Discussions that mention prednisone

Arthritis board

My referral took a few months too, though I don't think I could have put up with the pain for years before getting the referral. Wow.

Here in the US, the rheumatologists handle all the arthritis conditions, so they aren't separate fields. I would suggest the rheumatology department based on the ANA results. I say that based on my rheumatologist saying my lowest ANA of 1:320 was due to an autoimmune thyroid condition. I think you'd be safer going to someone who specializes in that field.

The CRP and ESR are elevated when the inflammation is "systemic". If it is confined to the joint area, then those tests can come back within normal limits. The CRP raises and lowers more quickly in response to inflammation. The ESR, however, raises after the inflammation has been present and slowly lowers after the inflammation has gone. I've had tests that came back elevated when I felt fine and tests that came back normal when I felt absolutely terrible. My very first tests were both elevated and I had them taken when I wasn't flaring, so don't worry about that. I'm thankfull that my rheumatologist pays more attention to how I feel than what my tests results are.

I think the whole "uncertainty" of what's going on can be really scary. Don't worry so much about your tests. Just be sure to tell the doc exactly how you feel. My rheumatologist is always most concerned with how long my morning stiffness lasts and how often I have flares. He never asks me if I have swelling, though he does mention it if I have swelling during an exam. Sometimes he can feel it when I can't see it.

There are many drugs that slow the progression of RA. These are called DMARDs (disease modifying antirheumetic drugs). I have been on Plaquenil for three years and still don't have any erosions, thank God. The drug worked great until the last few months. Just this morning, my doctor has added methotrexate. I'm hoping it will stop these horrible flares I've been having the last 5 months.

I just thought of something. Have you ever been prescribed prednisone during a flare? If you get relief from the prednisone, it's likely you have an inflammatory condition.

Hope this wasn't too long. I've been on prednisone for a while and it tends to make me a motor-mouth!

Hope I didn't miss any of your questions.