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Diabetes, have stiffness and pain in fingers. Had taken treatment for joint stiffness with steroids. What tests and treatment should be taken?

My mom is 60 yrs old and a few months ago she had an muscular joint attack overnight and by morning all her joints became stiff.the docs said it is some form of arthritis and gave her steroids and kept her in the hospital for 4 days until she was able to walk.she was asked to do few exercises everyday After that episode she was fine for a few months and lately for the past 10days the fingers in her hands are becoming stiff on and off and very painful. We are scared if it could be something more serious than we think. She is diabetic too. What tests should she take and which speciality doc should she see. Any suggestions.
Asked On : Tue, 19 Jun 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  20
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for writing in.
Your mother's symptoms are very suggestive of a condition called rheumatoid arthritis. This is a condition where the body starts destroying its own joint tissue by producing antibodies against this tissue. She needs to be seeing a rheumatologist and the following tests need to be done:
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
C-reactive protein (CRP)
Complete blood cell (CBC) count
Rheumatoid factor (RF) assay
Antinuclear antibody (ANA) assay
Anticyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (anti-CCP) assay
Anti-RA33 antibody assay
She would be fine. The disease can be well controlled by medication.
Hope this helps
Answered: Tue, 19 Jun 2012
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