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High RF mild symptoms

I am 39 and a few years ago had a weird bruising that kept appearing on my elbow. My doc did a blood test and I had high RF. I had a bursitis in my elbow but that was all. I have always had aches and pains. I am a musician and violin has always given me neck issues. I also have had hip issues I always attributed to being born with hip displasia (which was corrected at birth). Anyways, my RF stayed high. I went to one Rheumy but I had no swollen joints. No real fatigue that wasn't explained by having a toddler. And I went along. Then had thickening on my knuckles. My dermatologist said they were gotron's papules and sent me back to the rheumatologist. Again, RF was high, nothing else and the thickening was only on one hand not both. So the rheumy said I was likely fine for now. Something may or may not develop. That was almost 2 years ago.

This year I have had consistently high RF and we tried lowering my cholesterol to see if that lowered to RF, but nope. Then I started to experience bouts of fatigue especially after a busy time, like after a school concert night. My whole body feels achy and toxic wheb i am feeling like that. My neck hurts, my hips, my hands ache. But no really obvious swelling. I have one knuckle that has gone up a bit and I got a bursitis or cyst or something in my wrist. My ankle is also swollen and has purpleish veins. I am going back to the rheumatologist. But I am equally terrified of getting confirmation that this is RA setting in as I am of not getting a diagnosis because I feel so terrible. I am curious about the beginning phase of other's RA and also if diet has helped. I eat a clean diet. Lots of fruit and veggies, whole foods etc. I know I feel achy after dairy so I keep that to a minimum. I crack every 10 minutes.... neck hands feet arms ... I guess I hear that early detection can stop damage. But the medications seem bad too. I feel like stress and pushing myself throws me right off. I did a combat class and was laid out for 2 days. I have woken up in pain where my arms hurt so much all over that I
am crying. Is this all in my head or is this all part of it?

  1. Hi Airlion, Thank you for reaching out. Sorry to hear about your symptoms. You are not alone here. RA symptoms can vary from person to person and it's wise of you to see you Rheumatologist again and explain your symptoms. It may be helpful to jot down your questions before your appointment so you'll be sure to cover everything. You are correct, that early intervention may help manage progression and symptoms. I hope others here chime in with their personal experiences to share with you of how their RA symptoms began. Many here have found some relief in changing their diet. In addition to speaking with your doctor, these articles may be helpful to you:
    RA Stages and Progression:
    Diet and Nutrition with RA:
    There are many avenues of treatment options with RA, which you can discuss with your doctor. Here is a good overview of them:
    Hope those are helpful to you. Please let us know your questions, we're here to support you in this. Kelly, Team Member

    1. Airlion, you are not alone with this almost constant game of am I sick or just having a bad day. I had a few strange things going on with my body before I was diagnosed with RA. If you have a little time to set back and read and maybe even laugh, this is my story that I submitted here for others to enjoy and hopefully relate to.
      Best to you. Edward.

      1. Sorry to hear that you are having these difficulties Airlion. The one thing that I would add to the excellent information from Kelly is to not wait to begin treatment. In fact, this article from one of our contributors is titled "New to RA? Treat it. Please."

        As you mentioned, early treatment can be key to halting or slowing progression. Treatments have advanced dramatically in recent years enabling for such an optimistic assessment of early treatment. Know that you can live a full and active life with RA. Also know that you are always welcome here for information and support. Please keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

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