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Do I have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

For about the past ten years or so, I occasionally wake up in the mornings with the knuckles on my right hand swollen and even a bit bruised, especially the middle one.  It then hurts or is sore on and off all day.


The first time I noticed it was during my first pregnancy in 1995.  I had a second baby a couple years ago and it's happening again.


Ideas?  TIA, mamas.

post #2 of 3

Obviously, I'm not a doctor so I can't tell you definitely. However, I've had Psoriatic Arthritis for about 10 years. Psoriatic is very similar to Rheumatoid, but with psoriasis. My left foot is my worst and when the toes really swell, they look bruised like you described. Also, morning stiffness and swelling are characteristic of RA and other inflammatory arthritises. I'd definitely go to your doctor. Do you have a family history?


They can do a blood test for the Rheumatoid factor. Most people with RA will test positive. However, you can still have Rheumatoid Arthritis and be negative (seronegative RA). Another test that would be helpful is another blood test to look for the HLAB-27 genetic marker. This genetic marker is frequently found in people with inflammatory arthritises like RA and Psoriatic Arthritis.


It's also important to note that you may not have RA, but another inflammatory arthritis like Psoriatic, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Reactive Arthritis, etc. There are many different inflammatory arthritises that behave similarly to RA. You really want to see a rheumatologist--doctor who specializes in arthritis. A regular doctor might miss signs that a rheumatologist will catch.


Hope this helps!

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

That is hugely helpful.  Thank you!


One factor that makes me think it's not RA is that it's not bilateral, and what I've read indicates that RA typically is.  I will discuss this with a doctor and take your suggestions.  I really appreciate your input.

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