The Student Room Group

Arthritis - can anyone help?

Ive just got back from a hospital appointment today, Ive had pain in my ankles since I was very young, sometimes it goes away, but always seems to come back even after years of being dormant like in 2018-2022. Ive been told today I likely have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, I just need some more tests to confirm a diagnosis (we have pretty much ruled out all other possibilities I'm aware of). Im 20 and I know from a close relative who has this it can be debilitating at times, its likely to get worse with age and there is no cure.
I really wanted to reach out to see if there are any young people on here who have been diagnosed with something similar? Or were diagnosed around my age.
How will this impact me? Will i be limited? Im considering working in a job which will require me to be very active, will this diagnosis hinder that?
Im scared that this is going to have a huge impact on my life, but I can’t lie after over a decade of on and off pain I’m just glad i’m finally closer to a diagnosis.
Reply 1
Original post by censorshipoftsr
You really should start trying some Probiotics and also Fermented Foods Yoghurt, Kefir, Miso, Natto, Tempeh and most Kombuchas are some of the available fermented foods that contain live microorganisms. There is some research that suggests it may be beneficial to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers . Its the type of thing you would need to continue for months to see whether it helps. It definitely reduces inflammation.
Look up :
SCIENCE DIRECT: Whether Probiotic Supplementation Benefits Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Im really sorry if i come across negativity here, but i have chronic pain I’m not asking for help as in solutions (I have a doctor for that) I was reaching out for those going through similar experiences.
Ive had it all my life where people just say ‘have you tried this’, i want to understand the experience of those in my shoes and feel less alone rather than have advice on how my diet could miraculously improve my pain.
Reply 2
Original post by Anonymous
Ive just got back from a hospital appointment today, Ive had pain in my ankles since I was very young, sometimes it goes away, but always seems to come back even after years of being dormant like in 2018-2022. Ive been told today I likely have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, I just need some more tests to confirm a diagnosis (we have pretty much ruled out all other possibilities I'm aware of). Im 20 and I know from a close relative who has this it can be debilitating at times, its likely to get worse with age and there is no cure.
I really wanted to reach out to see if there are any young people on here who have been diagnosed with something similar? Or were diagnosed around my age.
How will this impact me? Will i be limited? Im considering working in a job which will require me to be very active, will this diagnosis hinder that?
Im scared that this is going to have a huge impact on my life, but I can’t lie after over a decade of on and off pain I’m just glad i’m finally closer to a diagnosis.

Hey there!

Chronic pain sufferer here but caused by a rare genetic disease that I was born with. I was diagnosed at 19 after suffering with an array of symptoms since birth (which is rare for the disease I have as it is usually caught at birth) and I am now 20. However, don't let my different diagnosis fool you, my dad has osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spina bifida so I also have close experience of someone with arthritis.

In my own experience and through watching my dad, the best thing you can do for yourself is look after YOU. Take time to process your diagnosis but also eat well, go walking, swimming or cycling (low impact exercise is GREAT) and try to keep yourself busy with hobbies and different fun things. I think the big thing is to accept that you will have harder days and you will have easier days, BUT, if you think about it, every single thing in life works that way.

I would advise you don't think of it as 'limiting' you but more as something that just exists. You can stand there and watch it curiously, observe it and acknowledge that that is now a label for something you have been suffering from. You have arthritis and there is no way to beat around that. And sure, it's probably awful. But you also have so many wonderful things in your life. I like to think of my genetic disease as a little pet. It's like it follows me around constantly and it's always on my mind. Somedays, it needs water, food and a little bit of love and time but sometimes, it's happy to do it's own thing. I think that that mindset might help you?

If it helps at all, I was fully planning to go into an active career (theatre) but changed my path slightly in order to feel like it was more accessible. I changed from wanting to be an actor to wanting to be a director and I have now found that this has massively changed how I approach my future career. There are often many careers inside of each other (if that makes sense?) it might just take some time to find it.

Finally, don't discredit the previous commenter. As a pain sufferer, I have found certain supplements to benefit me such as turmeric and black pepper. Additionally, I am in the process of retraining my brain to get it to a point where it doesn't react negatively to pain. This is done through meditation - I especially enjoy pairing it with yoga which is low impact. Whilst improving gut health, doesn't necessarily change things imo, there are natural herbal ingredients that can help soothe the immune system AND also the nervous system. Herbal teas, essential oils etc as often helping the brain can help in other ways too!

