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Upcoming apt with rheumatologist

Hi...I haven't been diagnosed yet but have an upcoming apt. My symptoms are finger joints swollen at times, hot a few tines, and continually achy. I have weak, clunky shoulder, elbow, and finger joints. My knees are achy. Second left toe gets extremely stiff and painful. I have pain when standing first thing in morning in feet. My heart tends to beat irregularly and faster, breathlessness when going up steps, with some days so tired all day. My GP has me on Celebrex. Does this help anyone else because it seems to give me some easier days but not always. After reading so much, I'm very concerned about even finding out IF I have RA. My symptoms don't sermon as severe as many others. My hands get so bad I don't want to use them, though I'm still able to turn knobs, tie shoes, button buttons, etc. what do I need to know for my first Rheumatology visit? Does this sound like RA? Does Celebrex help if it's RA?

Thank you!

  1. Hi Specslady~

    Sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble these days - not knowing what is going on in your own body can be so frustrating. Celebrex is a NSAID (non- anti-inflammatory drug). This means that it works to reduce inflammation, so if you are dealing with inflammation in your joints it may help some. However, RA is an autoimmune disease - which means that most people need different types of medications to control their symptoms. For example, DMARDs (disease- anti-rheumatic drugs) or biologic medications work to stop your immune system from mistakenly attacking joints, rather than just dealing with the resulting inflammation.

    It does sound like the best thing you can do is get in to see a rheumatologist. Here's an article about meeting a new rheumatologist that you may find useful:

    It's also important to keep in mind that everyone experiences RA in a unique way - so while reading about other people's experiences can be useful, you need to remember that what happened to them will not necessarily happen to you.

    Best of luck and please remember that we are here to support you!

    ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

    1. Thank you for the information Mariah. The pain has progressed and now Celebrex hardly helps. I'll read the apt is Oct 20th. I'm looking forward to it and dreading it because the medications sound pretty scary.

      1. Hi Specslady ~

        I will admit that some of the medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can seem a little bit scary - that's why it is so important to work with your rheumatologist to weigh the pros and cons and minimize the risks and side effects. Ask whatever questions you have and share your concerns - it is your doctor's job to help you find a treatment plan that you are comfortable with. Luckily there are a lot of options for treating RA and if you can find one that works it can have you feeling a lot better and experiencing a much better quality of life! Best of luck!

        ~Mariah~ (Site Moderator)

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