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Diagnosis

RA can be very difficult to diagnose, as there is no single test to show whether or not you have the disease. Diagnosis is decided through a combination of blood tests, scans (such as X-ray or ultrasound) and an examination of your joints by a consultant rheumatologist. 

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Symptoms of RA include painful, stiff, swollen joints. The stiffness is usually worst in the morning and after periods of inactivity. The stiffness in the morning can last for a long time and the joints affected are usually symmetrical (meaning they are the same joints, on either side of the body). If you suspect you may have these symptoms, the first step is to speak to your GP, who will perform an initial examination and may do some blood tests if they think you could have RA.  

RA can be very difficult to diagnose, as there is no single test to show whether or not you have the disease. Diagnosis is decided through a combination of blood tests, scans (such as X-ray or ultrasound) and an examination of your joints by a consultant rheumatologist. If you feel that you may have RA, the next step would be to speak to your GP about your concerns. If they feel that it is possible that you have the disease, they will arrange for you to have these tests and be referred to a rheumatologist for diagnosis. 

Newly diagnosed pack

Includes New2RA, Fatigue Matters and Medicines and RA

New2RA – A self-help guide for people with newly diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis

Fatigue Matters – A self-help guide for people living with rheumatoid arthritis

Medicines and RA – We believe it is essential that people living with RA understand why certain medicines are used, when they are used and how they work to manage the condition.