Hope this helps you! Let me know if I can help anymore. :smile:
Reply 3
Original post by yep:)
Hey there!
Chronic pain sufferer here but caused by a rare genetic disease that I was born with. I was diagnosed at 19 after suffering with an array of symptoms since birth (which is rare for the disease I have as it is usually caught at birth) and I am now 20. However, don't let my different diagnosis fool you, my dad has osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spina bifida so I also have close experience of someone with arthritis.
In my own experience and through watching my dad, the best thing you can do for yourself is look after YOU. Take time to process your diagnosis but also eat well, go walking, swimming or cycling (low impact exercise is GREAT) and try to keep yourself busy with hobbies and different fun things. I think the big thing is to accept that you will have harder days and you will have easier days, BUT, if you think about it, every single thing in life works that way.
I would advise you don't think of it as 'limiting' you but more as something that just exists. You can stand there and watch it curiously, observe it and acknowledge that that is now a label for something you have been suffering from. You have arthritis and there is no way to beat around that. And sure, it's probably awful. But you also have so many wonderful things in your life. I like to think of my genetic disease as a little pet. It's like it follows me around constantly and it's always on my mind. Somedays, it needs water, food and a little bit of love and time but sometimes, it's happy to do it's own thing. I think that that mindset might help you?
If it helps at all, I was fully planning to go into an active career (theatre) but changed my path slightly in order to feel like it was more accessible. I changed from wanting to be an actor to wanting to be a director and I have now found that this has massively changed how I approach my future career. There are often many careers inside of each other (if that makes sense?) it might just take some time to find it.
Finally, don't discredit the previous commenter. As a pain sufferer, I have found certain supplements to benefit me such as turmeric and black pepper. Additionally, I am in the process of retraining my brain to get it to a point where it doesn't react negatively to pain. This is done through meditation - I especially enjoy pairing it with yoga which is low impact. Whilst improving gut health, doesn't necessarily change things imo, there are natural herbal ingredients that can help soothe the immune system AND also the nervous system. Herbal teas, essential oils etc as often helping the brain can help in other ways too!
Hope this helps you! Let me know if I can help anymore. :smile:


Hey thank you for your comment!
My dad has rheumatoid arthritis too, so i do have experience with it, although his was diagnosed much later in his life, so we are in very different boats I guess.

Ive never viewed the pain I get as limiting, more just frustrating. Means I have to think more than everyone else when my friends plan a walking holiday for example. I try to take the stand point in life that you have the cards you are dealt, no use getting upset over them just sometimes means you need to work a little harder to make them work out

Viewing it as a pet is actually a really cute and helpful idea! I might try that out.

As for the other commenter, I’m just really tired of people (normally those without chronic pain too) giving me advice on diets. I eat incredibly healthily, and I have in the past tried multiple ‘diets’ aimed at reducing pain. For me its never helped, just made me feel rubbish about myself. Ive been in a certain level of pain for a long long time, and to simplify it to ‘oo try this diet i read about’ really makes me feel awful. Ive read what there is out there, I more value individuals experiences such as your own.
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
Ive just got back from a hospital appointment today, Ive had pain in my ankles since I was very young, sometimes it goes away, but always seems to come back even after years of being dormant like in 2018-2022. Ive been told today I likely have seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, I just need some more tests to confirm a diagnosis (we have pretty much ruled out all other possibilities I'm aware of). Im 20 and I know from a close relative who has this it can be debilitating at times, its likely to get worse with age and there is no cure.
I really wanted to reach out to see if there are any young people on here who have been diagnosed with something similar? Or were diagnosed around my age.
How will this impact me? Will i be limited? Im considering working in a job which will require me to be very active, will this diagnosis hinder that?
Im scared that this is going to have a huge impact on my life, but I can’t lie after over a decade of on and off pain I’m just glad i’m finally closer to a diagnosis.

hi : )
im 16 and i've been diagnosed with JIA in my knees since i was 8 years old so our situations are a little different. in terms of pain and inflammation, its being controlled with immunosuppresant medication (which tbh is not beneficial for the long run) but most days, it does not affect me much. i think if your pain and stiffness is controlled, i don't believe it will affect your work life. wishing you all the best ❤️
Reply 5
Original post by pjdxo
hi : )
im 16 and i've been diagnosed with JIA in my knees since i was 8 years old so our situations are a little different. in terms of pain and inflammation, its being controlled with immunosuppresant medication (which tbh is not beneficial for the long run) but most days, it does not affect me much. i think if your pain and stiffness is controlled, i don't believe it will affect your work life. wishing you all the best ❤️

Hi! Thank you so much for your comment. Im really hopeful that mine will become more controlled too- this sort of flare up I've had recently mainly impacts my ankles and knees and it’s been fairly consistent for a year. Had waiting list after waiting list until I've finally been sent to the right people.
I think during my times on waiting lists I started to feel like an imposter, like somehow my brain was lying to me and I wasn’t really in pain. To hear there is a cause suddenly feels quite relieving because of that, I know that it is real and there is something that can be done even if its management and not a cure.

Thank you again so much for sharing your own experience i really appreciate it!
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous
Hey thank you for your comment!
My dad has rheumatoid arthritis too, so i do have experience with it, although his was diagnosed much later in his life, so we are in very different boats I guess.
Ive never viewed the pain I get as limiting, more just frustrating. Means I have to think more than everyone else when my friends plan a walking holiday for example. I try to take the stand point in life that you have the cards you are dealt, no use getting upset over them just sometimes means you need to work a little harder to make them work out
Viewing it as a pet is actually a really cute and helpful idea! I might try that out.
As for the other commenter, I’m just really tired of people (normally those without chronic pain too) giving me advice on diets. I eat incredibly healthily, and I have in the past tried multiple ‘diets’ aimed at reducing pain. For me its never helped, just made me feel rubbish about myself. Ive been in a certain level of pain for a long long time, and to simplify it to ‘oo try this diet i read about’ really makes me feel awful. Ive read what there is out there, I more value individuals experiences such as your own.

