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Old 11-17-2007, 01:20 AM   #1
*KnitPixie*
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Does anyone here have Rheumatoid Arthritis?!
I was just curious if anyone has this and how they deal with it? Do they take anything besides NSAIDS. I'm 23 years old going to a rheumatologist for three years and strongly feel this is what I have, but the doctor is still looking in the mean time Im taking anti-inflammation meds(Ibuprofen 800mgs) but isn't my joints getting damaged anyway and my stomach from the constant meds? Isn't there any better meds available? I thought I heard of a drug that slows the progression or something I may sound whiny but I can barely knit anymore because of the pain and I want to literally cry. I wonder if I should get a new doctor. I mean three years and I have been to see him four times Im so frustrated...So any advice or opinions would be much appreciated
Thanks everyone
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
vaknitter
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There are very specific criteria for diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and should start with blood tests and xrays to see if there is any joint damage. If there are in fact signs of RA and/or joint destruction from RA then yes, there are meds out there other than NSAIDS. Just remember you never get something for nothing and any drug you take will have side effects - some of the RA drugs can make you prone to infection and others make your hair fall out. If you are not comfortable with the MD you are seeing seek a second opinion. Best of luck and hope you feel better soon.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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You're right in your concerns. If, in 3 years, your MD hasn't made a definitive diagnosis either for or against RA, then you need to kick him/her to the curb and find someone else.

I had a similar problem only I looked elsewhere after 9 months (the pain drove me to it). If it is RA, then you need to be on a plan to prevent as much permanent damage as possible. And if it isn't RA, the MD needs to be trying to figure out what it is. Either way, sounds like the place to start is with a different, more pro-active doctor. You're too young to wait around until you have a lot of permanent damage to "prove" its RA.

If it is RA, unfortunately you're probably going to have to suffer the side effects of the NSAIDS, which can be uncomfortable and possibly cause permanent stomach problems. However, they will make it possible for you to get more use from your joints without as much pain.

Good luck! I'll be sending positive thoughts your way.
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Old 11-17-2007, 02:14 PM   #4
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Check into Remecaid treatments. It was developed specifically for RA, but my husband had treatments for Crohn's Disease. It was wonderful. I knew a lady who had RA and did the treatments. She was like a new person.
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Old 11-17-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone I will be seeing a new Doctor Jan 8th ( the soonest appt I could get) I made this appt in March ugg..I really appreciate everyones responses and well wishes it means alot to me Ill keep you updated
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Old 11-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yarnrainbow View Post
I had a similar problem only I looked elsewhere after 9 months (the pain drove me to it)
If you don't mind me asking what was your condition?
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Old 11-19-2007, 07:11 PM   #7
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My secretary has RA, and recently noted that hers got worse and spread because it wasn't treated quickly enough. I'm glad you have any appointment. Ask if they can call you if they have a cancellation, too! I don't remember the names of the drugs she is on, but they are not ibuprofen or steroids. I wish I could remember the names for you!
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:13 PM   #8
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I've been dealing with it for ten years now. I just turned 40.

The regimen that I have that finally is working is
Celebrex 400mg
Methotrexate-Injectable 25 mg, one shot a week
Enbrel 50 mg, one shot a week

I urge you, PLEASE get a handle on it now. I am 40 years old and have to splint my left hand and right thumb from severe bone erosion. I am a secretary, and pray I will be able to keep my job long enough to get my kids through college.
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Old 11-20-2007, 12:49 PM   #9
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remacade, enbrel, etc belong to a new class of DMARD: Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs. They are injected, and have shown a lot of promise for RA, psoriatic arthritis, and some patients with Lupus. (but not me).

There are a constellation of related rheumatic diseases that can be tricky to diagnose properly. the new doc should do a bunch of blood work and other clinical tests for you. then, they should discuss what the various options are.

NSAIDS come in a large variety. I've taken most of them at one time or another. some are better on the stomach than others. and it all depends on your particular body chemistry whether they work for you or not.

chemotherapy like methotrexate can also be very effective in slowing the progression.

Steroids (not like sports steroids, but like Medrol) are often used as a first try; but they have lots of side effects when used long term.

I am willing to put up with certain types of side effects, because the use of the medication means I have a life again. But everyone is different, and what works for one patient almost certainly won't work for another.

also, be prepared for everyone you know to be telling you to take "this" new supplement or to try "this" new unproven treatemtn or to buy "this" fancy juice as it will cure you. it is all nonsense and annoying. Supplements that are for good health and nutrition are fine- and needed, but they are not a cure.

(and try not to self-diagnose on the internet- you can scare yourself to death! use reputable sites like the Mayo clinic, or the National Institutes of HEalth... WebMD is ok, but is funded by pharmaceutical companies, so they are biased.)

good luck- MKZ
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