High RA levels, but no swelling, doctor still trying figure out what kind of arthritis i have.

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I wonder if I even have arthritis, I have no swollen joints, and have more muscle pain than joint pain. I have had three "immbolizing" spells, one in hip, one in ankle, one in shoulders. But have extreme muscle pains all the time, as though I have pulled all my muscles at once. I am taking methotrexiate, folic acid, couple months now, not helping.

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  • Posted

    Is your pain on both sides of your body?  And are you middle aged or older?  You could consider polymyalgia rheumatica as a possible diagnosis.  It doesn't affect joints the same way osteo and rheuatoid arthritis do, but causes pain in muscles.  It's aninflammatory disease, thought to be in the smaller blood vessels which interferes with circulation and causes the pain, although no one really knows.

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    • Posted

      I'm 48, I do not have the typical "mirrored" pains people have with Rheumatoid, but I do have pains all over, left and right side. Dr first said Psoriatic because I have psoriasis, but the xrays don't show damage in the hip, which is common for Psoriatic (I'm told).  I will talk to the Dr about the polymyalgia. Thank you.

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    • Posted

      polymyalgia (PMR) doesn't damage joints, but it's really hard to diagnose.  Usually inflammation levels in the body are checked, but even they are not always raised.  A one week course of moderate dose of prednisone (about 15 mg, sometimes a little more) may be given, and if the pain clears up within that time it's considered fairly good chance it's PMR.  However your doctor may wish to examine other possibilities as well because PMR symptoms can be caused by other disorders.  

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  • Posted

    All the muscle and connective tissue diseases have symptoms like yours. You may also have RA, but you could also have co occuring diseases. I have Polymyositis, celiacs, and raynauds.  PM is usually diagnosed with a muscle biopsy. I had a rash that was biopsied, but now they want to do the muscle too. 

    The muscle pain I have when flaring is severe, like hot pokers in my thighs and arms.  It is incapasitating. I have trouble walking up stairs, I get winded. Do you have other symptoms like this?  

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    • Posted

      My muscle pain is extreme soreness, like the muscle has been strectched, or bruised, it is tender to the touch, stiff too, I don't have the sharpe pain like you are describing, (thats sound awful painful)

      I do have difficulty moving around, very winded.

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    • Posted

      I used to feel like I'd over exercised all the time - the pain never going away like it does if it is just caused by over exercise.

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    • Posted

      I just googled symptoms extreme muscle pain, tender to touch, and fibromyalgia came up as the first possibility.  That, of course, is completely different disease from polymyalgia, although people occasionally can have both at same time.  Adding high RA levels to the search also brings up rheumatoid arthritis and polymyalgia and lupus.  What has your doctor eliminated so far, apart from the RA?  You don't have the joint swelling which is good.

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    • Posted

      I have only had two visit with my Rheumatologist, first visit she was leaning toward Psoriatic (because of my psoriasis) and location of pains, did xrays, and on the second visit, the xrays of hips showed only normal changes that occur "after preganancy" (which was thirty years ago). So she doesnt think its Psoriatic. She didn't think it was Rheumatoid because the pains aren't mirrored.  She up'd dosage of methotrexiate to 6 pills once a week, I go back next week for blood work so I won't see the Doctor then, next visit with Doctor is in December. I have several new symptoms since my last visit, random vibration in bottom of feet, extreme jaw and face pain, and most recent (this week) my hands and fingers are tingling (like they are asleep). My energy level has dropped, my focus is gone. It almost seems like I have gotten worse since I started seeing a specialist.

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    • Posted

      Oops, didn't see this until after my post just now.  The jaw and face pain is concerning.  IF YOU GET ANY PROBLEMS WITH YOUR EYESIGHT PLEASE GO TO YOUR HOSPITAL EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT.

      Look up GCA or Giant Cell Arteritis so you know why I'm saying this.  It's serious as your vision can be damaged, but also very treatable if caught quickly.  Hopefully it's not the issue, but it's a good idea to be aware.

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  • Posted

    RF is rheumatoid factor.

    Rheumatoid Factor is present in rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's Syndrome.

    The factor may be present before the disease presents with more persistent symptoms

    kind regards

    ,judith

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    • Posted

      Thanks Judith - I looked up  Sjogren's syndrome you listed, I do not have dry eyes or dry mouth, and my Doctor asked me that on both visists. Do you know of other things that may have high RA levels?

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    • Posted

      I would have suggested you google that, but I just did and the list of things is not pretty.  Obviously your doctor is the best person to ask this question because s/he will also know your other symptoms and what can automatically be ruled out.  Are you seeing a rheumatologist?  If you are still with your GP it may be time to ask for a referral if the GP has not yet offered one.  If you're already with a rheumatologist I hope you are telling them all your symptoms because you never know what might be the clue they need!  Good luck.  Please let us know how you get on.  Hugs.

       

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    • Posted

      I really appreciate all the time and response you have given me here, I feel alittle lost - and scare myself to death when I "google" my symptoms. I can talk myself into having everything. lol. But sharing and hearing from you all is a great comfort.    I am seeing a Rheumatologist, It took about 8 months to get an appt, but she is suppose to be the best in this area. I am keeping a list of all symptoms with time frames also, so I can inform her on my next appt.  I have never been a "sick" person, even when I did get the flu I still worked, you know - you just kept going, but this is such a show stopper, overwhelming.....   thanks again for listening, and the advice.

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    • Posted

      Hope the next little while before your next appointment goes well.  All the best!
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    • Posted

      Diagnosis can be tricky...rheumatologist is a great idea and I am delighted to hear your seeing the top doc

      hugs,

      judith

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