I have been having joint pain in my hands, wrists, knees, feet, hips, and back for 5 months now. However, it seems to come and go each month. I have seen two rhuemetologists and had extensive blood work and tests. All tests and radiographs have been normal. ESR & CRP have also been within normal range. My MRI & X-Rays showed not arthritis or inflammation. First rhuemy said it couldn't be arthritis b/c I am not showing signs of inflammation or swelling. I do have some morning stiffness but no significant swelling. The second rhuemy diagnosed me with Polyarthralgia. I am scared that I am causing joint damage and not knowing it. The doc said that isn't possible since I don't show signs of inflammation. I just don't know what to believe, and I am worried this could turn out to be RA. Any insights?
Keep looking for a rheumatologist who will listen to you. It is not at all unusual to have what is called "sero-negative" Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is when you have normal blood work but exhibit other classic symptoms.
No two patients are alike; there is no "one side fits all" when it comes to symptoms, which joints are affected, how fast the disease progresses, and what medication or combination of meds will work. A GOOD rheumatologist will take a broad range of evidence into consideration and not basically tell you it's all in your head.
I have been in a full-body flare and my bloodwork shows normal. I have a few joints that have never visibly swelled and had little pain, but x-rays show significant joint damage. You can have hugely swollen, hot, joints and very little joint damage, and have some pain and very little swelling, and the joints degenerate visibly almost by the day.
If your instinct is telling you something is wrong with your body, follow it and find a doctor who will listen to you and try different treatments even in the face of little to no "evidence." All RA patients have to go through a trial and error period to find what works for each individual, so the sooner you get started, the better. Good luck!
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