Living with arthritis

kerry333
kerry333 Member Posts: 3
edited 20. Mar 2015, 06:49 in Say Hello Archive
Hello. I am a new member of the forum. I am a 49-year-old female who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in my sternum, ribs and thoracic spine several years ago, linked to a history of ulcerative colitis. I am also profoundly anaemic and had to give up work and become self-employed as I found sitting at a desk all day extremely painful and uncomfortable and became very tired. To my dismay, I have now developed Heberdens nodes on my fingers and would like to hear from others with this condition. Does anyone have any tips for delaying the worsening of the arthritis in my fingers re diet, supplements, lifestyle changes etc.? Is there a chance it could go into remission or will I end up with gnarled hands, unable to do regular household tasks? Any advice will be gratefully received. Kerry.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums kerry333 from the moderation team

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Moderator JK
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello kerry333 and welcome from me too :) I also have RA but mine's in the usual joints. Yours sounds very painful and difficult, especially coupled with the colitis.

    I don't think there's any set pattern or timescale for RA but by taking the DMARDS we do give ourselves the best chance of avoiding the pitfalls you fear. DMARDS weren't available when I was first diagnosed over 50 years ago – as one look at me will tell :lol: – but physios tell me that it's rare for them to see someone like me now precisely because of the work the DMARDS do. They are your best bet. I now take methotrexate and hydroxychloroquine and they work well for me. What are you on?

    RA can result in anaemia and the meds we take don't help there. How is yours treated? If my iron levels go down I just take a course of iron and that brings them up again. Having said that, My GP has just had my gastro tract checked out to be on the safe side.

    As for diet, supplements etc I don't believe anything of that kind will do much. Nor would I bank on remission though it did happen to me during my first pregnancy. My advice would be to keep taking the meds, exercising where / when possible and listen to your rheumatologist as they're the experts.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,557
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. I am eighteen years in and although I have joint damage it's not that visible . I have been taking sulphasalazine since 2002, together with a variety of other meds, and they have slowed the progress of my auto-immune arthritis but I have developed OA in my damaged joints because I began the meds far too late and in too small a quantity.

    Before I knew what was going on with me I tried all kinds of diets, supplements and alternative therapies but the arthritis trundled on regardless because they did not address the underlying cause. We need the meds to suppress our immune systems to stop the disease flaring and it is thanks to the meds that I am not in a worse state than I am (although it's bad enough).

    We have the umbrella labels of RA, PsA, AS etc. etc. etc. but we are each affected differently. There are also overlapping conditions to take into account, many on here have Crohns, IBS and other troubles in addition to the arthritis. We lead complicated lives but the drugs are an essential part of the fight. Are you currently taking anything for your RA? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • kerry333
    kerry333 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My problem is that, because of UC, I have to take a daily slow-release anti-inflammatory called Lodine. Although it helps, I don't find it as effective as regular anti- inflammatories which my GP tried me on before realising I shouldn't be taking them. I take immune-suppressants as well and am a firm believer in taking pharmaceuticals, however I am interested in holistic methods too.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,339
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I don't think any anti-inflamms would make much, if any, difference to the nodules. The DMARDS might if you're not on a high enough dose. Why not ring your rheumatology helpline for advice?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • AnnaMilton
    AnnaMilton Member Posts: 44
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi welcome from Anna. I have RA and a nodule on right thumb, no pain or swelling as of now. It is my first one and it’s there since last 3 months. In my last rheumy appointment, my rheumy told me there is no such way to prevent them from occurring. Surgery is an option but not so early and then too they can recur. Even few doctors warn against treatment as it can lead to infection. So I guess we need to accept and learn to live with them. If you are on DMARD’s, it might help you to shrink your nodules but again it depends on your dose, size of your nodules etc.

    If it is really bothersome, you can ask the doctor to inject medication to shrink it. Mine is currently not, but I have seen a lady with nodules on her feet, that was really irritating and makes walking painful, especially if it is rubbing against shoes.

    Anna.