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Arthritis

Question
Posted by: CC | 2018/06/29

Q.

advocate for seronegative RA diagnosis

I'm 31 years old, female. My fingers (both hands) have been stiff and sore for almost a year. Initially it was just in the morning, but is now lasting all day. I am having trouble performing fine motor tasks (buttons, opening lids, flossing, etc.). My fingertips are numb. I've been very tired, and having much difficulty concentrating (feeling foggy). The joints in my hands are now so large that my previously over-sized rings will not fit over my knuckles. I tested negative for RF and anti-CCP. I am desperate for answers. My doctor is away on vacation for a few weeks, so I cannot meet with him to discuss the next steps until after he is back. From my understanding, it is important to diagnose RA early on (if that's what it is), and the wait list for rheumatologists in Canada is very long (>1 year after referral). How can I expedite this testing/diagnosis? I can't find a private health clinic here that has a rheumatologist. I'm desperate and lost, and feel myself deteriorating almost every day.

Expert's Reply

A.

Arthritis expert
- 2018/07/03

You could be suffering from seronegative rheumatoid arthritis

Please ask them to check your CRP levels. If these are elevated, you should be started on Chloroquine. If there is no improvement in 3 months, you may require Methotrexate.
In the meantime, you should try Diclofenac 50 mg three times a day together with prednisone 10 mg daily until you can see a rheumatologist. Sometimes, we need to inject the tendon sheath in the hand for the tenosynovitis.
Your GP could start this process

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