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Possible rheumatoid arthritis...

Hi there. This looks like an active forum and a great source of information and support.

I've been experiencing issues for around two years now and am now finally on a journey to discovering the root cause. My issues have been... Flare ups of terrible pain in my hands/feet joints (particularly when resting or sleeping and afterwards), fatigue (especially on activity), trouble with breathlessness, brain fog/memory issues, palpatations and back/chest/body pains. Basically I'm 38 but feel like an old man despite being previously very fit and healthy.

After many blood tests (Inc anti-ccp, ESR and RF etc) all that ever shows up is a high ferretin level (circa 800) and high eosinophils (2-3x normal levels). Because of this I've been tested for haemochromatosis and I have a single copy of c282y mutation which the gastroenterologist said rules this out and has sent me in the direction of the rheumatologist for possible autoimmune problem.

Since then I've invested some time researching into RA whilst awaiting my appointment. Looking on here it seems like a possible cause of my issues but one thing I do notice is that the joints on the ends of my fingers are quite sore which from what I've read points away from RA... Has anybody here experienced this?

Another thing worth mentioning is that my nan has some terrible warping of her fingers and toes where they all cross over each other... After looking around a bit this sounds like RA but I'm not certain.

I'm not sure my problem is going to be RA related or something else but I'm really getting to the stage where I need some answers as I'm exhausted, fed up and in pain every day and can't continue like this forever. I just want to be able to be active and play with my kids again.

I know this is not a place for diagnosis etc but any thoughts or advice very much appreciated.

Take care,


  1. I have some pretty active disease in my finger joints and wrists, so yes, RA can certainly affect hands and wrists and make things painful. In my case I have nodules too, which are painful bumps and lumps that develop due to years of active RA. It can make typing and other activities difficult some days. Keep on keepin' on, DPM

    1. I feel for you there as I also have a nodule on the inside of the knuckle of my middle finger and one on my elbow too... The good news is that they don't cause me as much trouble now as when they first arrived... I hope this goes the same way for you my friend. It's interesting how much you notice you took the use of your hands for granted before they began to hurt with every movement!

  2. , first off, I just want to offer you some support. The waiting game when it comes to getting a proper diagnosis and can be mind numbingly frustrating! Secondly, whether you're dealing with RA or something else altogether, you have every right to have your symptoms diagnosed and treated, preferably sooner rather than later. And lastly, what you are experiencing right now? The pain, the confusion, the literal (and figurative) fatigue? Almost every member of this community has been where you are right now. I can say that many of your symptoms sound like potential RA, but, then, other autoimmune conditions have some level of symptom overlap. Lupus, for example, is one condition that can cause pain in the fingertips. But, some of our community members have mentioned some level of fingertip pain and tingling --

    Hang in there and please know you are not alone in this! Whether you are dealing with RA or another condition, the members of this community understand what you're going through.

    I wanted to share one of my favorite pieces for the newly diagnosed. I feel like Nan's (the author) advice can apply to almost any life changing diagnosis. She offers some hopeful and pragmatic advice to her newly diagnosed self, after having 20+ years experience of living with RA --

    Again, you are not alone in this! And we are happy to offer you support or just a safe place to vent!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Hi . On top of the excellent information you have already received, I want to share with you this article from the Mayo Clinic on ferritin levels which notes that high levels can accompany RA: Second, I want to note that you never have to worry about venting here - people here understand. Best, Richard ( Team)

    2. Thanks very much Richard... I'm a couple of weeks away from my appointment with a Rheumatologist so I'm really hoping they are the right person to help me and I don't get moved along to somebody else.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have my first rheumatologist appointment in 3weeks (had 3mth wait). My bloodwork showed elevated levels indicating RA. New to this so all I really know is that I have chronic pain that I need SOMEONE, doctor wise, to help me figure it out because itโ€™s been way to long! Sorry, Iโ€™m done ranting! Good luck on your health journey! I just found this community today and it seems like there are some pretty awesome people on here!

    1. Thank you so much! I will definitely check it out! Knowledge is empowering!

    2. thank you so much! I will definitely read as much as I can. I will keep everyone posted ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. You might want an HLA-B27 test run. If so, this might point towards Psoriatic Arthritis, which often affects the distal joints in the hands and feet [among other joints].

    1. thank you! I will for sure mention this at my appointment. ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ˜Š

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