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What is the reason for pain and swelling around fingers and wrists?

Q: I am 53 years old and my weight is 95 Kgs and have diabetes (which is under control with drugs). I have osteoarthritis in my knee which is under control with Ayurvedic treatment. For the past five months I am getting pain and swelling around fingers of both my hands, wrists and elbow which also get stiff. I am not able to clinch my fingers. The x-ray of hands show no evidence of arthritis in the finger joints. What is this disease and what do I do to get relief?

A:Diabetes itself can cause a problem in the hand joints called diabetic chaeroarthropathy. That is the first possibility in your case. The second is that you may actually be having an early stage of rheumatoid arthritis. The difference between the 2 can be made easily by an experienced rheumatologist (a specialist in joint diseases, NOT an Orthopaedic surgeon, and NOT a specialist in DIABETES). You would have to find out an experienced rheumatologist in your vicinity. Fortunately, now-a-days, a simple blood test (available in Delhi - at PathNet Laboratories) called anti-CCP antibody can be very helpful in distinguishing the 2 conditions. It is usually positive in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. I hope this information would be of help to you.

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