Does hrt help RA?

Hi I developed RA at 26 with no family history. I was. Taking sulphasalazine then went peri menopausal. My pain and deformaties hit overnight. After seeing my rheumatologist he recommended methotrexate. I'm 51 and have 3 kids 25, 15 and 9. I'm not keen due to it being an immunosuppressant and now work with children in my home. Also I am getting ulcers and itchy skin. Has anyone or can hrt help? My pain has improved and I'm due for review 6 September. Uk.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,569

    Hi @Dianes09

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis Online community. I see you are asking a question of the Helpline Team.

    I wonder whether it would be worth popping your question over into the 'Life with Arthritis' category too to see if any of the women there might have some relevant personal experience to share?

    Best wishes


  • Hi Dianes09,

    Thank you for posting on the Helpline forum. I’m glad to hear that Methotrexate has helped to reduce your pain. However, I am sorry to hear that you are getting ulcers and itchy skin which could be a side effect of this medication. Ellen has given a helpful response. Posting on our Living with arthritis forum may generate more responses and be a helpful way of keeping in touch with others.

    Methotrexate and Sulfasalazine are both disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) which act by altering the underlying disease rather than just treating symptoms. They're not painkillers, but they'll reduce pain, swelling and stiffness over a period of weeks or months by slowing down the disease and its effects on the joints. Helping to control the disease process itself is the advantage of DMARDs over standard painkillers, NSAIDs and steroids. Unfortunately, they can cause side effects which is why careful monitoring and regular blood tests are important. 

    Your worries about being on immune-suppressant medication are understandable, especially as you now work with children in your home. Be reassured that DMARDs do not take away all your immunity entirely. However, you may be more likely to get infections.

    It sounds as if it would be good to talk through your concerns with your rheumatology nurse. We are not medically qualified to say whether or not HRT may help. The rheumatology team and your GP are aware of your medical history and individual clinical situation. I hope you will find the information given below of some help.  

    If at any point you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence, you are welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 5200 520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best wishes,

    Fiona, Helpline Advisor 

  • Kitty
    Kitty Member Posts: 3,583

    Hello, I spent 3 years on HRT, it never helped my RA. It just gave me breast cancer. I worked in special schools with disabled children with Learning Disabilities for 10 years, whilst taking MTX, Sulphasalazine and Prednisolone.

    Best wishes KathleenT.

    "Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert A Heinlein

  • Lilymary
    Lilymary Member Posts: 1,739

    Hi @Dianes09

    I'm not sure whether it directly relates to your query, but this popped up on my email recently - you might find it helpful.

  • Dianes09
    Dianes09 Member Posts: 6

    Thanks all for your helpful comments. After reading Fionas coment about how the medication helps development of the disease and Kathleen's who worked with children it's reassured me a little more and helped me. Understand a bit more about dmards. Thanks also lillymary for the article. I had read about oestrogen and rheumatologist did say that more women than men are affected which suggests in some part arthritis is rough on due to hormones or hormone changes. I just want to be around for a long time yet, as we all do, for my children and with all the covid carry on it got me more worried than usual. Thanks again for all the helpful answers. X