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Arthritis and Rheumatism

Worried About My Sister

04/28/2009

Question:

I have RA now for 5 years. Because my rheumatoid factor was negative it took and year and a half to get diagnosed. I have been through a lot. Even with the latest medications I can`t get out of bed for two weeks every three months. My RA is quit severe. For awhile now my twin sister has been tired, stiff, pain and swelling in both of her knees. Some times she can barely move. I think that she has RA too but I can convince her to go to the doctor. I told her the sooner you get treated if it is RA the better. She knows what I have been through. I think that she is scared that she does have RA. I am very worried about her. How can I convince her to go get it checked?

Answer:

Let her know the following facts:

1. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis that is untreated have increased mortality dying 10-15 years before similar patients without RA.
2. Rheumatoid arthritis can result in long term disability due to joint damage.
3. Patients with untreated rheumatoid arthritis have higher risk of lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes.

For more information:

Go to the Arthritis and Rheumatism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Johnny  Su, MD Johnny Su, MD
Formerly, Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University