But maybe I am misinterpreting your sympthoms... In any case it sounds severe enough to ask for CT or MRI of the lower back - did you have any of these? You mentioned that you suffer for a long time. Blood tests are not always conclusive. Clinical changes visible on screening are conclusive... If your insurance covers this why don't you ask your dr about this option of diagnosis? Hope that your tests will make you and the Drs smarter...
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    • Posted

      I am in the UK so don't pay for tests, I'm not sure how to describe the pain other than am ache, like growing pains from childhood, I've had no previous tests as it is very recent that I've suspected it is more than sciatica. I also think it could be fibromyalgia as my mam has that as does my grandmother. But in order to get a fibromyalgia diagnosis, things like RA have to be ruled out. I will be sure to let you know of my results. Thank you for responding.
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