So much joint pain with NO real answers

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/7/2018 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I'm new on this forum and I'm hoping that someone can give me some insight or ideas of how to proceed.

I've had joint pain years and was told about 10 or so years ago that it was osteoarthritis, just take Ibuprofen, rest, exercise gently etc. But the pain has increased so significantly that I broke down and went to the first person that I could get into. She is an NP and after I explained my symptoms and showed her my hands with all of the finger nodules, crooked fingers and one seized pinky she feels that I may have RA so she ordered blood work and the RF test came back slightly elevated at 21. Everything else was normal.
She referred me to a rheumatologist (can't get in until the end of June) and to an internal medicine doctor.
The internal medicine doctor ran more tests to confirm RA plus lipid, liver, kidney ,glucose, b12, etc. My sed rate is normal, and the inflammatory tests that they check for RA were also normal (can't remember the name of them) but my cholesterol is high (total 343, triglycerides 213, LDL 234, HDL 61), glucose elevated (101), Liver tests elevated (ALT 82, AST 47) and b12 elevated (1102). The IM doctors office called today to tell me to that she feels that I don't have RA....I hope she is right, but I can't help wondering if she is wrong about it.

I realize...I think, that the elevated levels of these other tests are probably not related to RA but could I still have RA even if all of the inflammatory markers are normal? It seems that my asymmetrical symptoms match... My fingers match on both hands except everything is worse on my left side including knees, hips, feet. I believe it is osteoarthritis in my back because of a back injury 30 years ago so developed bone spurs on my spine as well as a herniated disc. Any thoughts? Can osteoarthritis mimick RA?

Post Edited By Moderator (BadDay) : 3/21/2018 9:51:06 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/7/2018 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
The heading was suppose to say much joint pain with NO real answers. 😮

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 3/8/2018 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
RA causes erosive arthritis and osteo is degenerative. They should be able to tell the difference on an x ray . Some people can get osteo arthritis that can deform, so it gets confused. Usually with RA you get fatigue and other symptoms.

Sorry you are going through this. Most of us go through a lot before we get a diagnosis with an auto immune disease. It usually involves a lot of frustration for us. I am still not totally convinced I have RA. I am sero negative ( my RF was one below the cut off) and I have some small erosions in my hands. I had a lot of swelling in my hands before I got on plaquenil and prednisone. My feet around my toes also hurt. Usually, it involves smaller joints.

I hope you get some answers and relief soon.
Sjogrens syndrome 2/15 via lip biopsy: Seronegative RA , fibromyalgia
colitis-resection 11/10, hashimoto's thyroiditis, morphea, GERD
Meds: plaquenil, synthroid, Zantac, restasis, estrogen patch, prometrium, VSL #3, evening primrose oil, Omega 3 supplement-Maxi Tears, L glutamine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Co Q10.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/9/2018 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Jeanneac

Neither doctor has ordered an xray they are just going off of the blood work results so yes it is frustrating. I do have some fatigue just because I don't sleep well due to the pain so maybe that is different than the RA pain?
I was told and have read that RA is asymmetrical and that is what I'm dealing with yet the left side is much worse. I don't get noticeable swelling but have noticeable nodules on my fingers. I'm also experiencing pain in my toes, and bottoms of feet.

The doctor put me on Diclofenac which helped tremendously with the pain but the warnings suggest not to take it you have high cholesterol because it can cause heat attack and strokes so I've decided to stop them until I can see the rheumatologist. So I've decided to start the Mediterranean diet along with increasing my water and exercise as I'm able to.

old goat
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2018
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/20/2018 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had much the same with similar results. I have been reading on a new finding about a protozoan parasite that uses a biofilm to hide in the body. the traditional drugs to reduce inflammation do not help, the test's used to find ra dont find it and some supplements actually help the build the biofilm that cloaks them. I do not know if it will help you at all but it does not hurt to educate yourself on it. Look into Protomyxzoa A doctor Fry is the one I started reading on and allot of what he is doing touches base.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 1074
   Posted 3/21/2018 10:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome to the site
Diagnosing RA can be a Long road and even some Rheumatologists will disagree with each other
Usually an elevated RF is a good indicator (mine was 160 at time of diagnoses) BUT you can have a slightly elevated RF in other conditions as well
Usually the ESR test for inflammation (or whatever test your Doc uses for inflammation) Would show some elevation as it shows inflammation in the body , Ha Ha But again even that can come & go , up one time not the next
you Really need to see a Rheumatologist Xrays can help But RA can effect other organs and OA can show in Xray But at least it would show any joint damage
I think a good test to have is the Whole Body Bone Scan, this shows where Hot spots are in the body as they inject a radioactive dye and it goes to any are inflamed

oh I fixed the Title for you No real answers smilewinkgrin
FORUM MODERATOR Rheumatoid Arthritis for 30Yrs. Asthma,Fibromyalgia,Osteoperosis,Cervical Spondalosos,Degenerative Disc Disese,Disc Bulges, Diabetes,Heart SVT & AF, Sleep apnoea,Nocturnal Respiratory Failure,Panic Attacks,Anxiety
on; Methotrexate, Arava ,Endone,Targin 30mg (oxycontin),Prednisone, Metforman(Diabex) ,Tambocor.Oxygen & Cpap, Prolia-Injection,Lyrica,perindopril,rosruvistatin
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