Can flare ups not show in blood results

Hi all, I’m looking for some advice really.

For the past year I’ve been experiencing acute flare-ups every month. At first it was just around my period so put it down to hormones, but recently I’m getting at least two flare-ups across different joints each time. The strange thing is it’s not showing up in my blood inflammation markers.

Has anyone else experienced this?

I tend to treat these flare ups with Naproxen and codeine.

I did see a new Rheumatologist, at a new hospital this week and when I told him about the flares he suggested I combine Hydroxychloroquine with my current Sulfasalazine. At first I declined as I had some unwanted (but liveable) side effects Hydroxy (I got terrible acne - please no judgement, I was in a client facing role at the time and it killed my confidence). Hydroxy eventually stopped working.

because the flare ups aren’t showing in blood results the rheumatologist suggested I continue treating these flare ups with naproxen, but I’m now thinking it’s not a proper treatment plan, especially as they are becoming more frequent and I have degenerative RA.

theres alot of stress in my life at the moment and other health complications are arising (pre-diabetic and high blood pressure), so i don’t know what is affecting the other. I feel a bit of a mess if I’m honest.

any advice or recommendations is greatly appreciated.

sab x


  • Poppyjane
    Poppyjane Moderator Posts: 715

    Hello @sabrinaA welcome to the online community

    You do have a lot going on in your life with health issues under investigation and more frequent flare ups. Whilst we are not medically qualified to give you advice about medication we are a valuable group of people living with different types of arthritis and with a huge wealth of personal experiences that can provide you with friendship and support.

    Numbers of our members have taken the medications you have mentioned and like us all we have to through trial and error work out which ones suit us best at the time. This is not to say that in the future it will change.

    Menopause has been linked as a factor for some with RA and OA and I attach some links about this.

    Since you are managing a number of health issues at the moment would it be helpful to keep a diary of your activities, symptoms, pain levels etc, so that your medical team have an overview of the fluctuations that you are experiencing which might help them with their diagnosis ?

    There are lots of discussions and activities on the community, I hope you browse round and join in with us again soon.

    Take care


    If it would be helpful to talk to someone ring the Helpline 0800 5200 520

    Monday - Friday 9.00a.m. - 6.00p.m.

  • mosborn11
    mosborn11 Member Posts: 22

    From what I understand there is some evidence that menstuation can make RA in particular worse. Have you considered asking about birth control? I'm on desogestrel and it stops me having periods. I wonder if this might be worth experimenting with for you?