Streaming Well shares information about the importance of early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis - http://www.streamingwell.com/early-diagnosis-of-rheumatoid-arthritis-video.html
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Early Diagnosis Around 690,000 people have rheumatoid arthritis in the UK. At present, there is no cure for this painful and life-changing illness but early diagnosis can make an enormous difference. Patients and doctors should act quickly to get the right help. Here is someone who did not get the help in time. Jean: As a sailor, I used to race boats quite competitively and I was racing during the summer of 2006 but noticing an awful amount of pain in my hands and my feet that were getting gradually worse and worse. And the second thing which sounds absolutely hilarious when you look back on it was being at a 40th birthday party for a girlfriend of mine and being in charge of the barbecue and trying to turn food on the barbecue which just became impossible. At the time you’re thinking well what on Earth is this, you just wave it away and think this is just silly stuff. But when I look back now it was one of those symptoms of my hands just seizing off and getting very stiff and struggling with what I know now to be Rheumatoid Arthritis. It took me a while to go to the doctor, for a while I just put down the symptoms that I was having to being overactive, doing too much sport, not enough rest. Getting to a diagnosis took quite some time for me and part of that was my delay in getting to a GP, because I thought that some of the symptoms I had would just go away. Actually, it took a GP a long time to recognize that there was anything serious wrong with me, and I had at least three trips to the doctor before somebody said "actually I think there is something wrong here, and perhaps we need to refer you". I work in the City, and do a lot of computer based work. My GP said that I potentially had RSI so I was doing an awful a lot of work on my computer and its quite widely recognized that that can be one of those problems that you suffer with. When I started having problems with my feet, actually I was starting to put two and two together before he did and then went back to my GP and actually suggested that these two things might be connected and he actually said no they're entirely unrelated things and sent me away with a list of exercises to do. In mornings, if you have rheumatoid arthritis, can be an absolute nightmare. One of the major issues that I had at that time was actually getting down the stairs. I used to have to come down the stairs on my bum, because it was the only way I could get down the stairs. I couldn't put one foot down in front of the other, and I couldn't grip a banister either because my hands were so painful, and so tight. It wasn't one of my favorite times in my life. I did end up in tears with the GP and really start to beg somebody to take this seriously, and gratefully at that time I actually saw another GP who said "I think there is something serious going on here" and got me a referral. From then on in, things started to move quite a pace and even on my first appointment, the Rheumatologist suggested that it might be Rheumatoid Arthritis. I take quite a combination of drugs now. I take steroids on a daily basis, I also take methotrexate every week, and then I inject one of the new biologics once every couple of weeks. They're expensive but they really work for me, and the good thing is there's a lot of research going on at the moment about those drugs. I have a long term condition that I have to get used to, it's part of me but it's not all of me and I think now that my treatment is working well for me then that means I can put it in its place. Dr. Graham Davenport: It's tragic to hear Jean's story but unfortunately it's not that uncommon, and I feel very sorry that Jean has suffered for so long because of a delay in diagnosis. Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the joints of the hands by causing swelling and tenderness of the joint capsule, but it can also cause little cavities in the ends of the bones aligning the joints called erosions. These erosions can lead to significant damage and
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