Rheumatoid Arthiritis — Scope | Disability forum
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Rheumatoid Arthiritis

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the community and have just been told, after a year of going back and forth to the doctors trying to explain the pain I was in, that I have rheumatoid arthiritis. I'm 28 years old and the GP was not very helpful in telling me more about it. Fair enough, she didn't know much about it and said to wait for the specialist to tell me more about it.

My question is, is there anybody here that can give me maybe some glimpse of what my life will be like? I know it affects everybody differently, with me its pain every day, barely being able to walk on a daily basis or sometimes even hold things in my hands. My doctor did tell me it was for life and I asked if it was classified as a disability, to which she did say it depends on the person but yes for some.

ANY help would be appreciated  Just feeling a bit lost and emotional at the moment.

Thank you.


  • Matilda
    Matilda Member Posts: 2,590 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Fadumo.  I have had RA for 28 years, 40 at the time of diagnosis.  My RA has caused disability but life is bearable.

    Your rheumatologist will prescribe strong medication to control your RA and an anti-inflammatory painkiller so probably your symptoms probably won't be as bad as they are now.  If one medication doesn't work, there are plenty of others and new treatments are developed from time to time.  If your GP hasn't referred you to a teaching hospital, you might think about asking her to do so if there is one within reasonable travelling distance.  Teaching hospitals use the latest, and often the most effective, treatments well before general hospitals do. The important thing is, if your medication stops working well, tell the rheumatologist right away, asking for a scheduled appointment to be brought forward if necessary.  Uncontrolled RA can cause more damage to the joints.

    RA affects different people differently so it's difficult to say in your case what will happen.  But in my case in the early years my RA was quite mild once I was taking strong medication to control the symptoms plus anti-inflammatory painkillers and didn't cause any disability at that time.  This might be the case with you.   RA is a fluctuating condition so some times are likely to be worse than others.  

    If and when your RA does start to cause disability you will be eligible to claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP).


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