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Just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis...

(9 Posts)
Weegle Fri 02-Feb-07 15:58:39

...and feeling quite scared. Does anyone have any experience? It's apparently started in a very unusual location (my back and pelvis) and so has taken a very long time to diagnose but after an MRI and various blood tests that's what the consultants have diagnosed. A Rheumatologist spent a long time with me yesterday explaining what they are going to do etc and in fact I had a cortisone (sp?) injection yesterday and started new drugs today. But foolishly (am ill in bed with flu and a chest infection with granny babysitting so got time on my hands!) have googled it and now I'm so worried I'm going to end up unable to live a normal life again. I already struggle with my son (8 months) because of the pain and now I'm worried this will get worse. I'm so worried I won't be able to do all the things I want to be able to do and I've been putting on hold whilst we tried to get to the bottom of my "backpain". I also feel fairly despairing as to how on earth I am going to cope with (let alone enjoy) being mummy to my DS. I'm normally quite a positive and optimistic person but I feel so down and worried and shocked as no one suspected it was this. Does anyone have any experience of RA or any advice on where I can get more (less scary) information? Thanks.

mummy115 Fri 02-Feb-07 19:01:58

my mum has it and she finds cutting out certain foods lessens the pain so keep a diary and if the same foods start pain off cut them out. also she has cider vinegar each day.

Weegle Sat 03-Feb-07 09:17:19

thanks mummy115, I'll google why cider vinegar is good! Anyone else got any experience? Guess it's not very common.

noddyholder Sat 03-Feb-07 09:19:41

Most auto immune conditions are very similar in that they have flare ups and long periods of remission which are helped by drugs and not over doing things.What medication are you on?

Weegle Sun 04-Feb-07 19:31:32

Naproxen and ominprazole (or something like that, haven't got the packet in front of me). Also had the injection on Thursday but I don't think that has made any difference at all, in fact I'm not even sure they've done it in the right place.

fryalot Sun 04-Feb-07 19:35:21

I've had it for years. Take cod liver oil capsules. You won't necessarily notice any difference until you forget to take them for a while, then you realise you're in a lot more pain than usual. It's not a cure, but it does ease the symptoms.

Pingle Thu 15-Feb-07 10:05:55

I got RA aged 32 a few months after my daughter was born. They gave me steroid injections and then put me on methotrexate. It's a cancer drug at low doses - immunosupresses you, you need to give up drinking really cos of liver/kidney side effects. It controlled the disease (which was all over my body) quite well but I still got flare ups. I got fed up with all that and started to look at alternatives after about 2 years. Tried Margaret Hills (a book - google it) - she is cider vinegar woman. It worked initially in combo with the drugs but then wore off. I think mainly it was the placebo effect. I then started to read up on diet and found a great booked Diet and Arthritis by Gail Darlington. It's out of print now but you could borrow it from the British Library through your local libary. Or find a second hand copy - but maybe expensive. GET THAT BOOK!

Something like 66% of people who went through her elimiation diet identified foods that made their illness worse - and by exlcuding them were able to either come of drugs or reduce their drug intake. The diet is extreme and takes about 8 weeks to complete. It should be done under direction of a doctor but mine wasn't supportive and I did it anyway. You start by eating trout, salmon, pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, mineral waterand salt for a week. You may well find your symptoms dsiappear (mine did). You then add in a new food or two every day and see how our body responds. I found my arthritis is aggravated by all grains (gluten), dairy, lamb, sugar, coffee, soya, pepper, onions, garlic, chillie .... the list goes on. I can't realitially live without all those things so. I compromiosed, cut out a lot of things and left in things that are good for me - I now have a v healthy varied diet, lots fruit, veg, fish and a bit of the things that make me ill. I have found I can live without drugs and reduce my symptoms to a manageable level, the same levels I had while on drugs and eating everything that made me ill.

But I am extreme, you may well find that only a few things cause a problem - cut those out forever and you will feel better.

It was incredible and I feel in control of my disease and have been drug free for a year. Consultan is v pleased (but doesn't know I am off rdugs!). I am also pegnant now - the point of all this really. I didn't want to take drugs during a pregnancy. Once the baby comes, will go back on the methotrexate I think but will still control diet, cos any inflammation is bad - it leads to permenant joint damage.

Fine to carry on with drugs and not do all this course. You need to work out what is ight for you The tips for layering on control of disease through diet are:
loads of olive oil (reduces the number of inflammatory agents)
oily fish twice a week at least (sardine, salmon, trout)
loads of brightly coloured fruit and veg (they have antioxidants, which also recuce inflammation)
loads of water
glass of red wine a day also helps (antioxiants)
vary our diet - arthritics seem to develop intolerances to foods they at a lot. So try to avoid that.

In fact I found getting a bit drunk made me feel much better the next day!!! Hangover, but redcued symptoms. Not recommended though. There is also a 70% chance of going into remission in pregnancy. I think that is starting to happen for me.

Good luck - it's a horrid disease and you have my full sympathy. But there are things you can do that will help.

Annie12 Sun 30-Sep-07 15:11:13

Hi Pringle, Can I ask how you are now? Sorry to resurrect this thread but I am trying to help my DD who at 31 and having just had her first baby via IVF has been diagnosed with RA. She is finding that acupuncture plus Chinese Herbs are great. Also, may go down the food intollerance diet - have you read Strong Women and Men Beat Arthritis by Mirian Nelson. This book advocates certain supplements and foods which help enourmously for both RA and OA. Trying cider vinegar too. Could also be hormone imbalance/some sort of toxicity. Will let you know how she goes on....

vole3 Sun 30-Sep-07 20:24:56

Would love to try adding oily fish into my diet, but it would mean claiming on DH's life insurance as he is severely allergic and reacted the last time I cooked fish in the house for myself - about 8 years ago now.
Are the vegetarian omega 3/6/9 supplements OK instead?

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