View Full Version : Rheumatoid arthritis

12-17-2008, 05:39 PM
Anyone have this? I was just diagnosed(after a year of tests, xrays and ultrasounds!) with this. My blood work shows it was progressing fairly rapid. What seems to work for you and what is the usual treatment? I have to see the specialist in April, so till than I'm on some muscle relaxers and NSAIDS.

12-17-2008, 06:51 PM
holy smokes, you are young! i know someone who was just diagosed with juvenile arthritis and they are getting their treatment in toronto and say it is far superior. are they similar or very different,the 2 types of arthritis?

i worked with a lady about 50 yrs old. who had rheumatoid arthritis and lots of pain. she started the suzanne sommers eating plan and said it was like nite and day for her.

12-17-2008, 11:01 PM
Hmm I'm not sure Kitca, really I have no idea even about regular arthritis. Other than it causes problems with joints. I'll have to check out the suzanne sommers eating plan though.

12-17-2008, 11:48 PM
Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory arthritis that will destroys our joints if the inflammation is not agressively treated. I have psoriatic arthritis, which is another kind of infalmmatory arthritis. It just acts a little differently than rheumatoid arthritis. The inflammatory arthrites are auto immune disorders i.e. our body turns against itself. They are usually genetic. Most of us have osteoarthritis as we age. It is considered the "wear and tear" arthritis.

I was dx in 2003. I chose to go to Hamilton to see a "real" rheumatologist. We have a local internal medicine doc who sees most of the arthritis patients. I had information about her and decided I would go elsewhere. There is a doc who comes into town from Toronto. Dr. Frances Leung. But you can wait in her office for 4-6 hours. And I have heard she is retiring so I don't know if she is taking new patients. There is a rheumatologist in Sudbury and if you can get your family doc to refer you to him, you will qualify for a Northern Ontario Travel Grant. I am very happy with the care I have received from the rheumatologist in Hamilton and he was able to refer me to another specialist there this past summer as i am having problems with my ankles. I have already had both knees replaced.

When I go to Hamilton, I have qualifed for a NOTG equivalent to going to Sudbury and now that I am seeing the other specialist in Hamilton, they accepted the info from my local doc and are paying a NOTG to go to Hamilton. It doesn't cover all the expenses...when you have an inflammatory arthritis, you usually have significant fatigue so it is just not an overnight trip.

You will need more than NSAID's to stop the inflammation and to prevent further disability. April will seem a long way off if you have pain and mobility issues.

healthtalk.com was a website that I used quite frequently especially in the early days...they do have info re rheumatoid arthritis www2.healthtalk.com/go/rheumatoid-arthritis There are certain foods which increase inflammation in everyone, but especially those of us with this type of arthritis--white foods--flour, sugar, potatoes, white bread etc. If you google arthritis diet you will come up will several sites.

Someone mentioned you are young--how old are you? FYI--Inflammatory diseases like arthritis can strike at any age. The most important thing to remember when you have an inflammatory arthritis is that you absolutely need to take care of yourself...with good rest, a healthy diet, good pain control. I had to go on a disability retirement and will never be able to work full time again. But I have a full life, I do volunteer work on my own schedule and I am happy and "healthy".

12-18-2008, 02:14 AM
Thanks for the info suzi, and I'm 30. Fatigue is an understatement! My Dr. thinks it's affecting my tendons and muscles as well, not just my joints. The meds he gave me "help" but most definitely are not working the way I had hoped.

12-27-2008, 12:24 PM
lizzardskills, RA can be much more than joint inflammation and pain. (My mother has it, her grandmother had it...seems to skip a generation in our family) It's an autoimmune disorder, and it's not limited to attacking your joints, but your organs, as well. You will need a good doc. My mom is one of the few who has never gone into remission, she's been on a constant flare for more than 10 years. She has been on Methotrexate ( a chemo drug) and Prednisone for all of that time. She must have monthly liver checks, as the meds are hard on her liver. But she is no longer immobile, as she once was.

MAKE SURE you have a doc who specializes in this. If your fingers start to curl in, set your hand on a table, and push your fingers down flat. My mom should have done this, but no one told her, now it's too late, they're curled in, and basically non-functional.

Don't mean to scare you, but RA is really much more than joint inflammation, it is systemic. Please read all you can on it, so you can get proper treatment early. Just taking something for sore joints isn't really the way to go.

02-10-2009, 10:07 AM
Just went to the local specialist, they upped my appointment and was able to get in early. I did NOT like her one bit! She wouldn't give me anything for pain and my regular Doc had me on baclofen for my neck because of the muscles getting messed up. She wouldn't give me another prescription. She didn't say why but it seemed like because I don't have drug coverage she thought I couldn't afford anything else. Ridiculous! SO, now I will be on Plaquenil and was told to take as much advil as I need. BUT, the Plaquenil will probably not work for months for me because my body will need to take so much time to catch up to the drugs. Had I caught it earlier it might have worked at a faster rate. Blah!

02-21-2009, 11:00 AM
Well Liz..i just got back from a Rheumatologist in Petoskey who is absolutely wonderful, I was given the option to see Dr Ciaschini here and declined due to what I had heard..(and that she is an internist who has an interest in Rheumatology)...I am now taking Plaquenil now as well and with anyone, it does takes over a month to get in your system, as do any of the meds for R.A. or Lupus (I dont know which I have yet). I could have probably had it preapproved to go down there as well but decided to pay for it and get in sooner (I got an appt in just over a week after the referral)
Good luck with treatment here but I wouldnt mess around if you are frustrated!

02-21-2009, 12:12 PM
I have arthritis in my cervical spine. A prescript for baclofen doesn't help. I'm allergic to aspirin so a lot of pain killers don't work.
The only one that does is endocet.

02-21-2009, 11:09 PM
My husband also has R.A, and as he always says he wouldnt wish it on his worst (or best) enemy!...It's a nasty disease...

02-23-2009, 03:20 AM
I have muscle problems caused by arthritis in my neck Andre....that`s why the baclofen helps me. At least if the muscles are o.k. I can somewhat deal with the neck pain a little better.

They are unsure if I have R.A. or lupus as well, only time will tell I guess.

I ended up going to my pharmacy and having them fax in a request for more baclofen to my regular Dr. which he approved thank goodness....at least I don`t have to worry about that.

Dr. Chiachini seems a bit old to be an intern. She never showed any expression of emotion at all, very odd. Just a monotone expression and speech that never wavered. She does not have very good bedside manners so to speak, imo. She seemed to think because I had no drug coverage that I was poor or something....and the extra $30 a month was going to break my bank account, not the case but whatever. Hopefully the plaquenil will work and I won`t have to go back to see her anytime soon. I am however getting migraines from it I think.

02-23-2009, 04:14 PM
FYI - *Internist - (specialist in internal medicine)
...maybe the migraines are from the neck pain...i think that's what causes mine!.... The specialist in Petoskey told me the side effects from Plaquenil are upset stomach and rashes..which i googled similar reactions...I've been on it just a week....so far no change.

02-27-2009, 03:56 AM
Ohh lol I was thinking intern as in someone just starting out, lol my bad. I wasn't thinking internal medicine! I've had somewhat of an upset stomach but not to bad. I never had migraines before taking the plaquenil but they seem to be going away now. Might have been a slight reaction for the first little while.