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13 Things to Know About Getting Diagnosed With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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I had never heard of rheumatoid arthritis before being diagnosed in 2015 at 31 years old. I started experiencing flare-ups five years earlier when my primary care doctor referred me to a rheumatologist due to my family history of lupus (another autoimmune disorder).

A couple of years later, after a lot of tests, additional specialists, and lots of confusion,  the rheumatologist landed on my diagnosis: seronegative rheumatoid arthritis.

I can’t say the diagnosis was helpful in understanding my condition. I left the doctor’s office with prescriptions, being told the importance of taking them, a follow-up date, and yet no knowledge of what rheumatoid arthritis was or what it meant to live with an autoimmune condition.

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