You seem to have a very similar outlook on life as myself and therefore, I can see all this lovely yellow energy radiating from you! I can tell that you have a lot of good energy and I think that it's good if you try to hold onto that, it's important!

I hope that you can begin to find some relief. You seem like a wonderful human! :smile:
Reply 7
Original post by yep:)
You seem to have a very similar outlook on life as myself and therefore, I can see all this lovely yellow energy radiating from you! I can tell that you have a lot of good energy and I think that it's good if you try to hold onto that, it's important!
I hope that you can begin to find some relief. You seem like a wonderful human! :smile:

Aww thats absolutely made my day, thank you so much!!
Thank you for being so kind and understanding, it means the absolute world to me!
Reply 8
I’ve had arthritis since I was around 7 and gout since I was 14. Honestly some days it is really painful to the point where I feel like I can barely walk but most times it is manageable. I take medication for the gout which does seem to help. I have a very active job which requires me to work 12 hour shifts and involves a lot of heavy lifting and it hasn’t really impacted me that much at work. I always tell myself that if I thinks it will negatively impact me then it will and if I think positively then it won’t. I don’t let it stop me from doing things that I want to do. With regular exercise (and it doesn’t have to be a full on gym work out, walking etc helps) and a positive outlook you should be fine, just make sure that if you are having a flare up to rest and not put pressure on yourself to do certain things. I’m 24 now and it still doesn’t get in the way of my everyday life :smile:
Reply 9
Original post by mms205
I’ve had arthritis since I was around 7 and gout since I was 14. Honestly some days it is really painful to the point where I feel like I can barely walk but most times it is manageable. I take medication for the gout which does seem to help. I have a very active job which requires me to work 12 hour shifts and involves a lot of heavy lifting and it hasn’t really impacted me that much at work. I always tell myself that if I thinks it will negatively impact me then it will and if I think positively then it won’t. I don’t let it stop me from doing things that I want to do. With regular exercise (and it doesn’t have to be a full on gym work out, walking etc helps) and a positive outlook you should be fine, just make sure that if you are having a flare up to rest and not put pressure on yourself to do certain things. I’m 24 now and it still doesn’t get in the way of my everyday life :smile:


Thank you so much for this! Mine has gone undiagnosed for over a decade, so I am worried to hear if much damage has occurred. I was originally told as a kid ‘women get pains as children, you will grow out of it’ and never did.
Really glad to hear it hasn’t impacted work too much, I’m really determined to make sure this doesn’t interfere with my day to day life which is why I went to the hospital last year when it got really bad. I don’t particularly blame the healthcare but it has been frustrating, I know mine was harder to spot as its seronegative, but feels like no one really took me seriously for a long time.

I think framing things positively is definitely the best option! And it’s something I tried to do even when I didn’t have a name for it. Hardest part for me has really been when my friends forget I’m in pain and assume I can do the same physically that they can.
Reply 10
Original post by Anonymous
Thank you so much for this! Mine has gone undiagnosed for over a decade, so I am worried to hear if much damage has occurred. I was originally told as a kid ‘women get pains as children, you will grow out of it’ and never did.
Really glad to hear it hasn’t impacted work too much, I’m really determined to make sure this doesn’t interfere with my day to day life which is why I went to the hospital last year when it got really bad. I don’t particularly blame the healthcare but it has been frustrating, I know mine was harder to spot as its seronegative, but feels like no one really took me seriously for a long time.
I think framing things positively is definitely the best option! And it’s something I tried to do even when I didn’t have a name for it. Hardest part for me has really been when my friends forget I’m in pain and assume I can do the same physically that they can.


Yeah mine was undiagnosed for so long, my parents and doctors kept putting it down to growing pains which was really annoying but after I got the diagnosis nothing really changed. A lot of people don’t understand and think you’re exaggerating when you say you have arthritis, especially friends/young people, but I’ve learned to stop caring what they think. I know what I’m capable of, I know when I’m doing too much and I know when I need a break. I don’t feel the need to explain/justify myself when I say that I can’t do something. True friends will understand regardless and will support you!
Original post by mms205
Yeah mine was undiagnosed for so long, my parents and doctors kept putting it down to growing pains which was really annoying but after I got the diagnosis nothing really changed. A lot of people don’t understand and think you’re exaggerating when you say you have arthritis, especially friends/young people, but I’ve learned to stop caring what they think. I know what I’m capable of, I know when I’m doing too much and I know when I need a break. I don’t feel the need to explain/justify myself when I say that I can’t do something. True friends will understand regardless and will support you!


They told me exactly the same, i guess I’m more just hoping I start believing myself. After going from doctor to doctor with no luck I started to trick myself into thinking I was making it up, and somehow it was all just psychological, which made me start to feel incredibly insecure about it. To finally have some validation that I’m not tricking myself, and this is real helps me alone. I can start to learn how to be a bit kinder to myself too.

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