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Diagnosis

So many symptoms no diagnosis

  • By Kelly

    I wish I knew what was going on. My hands and feet have edema, My shoulders, hips, knees, hands and feet hurt. My hands and feet also are numb and tingly. All of my labs come back WNL, but this is not in my head! Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what would you advise?

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  • By Andrew Lumpe, PhD Moderator

    Kelly, I’m sorry you’re having such struggles. There are so many possible symptoms with RA. And many of us have had symptoms for a while before being diagnosed. For many diseases, RA included, diagnosis is not always so straightforward and it can take a while. Below is a link for the diagnostic criteria. Your symptoms may also be from other causes. I suggest that you keep communicating with your doctor and asking questions. Getting a second opinion is also within your right. Keep pushing for answers and hang in there.

    RA Diagnosis

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  • By Barbara Vincent

    Hi Kelly,
    When I was diagnosed with RA it was a surprise to me as I thought I had a tropical, mosquito born disease common in tropical Australia, called Dengue fever. Fever, thirst, swollen very painful joints, exhaustion and an overwhelming urge to sleep. Also Nausea and pounding headache. When my blood work came back it was not Dengue it was positive for RA. Blood results were RF 51, CRP 400+ ANA 250+ and a very high MCV of 180. My ESR rate was also very high. As were all of my readings. I don’t know how they are measured in the US, but all Know is, I was very ill. After I started medication it took several months to stabilise. Until recently I thought that I was in remission, but in the past few weeks it has started to reactivate and I am currently experiencing a severe flare. Don’t give up. If your doctor isn’t giving you the answers you need, personally, I would try another one.

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  • By Mariah Z. Leach Moderator

    I just wanted to chime in my agreement with Andrew and Barbara – it’s your doctor’s job to answer your questions, so keep asking! And if you aren’t getting answers a second opinion is a great idea!

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  • By shelly

    I so know the feeling , I am 42 but have had issues with me back and joints since I was a teenager.
    Over the years doctors have always said I have osteoarthritis .I also have DDD in my back. In 2008 I herniated my L5 pretty bad but turned down surgery.2012 another herniated disc .And last year my hip was so bad was told I needed a hip replacement. Again turned down surgery. All the while I have also had problems with my hands finger joint swelling and nodules that are very tender .fingers are turning different ways enough I can’t even make a fist. With in a months time my wrist got so bad I lost all range of motion to bend it back.
    My orthopedic doc said somethings not right .All these years my blood work has always been normal or neg for RA , but all my joints are changing fast and are very painfull. I just don’t know anymore what to think . I have kids to take of but with the pain that’s hard to do.

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  • By elar302

    I am in a similar situation. My rheumatologist keeps saying the same thing, “There’s no sign of inflammation in your blood work.”. It’s frustrating. He never did any other tests. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and because of my normal blood work, he won’t consider any other possibilities. I miss my normal, pain-free life. Am I supposed to ignore the sharp, stabbing pain in my fingers, spine and shoulders? My blood work says I’m normal.

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    • By Andrew Lumpe, PhD Moderator

      elar302, please read the diagnostic criteria for RA in the article below. Positive blood tests in and of themselves are not all that’s required. One can receive a diagnosis without them – it’s just more stringent. There is such a thing as “seronegative” RA and treatment can be start with this diagnosis. It might be time to get a second opinion.

      RA Diagnosis

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