In December, I started having severe pain and swelling that first started in my big toe and and traveled into my ankle. The ankle became so swollen and sore that I could not walk or use that foot at all. I went to the ER, and was diagnosed with Gout. About a week later, I had another bout with gout, in the same ankle that lasted a couple of days. About two weeks passed, and I had another bout of gout, only this time, it was in the opposite foot. My doctor put me on 300mg of Allopurinol daily. About two weeks ago I woke up to pain in the fingers of my right hand, they were stiff, and hard for me to bend. Since then, both of my hands and wrist have started to have the same feeling. They have severe pain in the joints, they get very stiff, and at times when bent, feel as if I might not be able to get them straight again. The doctor sent me for blood work, and the RA Factor Test was at 6.5, my Sed Rate was 16, and the Uric Acid level was 4.5. She also had me do a ANA which was Negative. I do not understand what is going on with my hands and all of the pain, but was wondering if anyone has had any of these problems, and what they thought should be done, and what I need to do about this problem?
I really think you should see a Rheumatologist! Regular doctors don't have the same range of tests or expertise! It certainly sounds like it could be RA or PA- Gout is usually confined to 1 joint. Please let us know how you get on.
I've had pain and stiffness in my right hand and fingers as well. I believe the culprit, in my case, is using my laptop too much. Sometimes when the hand is used in an unnatural or repetitive position consistently for a prolonged period of time it can cause problems. I have limited my time using my laptop and that has helped. In addition, recently when I was out of town for a week (did not take my laptop) the pain in my right hand when away completely, but resumed when I started using my laptop again. I've used my left hand some while using my laptop (even though I am right-handed) and now I'm developing pain in my left hand. Computer "strain" may be a contributing factor in your case, if you use your computer frequently. Good Luck.
Gout is not just one disease...there are different kinds of it and the only way to really confirm gout is to see the crystals under a microscope. For that, they need to take the fluid out of the joint and examine it. then they can confirm it and tell you waht kind of gout you have...if it's gout.
If they don't find any crystals, then they need to start figuring out what you do have. I think I wrote to you on another board about how the Rheumatoid Factor doesn't matter much unless it is high as so many are positive without it. And 25% of those with RA are RF negative. The normal ESR would go along with gout and uric acid levels can go way up and then plunge down fairly quickly so they too need to be monitored.
Gout is very manageable once you have a correct diagnosis and a doc who knows how to manage it...a rheumy. Don't mess around with primary care docs or GPs...they "react" to the flares but a rheumatologist will help you learn to avoid them and keep you from having flares at all.
Please see a rheumy...it can be life saving.
Jenny(OA, RA and secondary Sjogren's syndrome)
The Following User Says Thank You to jennybyc For This Useful Post: pinkcell (02-14-2012)
I believe that you did reply on another board. I am in the process of trying to get a referral to a rheumatologist. My next doctors appointment is on the 24th of this month, and I will get her decision on the referal then. I have been driving myself crazy with all of these test, and all of the back and forth to the doctors, and all of the illness'. It has been one thing after another all of my life and the past six months have been none stop illness. The doctor that I was seeing refused to do any type of testing, even though I was telling him that my mother, niece, and several other family members were diagnosed with chronic granulomatous disease. I had bronchitis five different times between December and August of this past year, and the last time the bronchitis turned into pneumonia. The only thing that doctor would do was give me prednisone and antibiotics, but refused to test or send me for testing to find out what could be the cause of me having so many illness', then all the problems with the pain in my ankles and hands. I have a new doctor now and she is working on all of the testing, but it is irritating because this is testing that should have been done years ago, and I could not get anyone to listen to me.