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Old 05-12-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
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If you have arthritis is there any benefit in nowing whether it's rheumatoid arthritis or not?

I have heard people say to find out which you have but are there different treatments etc.?

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
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Yes, I believe there are different treatments as the causes are quite different. Osteoarthritis would not respond as well to anti-inflammatory drugs.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:54 PM
 
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There's a big difference between Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA). RA is an autoimmune disease that affects far more than the joints, and is treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and some level of immune suppression. OA is in the joints alone, and is considered to be "wear and tear", though there is an inflammatory component.

You should find out which you have.
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Verde Valley
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Thanks Emeraldmaiden and SoutherBelleInUtah, but if I have RA, aren't anti-inflamatories really bad for you?

I do suspect I have RA as I have hashimotos thyroiditis and have been told that it's a sideline of that. I do have lots of pain (and changes happening) in my fingers. My mom has (and grandmother had) gnarled up fingers.

I will find out though, does anyone know the particular test to get?
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregurl View Post
Thanks Emeraldmaiden and SoutherBelleInUtah, but if I have RA, aren't anti-inflamatories really bad for you?

I do suspect I have RA as I have hashimotos thyroiditis and have been told that it's a sideline of that. I do have lots of pain (and changes happening) in my fingers. My mom has (and grandmother had) gnarled up fingers.

I will find out though, does anyone know the particular test to get?
It's best to see a rheumatologist. They will order various tests, depending on the physical exam and your history. I'd expect a regular CBC (this is regular bloodwork), sedimentation rate (measures general inflammation), and other specific tests like ANA. You will likely also be sent for xray of the painful joints.

Before you go, think about when you have joint symptoms. In the morning? After sitting/resting for a while? Which specific joints are affected, and how do they feel when they bother you? For instance, I find the most pain first thing in the morning, and it is worst in the base of my pinkies. They also bend and unbend with a jerk; my rheumie says this is typical with RA and is inflammation of the tendons.

Also think about systemic feelings - after you exercise or exert yourself, do you feel good or do you feel like you've spent the day towing a semi with your teeth? Autoimmune disorders sometimes pair with Post-Exertional Malaise (no "high" after exercise, and temporary worsening of usual symptoms).

If you keep a symptom diary before you go, you'll be better equipped for the questionnaire, which is usually pretty detailed.

Hope this helps!
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emeraldmaiden View Post
It's best to see a rheumatologist. They will order various tests, depending on the physical exam and your history. I'd expect a regular CBC (this is regular bloodwork), sedimentation rate (measures general inflammation), and other specific tests like ANA. You will likely also be sent for xray of the painful joints.

Before you go, think about when you have joint symptoms. In the morning? After sitting/resting for a while? Which specific joints are affected, and how do they feel when they bother you? For instance, I find the most pain first thing in the morning, and it is worst in the base of my pinkies. They also bend and unbend with a jerk; my rheumie says this is typical with RA and is inflammation of the tendons.

Also think about systemic feelings - after you exercise or exert yourself, do you feel good or do you feel like you've spent the day towing a semi with your teeth? Autoimmune disorders sometimes pair with Post-Exertional Malaise (no "high" after exercise, and temporary worsening of usual symptoms).

If you keep a symptom diary before you go, you'll be better equipped for the questionnaire, which is usually pretty detailed.

Hope this helps!
I am not arguing about this and the tests cause I only have very basic knowledge, but I do know: a simple blood test will determine if someone has RA. My husband just went through this, luckily he does not. His dad did and eventually died of a stroke from over taking pain meds. This was 4o plus years ago, when there wasn't much that could be done. Anyway, hubby is clear. I think the involved tests and questionnaires you might be talking about would be given if a simple blood test indicated more testing was needed.

Now, we have learned hubby has OA in his knees and are thinking this is in his hips or lower back as well. He will have more x-rays to determine if this is the case in a few months, if not sooner.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,374 posts, read 11,178,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I am not arguing about this and the tests cause I only have very basic knowledge, but I do know: a simple blood test will determine if someone has RA. My husband just went through this, luckily he does not. His dad did and eventually died of a stroke from over taking pain meds. This was 4o plus years ago, when there wasn't much that could be done. Anyway, hubby is clear. I think the involved tests and questionnaires you might be talking about would be given if a simple blood test indicated more testing was needed.

Now, we have learned hubby has OA in his knees and are thinking this is in his hips or lower back as well. He will have more x-rays to determine if this is the case in a few months, if not sooner.
I just read online that it can be very tricky to diagnose with blood tests as some poeple do not have the markers in their blood work.
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley
4,374 posts, read 11,178,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I am not arguing about this and the tests cause I only have very basic knowledge, but I do know: a simple blood test will determine if someone has RA. My husband just went through this, luckily he does not. His dad did and eventually died of a stroke from over taking pain meds. This was 4o plus years ago, when there wasn't much that could be done. Anyway, hubby is clear. I think the involved tests and questionnaires you might be talking about would be given if a simple blood test indicated more testing was needed.

Now, we have learned hubby has OA in his knees and are thinking this is in his hips or lower back as well. He will have more x-rays to determine if this is the case in a few months, if not sooner.
I did read that the joints effected by RA are normally at the base of the fingers and mine are my upper top two joints so maybe it's just osteo arthritis. That's probably better.
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:21 PM
 
6,757 posts, read 8,241,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
I am not arguing about this and the tests cause I only have very basic knowledge, but I do know: a simple blood test will determine if someone has RA. My husband just went through this, luckily he does not. His dad did and eventually died of a stroke from over taking pain meds. This was 4o plus years ago, when there wasn't much that could be done. Anyway, hubby is clear. I think the involved tests and questionnaires you might be talking about would be given if a simple blood test indicated more testing was needed.

Now, we have learned hubby has OA in his knees and are thinking this is in his hips or lower back as well. He will have more x-rays to determine if this is the case in a few months, if not sooner.
Actually, about 20% of RA sufferers are seronegative, meaning that they don't have the rheumatoid factor in their blood. This tends to run in families, and my sister and I are both seronegative. Our diagnoses were made clinically. My RA is slow and more manageable, but my sister's is very aggressive and unmistakable.

It is commonly thought that RA first manifests in the hands, but the latest info is that many many people show first signs in their feet. It's not recognized as RA, because doctors are trained to see RA as beginning in the hands.
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Old 05-14-2013, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
77,772 posts, read 104,151,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emeraldmaiden View Post
Actually, about 20% of RA sufferers are seronegative, meaning that they don't have the rheumatoid factor in their blood. This tends to run in families, and my sister and I are both seronegative. Our diagnoses were made clinically. My RA is slow and more manageable, but my sister's is very aggressive and unmistakable.

It is commonly thought that RA first manifests in the hands, but the latest info is that many many people show first signs in their feet. It's not recognized as RA, because doctors are trained to see RA as beginning in the hands.
Thanks for the insight, we will be seeing his doctor again, but not for awhile. It takes, at least 3 weeks to get an appointment with him unless it is an emer. We will ask him about this and what he thinks. I do think, it isn't terrible important which it is, at this time, as we are in our late 70s. BTW, you say, clinically, what do you mean? I will add, even the knee problems were discovered by accident. He had fallen and injured his knee. The doctor did take x-rays and was shocked to find, his right knee (not the one he had injured) was very bad, but it never hurts him and never has. His only real problem is, the inability to get up and down easily. This is why there is concern about it being in his hips. I will had, his hands are fine except a little weak.
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