#434 – Advice for the not yet diagnosed

I was speaking with my extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic rheumatologist to get some information for another article. (Can you tell that I really like him?)

He provided some information that may make a huge difference to your treatment plan.

“Since RA affects only 1/2-1% of the population, many GP’s don’t typically see a lot of RA patients. Folks need to be ‘pushy’ if they have significant joint problems, especially if they are of recent onset and persistent.

If the local – or distant – rheumatologists have a long waiting list, ask your GP to call the rheumatologist and discuss your problems for a couple of minutes. Referral letters are usually brief and often don’t give enough information. It’s worth a long trip a few times a year to ensure that you have appropriate assessment and treatment. RA treatment is not a one-night stand.

It is important to be assessed and managed by a rheumatologist if you have an inflammatory arthritis, such as RA.”

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7 Comments to “#434 – Advice for the not yet diagnosed”

  1. One of the best thing that aides in my diagnosis was for my primary care physician to tell me he didn’t know what was wrong with me. I think being under the care of a rheumatologist within a year of onset has really aided in keeping my RA under control for the most part.

    • Were you referred to a number of different specialists, before landing in the rheumatologist’s office?

      • I was first sent to have testing for carpal tunnel syndrome. Buy the time those test came back it normal was pretty obvious I had some type if arthritis. Because I am sero-negative he decided to refer me to a rheumatologist.

  2. My GP seems to have had a clue because he told me to take massive doses of aspirin and come back in 3 months, but it was the wrong response to such aggressive RA as mine was. Water under the bridge…

  3. Could not agree more… Every long term and persistent pain such as RA MUST be monitored by a specialist! The problem is that sometimes, your GP thinks he knows the job and after you figure that out, few months of massive pain have already passed…

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