Patient Comments: Rheumatoid Arthritis - Early Symptoms

What were your symptoms at the onset of your rheumatoid arthritis?

Published: April 21

My toes and fingers would swell, and you could not touch them because they felt like they were on fire. My left foot broke five times before my podiatrist had my blood tested and found I had RA.

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Published: April 18

I had suffered for years with foot and leg pains that were dismissed as tendonitis. After a long trip, I woke and could not move my head from my shoulders; I was completely drawn to one side. I made an appointment with a chiropractor, and after a couple of visits, we sat down to look at my X-rays. By the looks of my X-rays, he was sure that I had suffered a sports injury or severe car accident. When I assured him that I had not, he explained that the spine he was looking at belonged to a "60-year-old" (I'm 38). He went on to explain that only one other explanation was plausible: RA. It hit me like a ton of bricks! My brother has suffered for years with RA, even taking gold treatments. We are now going to work with a specialist to aid in my treatment. I also believe RA is hereditary.

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Published: April 17

I had pain in all joints in 2003 after a viral infection. After that, only pain in the right knee persisted. During arthroscopy in 2005, it was confirmed as rheumatoid arthritis, and the medial meniscus was fragmented and it was removed. I am on methotrexate. I just stopped taking it without medical advice for six weeks and the pain came back again. The rheumatologist put me back on methotrexate again. The pain is gradually becoming less.

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Published: April 17

I have this chronic feeling of being tired, with a low-grade fever, and slight stiffness in the knuckles and wrist on both sides. Then the pain, stiffness, and puffiness increases over time. I have the same symptoms with bones in feet as well.

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Published: April 16

I have been experiencing pain sporadically over the past three years, but since I was the primary caregiver to someone who was much sicker than myself, I just tried to ignore the symptoms. I had low back pain, pain behind my knees, in the ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Recently, I have had tingling, numbness, and severe pain in my wrists, hands, and fingers -- also swelling, stiffness, and loss of ROM. I ended up in the ER, where they gave me Solu-Medrol and Dilaudid for pain. I was pain free and on a steroid high for a couple of days and actually felt great. Now the pain is coming back. I just went to the doctor and have been diagnosed with RA. I feel tired, depressed, and in pain. It helps to read what others have experienced. No treatment has been determined yet.

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Published: April 15

About a year ago, I felt tingling and stiffness in my limbs and had terrible headaches as well as incredible fatigue. The tingling developed into joint pain in my fingers, elbows, shoulders, toes and knees (MS was ruled out by an MRI). A few months later, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia by my GP. Last month, with the joint pain increasing and still suffering from fatigue, a rheumatologist sent me for blood tests when he notice swelling in my finger joints. The blood tests confirmed that I have RA.

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Published: April 13

I have pain in my toes, ankles, and lower back, with great fatigue.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Treatments Question: What treatments have been effective for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Prognosis Question: What's the prognosis for your rheumatoid arthritis?
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diet Question: Discuss the diet or other lifestyle changes you've made to relieve symptoms of RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis - Diagnosis Question: What led to your rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis?

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