I thank you for all of your replies and your experiences you have shared. I start Humira on Saturday! On my journey to become healthier, including losing weight and being more active, I am looking forward to aggressively fighting RA. (Hmmm. If RA is your body aggressively fighting itself, and I am aggressively fighting RA, does the dual aggression cancel each other out?)
I am tired of just accepting my downward spiral of limited activity and possibilities.
current weight: 175.2
Fitness Minutes: (23,719) Posts: 661 1/31/14 8:10 P
Beside the posible joint damage and organ damage RA about doubles the risk of heart disease. One risk attributed to the biologic meds, lymphoma, may actually be an increased risk from the RA, not a side-effect of the biologics.
A new study highlights the importance of early, aggressive treatment of RA because it found that women with an antibody found only in people with RA is linked to a 2.5 times higher death rate. www.arthritistoday.org/news/anti-ccp -a nd-mortality-325.php Not to scare you, but to encourage proper treatment. Wishing you the best.
I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having such RA trouble and then Fibromyalgia on top of it. I have to say that in my own experience, that it's much better to go by what your doctor says, rather than what other people say. I went from juices to supplements to drops, prescription pain killers, etc. to the real RA meds. Before the RA meds, I couldn't get out of the tub on my own, get off the toilet on my own, get up off the floor on my own, after falling out of bed!! My DH put up grabs bars so I could get up from the toilet. I didn't want to get on anything stronger because I read all the horror stories about them and was so scared. When the RA showed up in my blood and I was in so much pain and pretty much a do-nothing kind of gal, then that's when I listened to my Rheumy and then went on Prednisone, Methotrexate and Plaquenil. Little by little I started to feel better and could get around more like I needed to. But I still needed more help and my Rheumy kept telling me that I needed it to feel alot better. Finally I gave in and have been on Enbrel, Humira and now Orencia. The biologics can sometimes give a side effect that you have to stop it for or one of them doesn't want to kick in. With now being on Orencia, I've told my family, that I haven't felt this good since being diagnosed with RA, and that was in Nov. of 2008, so it's been a long time and do I ever feel so grateful! Also, with not being on RA meds. to slow down the progression of the disease or actually even stop it, you can get more deformity in your joints, like already has been said, but that the RA could eventually affect our organs and that's a scary thought! I do remember too, when my Rheumy would preach the biologics to me, I would say that I was scared of the side effects and he said that the side effects of the meds. that I was on at that time, were more harmful than being on a biologic and alot of the time people can get weaned off some or all of the others and that was so good to hear and that makes me hopeful that I can get off of these other ones like Prednisone, etc. Good luck to you and keep us updated.
Karen from Minnesota
"Little by little whittling my middle!"
Right TKR 12/15/14
Pounds lost: 2.5
Fitness Minutes: (122,410) Posts: 10,659 1/30/14 8:54 P
Sorry to hear about your pain. Sometimes diet and exercise will help decrease your pain but RA is not just about pain. RA will actually cause your joints to deform without medication help. Bring your partner to your rheumy appointments and have him/her talk to her about what she's read so that she will realize that shat she's read may not be the complete truth.
She should also know that everything online isn't necessarily true. When I was first diagnosed with RA, I read a lot online as well but I have found out that not everything I read is fact.
And, congratulations on your weight loss. That is really good.
I tried avoiding the "nightshade vegetables": tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, etc. It was very hard... no peppers means almost nothing spicy, many, many foods have tomatoes in them. I did it for a month and it made no difference. Some research shows they may help arthritis.
Sorry you are going through that. A good source of info is the Arthritis Foundation / arthritis.org. Maybe you can help educate her. Maybe if she went to your rheumatology appointment she would get a sense of the seriousness of this.
The pre-existing condition refusal of treatment is just awful. Thank goodness that will no longer be legal.
Tell her you are already eating right and exercising, but you need additional help. Maybe down the road you will calm down, and then you may try reducing your medicine. There are very few people with RA who are controlled completely by diet and exercise. There are a lot of "diets" out there that claim you can get rid of symptoms simply by eating correctly. Yes, you can lessen the symptoms. But that will in no way cure you.
Just tell her you are doing what you need to do right now. It is practical, and it it sensible. A combination of diet, exercising and medicine will lead to improvements.
She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ "I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. Life's been good to me so far..." Joe Walsh
I have moderate to severe RA and fibromyalgia, with considerable joint damage in the last few years. Sometimes it takes several minutes to lift myself out of the tub, or even to get off the toilet seat. (My Rheumatoid factor is 132, normal is less than 15. CRP is 34, normal is less than 8. Sed rate is 62, normal is less than 20.)
I am recently dieting, eating well, going to the gym, and losing weight - currently at 197. I am about to start RA medicine again. (Switched jobs and insurance last year and RA was an uncovered pre-existing condition, so have only been taking the low-cost Prednisone.)
When I mention my pain or difficulty, or about my fear of starting the RA meds (Dr. wants me on Arava and Humira), my partner says she has no sympathy, as I shouldn't be going on the medicine. She's read online that I should be able to control this with diet and exercise. I'm just not trying hard enough.
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