Potential diagnosis of RA advise please

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Hi smile I've had M.E since 2006 and on a recent GP visit I mentioned how painful my legs and arms had been recently and that some mornings I can hardly walk for a good 20 mins.

He ran bloods and I have a CRP of 12.2, which is apparently extremely high and an indicator of RA.

Before I go back for the official diagnosis meeting and discussions for treatment, does anyone have any advice for me so I can go with some ideas? Any medications or treatments to avoid or anything to request?

Thank you smile

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  • Posted

    You don't say how old you are - but it could also be an indicator of something called polymyalgia rheumatica and that would need to be included that in the decision as how to manage it. The primary difference is that PMR affects muscles more than joints although you can have sore and uncomfortable shoulders and/or hips due to bursitis. A lot of us with PMR looking back realise what had been thought to be mild ME was actually the start of PMR. The usual age range is over 50 but we in the charities know that there are a lot of people under 50 who have been misdiagnosed, often with fibromyalgia and sometimes with ME.

    If it does turn out to be PMR there is no choice, the only drug that works to manage the symptoms is low dose pred - but PMR does go into remission eventually for 75% of patients, usually in up to 5 or 6 years. 

    If he is set on RA - then you need a rheumatologist for optimum management. There are also no drugs to accept or reject really - you work your way down a list to find what works best for you. Apart from anything else, there is no point starting at the bottom of the list with the big guns because that limits choices in the future if the chosen drugs stops working - which does happen.

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    You clearly need a definitive diagnosis (not always as straightforward as one might hope). Discuss your suspicions with your GP if you haven't already. You will need a Rheumatology referral. While your CRP is a little elevated (it could be considerably higher) it is only an inflammatory marker and could be related to inflammation anywhere. There are other 'rheumatoid factor' bloods which may be considered. Good luck xxx

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