Community Perspectives: Strange and Unexplained Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex condition with many different signs and symptoms. Sometimes, the experience of a new or unexpected RA symptom can be scary, confusing, or upsetting. Some people with RA will also have other conditions (comorbidities) that have their own set of symptoms. Managing and distinguishing between the symptoms of multiple conditions can be challenging.

If you experience strange or unexpected symptoms, whether related to RA or not, you are not alone. We've gathered together a mix of stories from our Health Leaders and community members about the sometimes strange, sometimes unpredictable experience of life with RA. Click on the "Read the full story" buttons under each quote to read more, and share your own experience with a story submission! And check out our community polls at the end of the article for more chances to share your perspective.

Mystery symptoms and fear of the unknown

grammiesue: "I’m seriously wondering if there’s something going on... My rheumatologist usually knows everything, yet he said he didn’t know what is causing all this."

rayogagirl: "I thought the pain in my throat would eventually go away, but it didn’t. The strep test this time was negative, and so were the 2 COVID tests."

Heather Egry: "Is anyone living with this or know of something like this? I’m at the point where I feel sick all the time, and it worries me."

Managing comorbidities alongside RA

mlynn: "I had made peace or at least called a truce with the tilt-a-whirl ride that is RA. The addition of these other unresolved medical issues has me flustered and out of sorts."

Kmfc: "I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and Sjögren's in 2013. Five years later and living in a different state, I all of a sudden couldn’t walk without a cane at age 57."

RondaSue: I have RA and COPD. Both cause fatigue. But lately, I’ve just been dragging, forced to take 2 or more naps a day and unable to shop, cook, or clean."

Finding hope and support, even in the unknown

jantics3: "Those times my symptoms flare, I pray for those who also are on a journey with this disease. I find hope not in my own situation, but in the knowledge there is help, acceptance, [and] support for others."

CommunityMember2424: "Thank God I have a great husband who supports me and my health issues. He doesn’t have it easy because of me, but I am lucky he loves me."

KidAtHeart: "Although I may have to make modifications to how I maneuver through some regular daily activities, RA is NOT going to rob me of my hope."

Have you experienced "mystery symptoms?"

"Is this my RA or something else?" is a common question among people who experience unexpected or unexplained symptoms. Have you ever had mystery symptoms? How did you deal with them?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.