• Bec Bec
    November 25, 2008
    Joint pain and morning stifness but no swelling - could this be the beginning of RA?
    Bec Bec
    November 25, 2008

    I have had pain and morning stiffness in my hands for about 6 weeks. It is now also developing in my feet, knees and elbows - but is not as bad. My blood work came back normal. My GP thinks it might be RA. My rheumotologist says it sounds like arthritis but there is no signs of swelling. They both tell me that I will have to wait and see. The waiting and the pain is difficult, especially as I have a 7 month old daughter (i'm only 31). Have others had similar stories? If it is RA how long until the swelling shows. How long until a diagnosis?

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  • arthritic/allergic girl December 17, 2008
    arthritic/allergic girl
    November 25, 2008

    I am having a similar experience.  Stiffness/pain in my hands, wrists, elbows, knees, neck, lower back, but no obvious inflammation.  X-rays (of hands/lower back) came back normal.  All bloodwork is within normal limits, but my RA factor is 40.  Depending on which doctor I talk to, this is either a normal level, or not.

     

    Pain and stiffness is sometimes so bad that I can not go down stairs normally.  I have a lot of fatigue, as well.  I have two children, and have been TIRED in the past, but never like this.  Also, I lost 8 pounds the first 8 weeks that I had symptoms, partly because of complete loss of appetite at a couple different really bad points.

     

     

    I am currently on celebrex, which helped dull some of the pain, but did not remove it.  I just (two weeks ago) started on plaquenil, and we are waiting to see if that will help.

     

    My rheumoatologist is unsure of what I have.  He has done bloodwork three different times, all with the same results.  Right now, he is saying either palindromic arthritis, or early RA with atypical onset.   He said it is not uncommon to sometimes take a while to properly diagnose arthritis, because diagnosing things like RA is not black and white and is instead done by evaluating a whole spectrum of criteria.  I keep (crazily!) hoping for an obviously swollen joint, so we can get a sample to look at.  He says that would really help diagnosis.

     

    Good luck.  :)

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    • cormieas
      June 24, 2010
      cormieas
      June 24, 2010

      Hi. I saw your post. It sounds so much like what I'm going through. I sometimes wish there was swelling so it would be obvious. I have tried Plaquenil, but it made me severely ill and ended up in the hospital for a night. I have low WBC from time to time and anemia. But all the other tests come back okay for RA and Lupus. I have a high CRP sometimes too.  When I have a flare, I can hardly move my arms in the morning. My hands and elbows hurt so bad, even my knees and toes. Sometimes I can't walk up the stairs without pain. The fatigue is exhausting no matter how much I sleep. My eyes even hurt. I was curious if you have had any luck. 

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    • Maikel
      July 18, 2010
      Maikel
      July 18, 2010

      Try getting a thyroid test. Those symptons could be caused by the thyroid gland not functioning properly. Maikel.

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    • cormieas
      July 19, 2010
      cormieas
      July 19, 2010

      Thank you. I do have a thyroid problem. I've had it since I was a teenager. But I'm on meds to treat it and it is usually okay. I often wonder if even thought the blood work shows it's in the normal range, if it could still cause these symtoms.

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    • Diane Patterson
      October 29, 2011
      Diane Patterson
      October 29, 2011

      My husband is going through some of the same things.  He has been to our regular doctor numerous time with numerous blood tests that always come back within normal limits.  No inflammation.  He has been to a neurologist who found nothing, and most recently an R A who took Xrays, more blood work and gave him a steroid shot in each shoulder.  He has been on an oral steroid for about 3 or 4 months, and really needs to get off it as it is so bad for you.  It has all the doctors stumped.  My husband believes it was because of taking a statin drug for a year, because it was the exact same pain as when he first started the statin and the dr told him that was not what it was and to keep taking it.  We are praying it will wear off if it is the statin.  He has tried to wean himself off of the steroid down to 5 mg and he will hurt so bad like the beginning of all this and can not function (literally) so he is back to 10 mg a day.  He drives a lot and still works a lot physically even though some days it's a BIG struggle.  Some days he can not lift his arms, or make a fist and when it's really bad it's hard to take a step.  

       

      My prayers go out to all who are suffering....

       

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    • vincent
      May 03, 2012
      vincent
      May 03, 2012

      hey do you or anyone in your family suffer from psoriasis? check out psoriatic arthritis..it can affect the eyes

      as well..good luck with finding a diagnosis x

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  • Casiesea February 20, 2009
    Casiesea
    November 25, 2008

    You really need an MRI to rule out RA. I had the same type symptoms when mine started. Esp my knuckles (two closest to hands) and wrists. I had/have extreme fatigue. My RF was positive at times for the past 4 years. Xrays were normal but I guess my Rheumy suspected RA. He ordered an MRI of my wrist and hand...showed early RA with multiple erosions.

     

    Good luck!

