Psoriatic Arthritis and Hot Flashes

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Hi all,

New member here :)

I'm a 28 year old male and have been suffering with PsA unbearably for the last 3 years now. I’ve been on different forms of Methotrextate which have not even touched the sides in helping my condition. The NHS waiting list has been nearly a year, and sometimes it feels like the doctors have not been taking me seriously. I’ve finally taken the financial leap and have gone completely private now, and will be hopefully starting the biologic Idacio at the end of the month. My private BUPA doctor has been brilliant.

One side effect that has absolutely been taking over my life, and stopped me from being active, going to the gym, going out, struggling at work are these horrific hot flashes which I must get waves of at least 20+ times a day. All the doctors I’ve had, including my current one doesn’t seem to think that medical research backs this side effect, but he did mention people suffer with this. I was prescribed an anti depressant called amitriptyline for the hot flashes which actually made things worse. I know this particularly effects women who are going through menopause and heightens their arthritis, but it seems unusual for a man my age to have such a disabling side effect. 

When I was younger, I did dabble with steroids so I’m conflicted to whether this side effect is linked to my inflammation or hormone levels. Before I start my biologics I’m about the pay for a pretty expensive hormone and testosterone test to make sure that’s all in order. Currently none of my blood tests have raised any concerns on this however.

I know this was long winded but wanted to give some context! I guess my question is, do others suffer with hot flashes, and hack they found a hack or medication with their additional treatment plan that has helped them?


Thanks :)

Comments

  • PeterJ
    PeterJ Administrator Posts: 909
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    Hello @Elz1111 and welcome to the community. We are a friendly and supportive group and I hope that that will be your experience as well.

    I understand that you have Psoriatic Arthritis and are about to take a biologic treatment. I do hope it goes well for you. I understand that you have concerns about possible side effects. Whilst it is only your consultant who can guide you on this we do have some factsheets on our website which might be useful reading.

    The active ingredient of the treatment you are looking at is

    Please do keep posting and let us know how you are getting on and I am sure that others will connect with you to share their support and experience as well.

    With very best wishes

    Peter

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
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    I've been on here a long time (I have RA and OA) but don't remember anyone equating PsA or methotrexate with hot flushes. Maybe the steroid (anabolic?) thing is worth investigating.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Elz1111
    Elz1111 Member Posts: 4
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    I think I'm definitely going to. Might be suffering from 2 angles right now. Not sure if I can share links but I read about it here also.

    As the hot weather is starting to kick in, it's honestly unbearable right now. To the point where I can't exercise, go on holiday because it's so intense.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 762
    edited 13. Apr 2022, 17:22
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    Hi @Elz1111 ,

    This is quite strange to me but it also might be quite prescient. Since I was diagnosed with PsA back in 2020 I've gone the opposite way - I'm cold almost all of the time. I'm sitting here typing this with the central heating on and 3 layers of clothing, thermal socks and compression gloves on. When I walked my dog at lunchtime I added a fleece and outdoor jacket and thermal gloves over the compression ones. I'm sleeping with 2 winter duvets on my bed. It's 14 degrees Celsius outside.

    However I had a call from my GP surgery yesterday requesting I quickly get my bloods done again by a phlebotomy service after last weeks GP blood tests. They said my B12, ferritin and folate levels needed to be rechecked but also I needed a thyroid blood check. I turned to Dr. Google for some information. Turns out that up to a third of PsA sufferers also get a thyroid problem.

    https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriatic-arthritis/psa-and-hypothyroidism

    'People with PsA and psoriasis are more likely to test positive for thyroid antibodies than people without these conditions. In one study, about a third of people with psoriasis had a thyroid condition, too.'

    I know when my wife had a problem with her thyroid she suffered hot flushes. So maybe you should ask your doctor if he/she could check your thyroid?

  • Elz1111
    Elz1111 Member Posts: 4
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    Hi @jamieA

    This is BRILLIANT information and something I'll be taking to my next check-ups.

    The test I'm paying for through BUPA covers all hormone and testosterone levels, so I'll make sure the doc triple checks my thyroid levels.

    Thanks so much for that.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 762
    edited 13. Apr 2022, 18:21
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    Hi @Elz1111

    I didn't realise that Idacio is an Adalimumab biosimilar. I've been on Amgevita (which is another Adalimumab biosimilar) since late July 2021. It's made a really significant difference to me so I hope you get the same result. There are other sites - including the BMJ - that have research papers linking PsA and thyroid problems. This one appears to link DMARDS with this.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,730
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    Just in case it's of use....

    I've remembered I do have a friend with PsA who always runs hot while her non-rheumatoid husband is swathed in fleeces. She's never attributed it to the PsA though.

    Also, while those with OA complain of winter weather, although I have no hot flushes, I do kind of wilt in heat. It drains me.

    I've always found Creaky Joints a reliable site. Unfortunately, their evidence is only anecdotal but......worth considering.

    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • Elz1111
    Elz1111 Member Posts: 4
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    @stickywicket @jamieA

    Thank you both so much for the help. Will keep this updated where I can.

    Have some NHS blood tests tomorrow, which I imagine will take a few weeks... how painful. Then I have these private ones towards the end of the month.

    Wish me luck haha.

  • jamieA
    jamieA Member Posts: 762
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    @Elz1111

    My NHS blood tests are turned around relatively quickly - I think they need to process them while the blood is fresh. What I've found is it's the time the doctor takes to impart the results that's the problem. I now give my GP a week from the day the blood is taken then pester them for the results.

    Here's another site with some detail about PsA and thyroid issues. It appears to say that the immune system attacking the thyroid can cause either hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) so feeling cold or hyperthyroidism(over active thyroid so feeling too hot. Seems like just your luck which one happens.

    www.psoriatic-arthritis.com/clinical/thyroid-disorders

    The hotline won't work for this site here so if you copy and paste the above URL you'll get to it.

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,618
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    Steroids definitely give you hot flushes. When my daughter was on them for cancer and methotrexate (admittedly at higher doses than us lot) as one of her chemos she had them all the time. She was 16 so definitely not menopausal. I'd suspect the MTX too in your shoes as well.

    @Elz1111 are you based in the US? We have hot flushes here not flashes that was the clue😊

    @stickywicket I also have friend like yours funnily enough 😉

    @jamieA I was always cold Core temp 35. something and since starting on thyroxine it's in the normal range so a distinct possibility.

    Best of luck everyone

    Toni x