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  • SussyH October 31, 2011
    SussyH
    November 25, 2008

    I was the same, everything pointed to RA except that i had a normal rheumatoid factor and very little swelling, im only 23 so i think the doctors and rheumys were trying to find any other explination before they diagnosed it as RA. Everything else fit the profile and when i had my MRI it proved that it was RA. I hope that the doctor has at least put you on and anti inflammatory. When i was on just anti inflammatorys it didnt get rid of the pain and stiffness but it took the edge of the intensity of the pain. I really hope you get an answer soon because the waiting and uncertainty was hell for me. all the best

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  • Susan Marren, OD August 09, 2011
    Susan Marren, OD
    November 25, 2008

    I had this about twenty years ago. I chronicled pain and stiffness in different joints on different days for a year. My primary care practitioner ordered some studies and found high RF and ANA. she thought it might be RA so she sent me to a smart rheumatologist.  I have Primary Sjogren's syndrome which is now believed to occur in 1 % of women.  I ignored the dry eye for the most part even though I am an optometrist; I thought it was allergies.  I said I did not have a dry mouth but then she asked if I found myself sipping fluids during the day, and I said yes. Primary Sjogren's generally involves dryness of the eyes and mouth, although one can be far worse than the other, joint discomfort, and fatigue. Getting doctors to screen for it has been difficult.  If you have any symptoms of eye dryness, grittiness toward the end of the day, fluctuating vision, see an ophthalmologist.  Ask your rheumatologist to run an SSA and SSB. (S)he should also check for saliva. Even though I have no symptoms of dry mouth still, I qualified for the national registry of Sjogren's Syndrome patients. And my salivary flow is a bit impeded. My eyes are very dry. I had to leave work because of bronchial dryness and fatigue.  My joint pain got a lot better with prednisone - although that is a last resort - but now it is coming back as I wean off the drug. Knees and hands are the worst - feet are getting there.  Patients with Sjogren's often have very high RFs. It is not a good test for RA. 

     

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  • Christinann January 17, 2011
    Christinann
    November 25, 2008

    I have RA for two years now.I don't have alot of swelling and my blood work came back normal to. But my x-rays show that I have bone erison in both hands . I'm am now on Hurima and pain meds. I have been on alot diffrant meds but nothing has helped the pain and stiffness..

     

    Hope this helps................Smile

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  • Wanda January 07, 2011
    Wanda
    November 25, 2008

    I have been experiancing joint pain for about one to two months, mostly at night and in the morning. My elbow, my wrists, knees, my lift shoulder is very bad to the point of not being able to lift it. I can hardly turn myself over in bed at night. During the day, most of all of the pain subsides, but not every day. Somedays, my shoulder stays painful,making it difficult to use my arm.

         I am not in as fit as I have been most of my life. I am 53 and for the last 9 yers have had a desk job. At 19 I started running and had a very physical job during my twenties, working with race horses. Even after my second child at 42, I went back to some running, getting back to running during the summer up to two -three miles at a time. But for the last two summers, Because of the nature of my job, having to get my kids on the bus during the school year and the fact that it is much harder to get going early in the morning now, I have not been able to get back to running fittness. I do walk, but not enough and not in the winter. I feel that I am experiancing symptoms of aging that I would not be experiancing if I had been able to keep the heavy exercise going.

       I am worried that the joint pain could be artheritis, or worse Rheumatoid... I am correct in thinking that R, is joint deforming as time goes on? I have plans to try to get bck to running fittnes and also just generally being very physically active. We have a very big garden every year and a wood stove to take care of.  I would feel very depressed to have to give up movement and activities like these. My plan has always been to stay physically capable to do these things until into my 70's or even longer.

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  • Wanda January 07, 2011
    Wanda
    November 25, 2008

    I have been experiancing joint pain for about one to two months, mostly at night and in the morning. My elbow, my wrists, knees, my lift shoulder is very bad to the point of not being able to lift it. I can hardly turn myself over in bed at night. During the day, most of all of the pain subsides, but not every day. Somedays, my shoulder stays painful,making it difficult to use my arm.

         I am not in as fit as I have been most of my life. I am 53 and for the last 9 yers have had a desk job. At 19 I started running and had a very physical job during my twenties, working with race horses. Even after my second child at 42, I went back to some running, getting back to running during the summer up to two -three miles at a time. But for the last two summers, Because of the nature of my job, having to get my kids on the bus during the school year and the fact that it is much harder to get going early in the morning now, I have not been able to get back to running fittness. I do walk, but not enough and not in the winter. I feel that I am experiancing symptoms of aging that I would not be experiancing if I had been able to keep the heavy exercise going.

       I am worried that the joint pain could be artheritis, or worse Rheumatoid... I am correct in thinking that R, is joint deforming as time goes on? I have plans to try to get bck to running fittnes and also just generally being very physically active. We have a very big garden every year and a wood stove to take care of.  I would feel very depressed to have to give up movement and activities like these. My plan has always been to stay physically capable to do these things until into my 70's or even longer.

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    • kathryne
      January 16, 2011
      kathryne
      January 16, 2011

      Hi,

      Sounds like me in the beginning....not RA, but ended up with ankylosing spondylitis. Started in my hands, feet, then at one point the hips sacral area which terribly painful. But it definitely was that. You can have a blood test HLA-B27, but you may be still negative as I was. The x-rays ende up showing saroliliac inflammation.

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