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Dh has just been diagnosed with arthritis at 32, what can we expect?

(38 Posts)
OracleInaCoracle Tue 29-Jul-08 10:31:08

his gp thinks it looks like RA, and he has been in a lot of pain. he has 3 different types of tablet to take and has had a load of blood taken too. what can we expect? will it get worse? how will it affect him professionally? (he is currently a student, so not as much of an issue)

OracleInaCoracle Tue 29-Jul-08 10:39:17


LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:40:47

Shite Lissie, that sucks.

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 10:42:38

hmmm, RA can be dodgy but managable.
find yourself a qualified herbalist near to you and get advice from them what you can do as an alternative. foods play a big part in the control of RA. RA, psoriasis and gout are all members of the same group of problems caused by similar things. I have previously recommended a change of diet knocking out certain food groups as a beginning with other supplements as needed. RA is the body attacking itself, possibly caused by an endo toxin produced from incomplete digestion of foods (hence knocking out certain food groups)
for a herbalist go to or e mail them with details so they can recommend someone in your area that has experience of RA

LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:43:25

My Mum has RA very badly, but it definitely got worse when she went to stay with my sister in America for three months and didn't take enough tablets with her, so for the last month or so was drug free. She actually called me before she came home to warn me that she had lost a lot of weight, and she had - massively!

So my advice to your lovely DH is to ALWAYS take his meds, even if he feels fine. My Mum's deterioration after tha episode was shocking and she has since had two hip replacements and needs practially every other joint in her body replacing.

LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:44:15

Also, make sure he goes to every appointment with his doctors.

thelittlestbadger Tue 29-Jul-08 10:45:50

My DB has RA. He got it when he was 14 and was hospitalised for a bit on steroids etc as his finger joints were particularly bad. He is now okay and it is under control although he had to stop drinking for a bit when on one lot of pills which didn't go down too well.

Anyway, his wrists/fingers and hips are still pretty painful and get swollen but it is now under control although it took a bit of time to get there. He can't do much sport although he plays the drums and plays 5 a side football a couple of times a week. Workwise, he needs to have time off for appointments and very occasionally when he is in a lot of pain but is currently working as a trader in London so pretty high powered and not really affected by his illness.

So, in brief, it may get worse, if you are TTC it is worth letting the docs know because I think some treatments can impact that, but once they've sorted out a cocktail of pills for him it should be manageable and hopefullly not have too much of an impact on professional life.


ComeOVeneer Tue 29-Jul-08 10:46:08

Dh was iagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, a couple of years ago (he is now 34). It is slightly different to RA, but has the same inpact on life. I won't kid you it is tough. Medication does help a lot (he is currently taking embrel), however he still suffers (he is affected in his knees foot anf hand joints). He isn't able to run around and play with he children ashe would like, always has some level of pain. Also becauseof the medication his immune system isn't as good as it could be so he is prone to infections and they don't clear as well as they should 9he is still recovering from a nasty ear infection that started 3.5 weeks ago.

Proffessionally it doesnt affect him (he is a soliitor), but it is physiclly and emmotionally draining.

However some days are better than others and I belive diet and stress can help too.

Sorry I can't be more positive, but this is our experience. I hope others can come along and paint a more positive picture for you.

OracleInaCoracle Tue 29-Jul-08 10:47:37

wow, thank you. he has had very swollen painful joints for a while now, especially in his hands.

red, how is your mum now?

misi, what kinds of foods typically cause a flare up?

LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:48:09

Call me later if you fancy a chat Lissie.

mankyscotslass Tue 29-Jul-08 10:49:27

DH has PsA, was diagnosed when he was 32 too. make sure he takes all his meds, and goes for his blood tests, some of the meds are pretty nasty. It can take a while to get the right mix.
Dh found some of the side effects from Methotraxate were vile and had to change, but others at his clinic are fine on it.
He is always a bit stiff/sore but not unmanageable at the moment. We have changed to an automatic car, and got one that's higher up so he can slide in, as he found the "drop" in a normal car too much for him, as was the climb back out!
Day to day noone else would know he had it, unless they looked closely at his hands or his feet.
Just make sure his specialist is on the ball!

LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:50:02

Mum is pretty bad, but she is also in her 70s, so would have being starting to slow up anyway I guess. She also has osteo-arthritis.

Got to go now - DD is after me. x

LilRedWG Tue 29-Jul-08 10:51:35

Mum is pretty bad, but she is also in her 70s, so would have being starting to slow up anyway I guess. She also has osteo-arthritis.

Got to go now - DD is after me. x

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 11:00:50

his immune sustem can be boosted in several ways. If I were allowed to treat and diagnose over the net I could recommend at least 4 things right now that would improve the situation and his life. get him to a herbalist quick, any good one will have a medical drug interactions book to check the meds he is on against what we can give as herbalists. I have psoriasis but have I have just one single outbreak over the last 5 years and that was when I split from my XP

ZZMum Tue 29-Jul-08 11:01:41

OK I have RA so you have my sympathies.. but it is not such a doom and gloom prognosis as it once was -- there are loads of new treatments available and the risk of long term bone damage which used to result in disability is now really reduced.

I am VERY lucky that my RA only effects a couple of joints but I am aware that lifestyle does make it worse.. make sure he has a good diet and keeps up with his meds and supps - lots of evidence to show some foods can trigger it in some people - do some research ..

Exercise is very important as is attitude -- also make sure you have a good rheumatologist - there is lots of new stuff out there and you need someone on your side suggesting it and not just doling out painkillers..

noddyholder Tue 29-Jul-08 11:05:20

It is a huge mistake to try and 'boost' the immune system of someone with an auto immune condition like RA Which is where the bodys own immune response is triggered at the wrong time and against the wrong things All the meds for this condition will be trying to dampen down the immune response to preserve the joints and lessen pain

cmotdibbler Tue 29-Jul-08 11:05:43

Its really hard to know what the future is - it depends on excatly what the condition is, and on how he in particular is affected.

I developed arthritis in my early twenties - severe pain in my hands especially, but also feet, knees, hips. It turns out that it was related to coeliac disease, and once I started the diet, my symptoms went and went until I was pain free and off all medication 6 months to a year later. 10 years on, and I have pretty much full use of my hands again, and my fingers have straightened a lot.

Theres been huge advances in treatment, and the Arthritis Research Campaign are a superb resource for information and support

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 11:11:11

thats why I said go see a herbalist. there are supps to boost the immune system but I can also modulate the immune system to. RA is an auto immune disease that triggers excessive production of certian white blood cells but a dirth or reduction of others. there are products out there that boost the immune system by damping down certain aspects of it to allow the full range of other immune repsonses to level out and work properly. theres no point in suppressing the whole immune system as some docs do if it leaves you vulnerable to every other bug and beastie that comes along, all you are doing is swapping one quality in life for another at the first ones expense. but as I said as a first, diet needs to be looked at and a proper nutritionist is the best person for this as if you ask your local GP, 99% of them won't have a clue what foods trigger RA, psoriasis and gout!!

Niecie Tue 29-Jul-08 11:12:06

Sorry to hear this Lissielou.

My DH has also been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. He saw a consultant regularly for about 2.5 yrs but last month, he got signed off and doesn't have to go back unless things get worse again so it isn't all doom and gloom. I think it is an unpredictable disease but at the moment he is lucky.

However, at the beginning he was given medication which helped a little (he noticed when he didn't take it) but had to stop as he only has one kidney and it can be quite harmful to kidneys unfortunately.

Instead he has had several steroid injections into his joints which lasted about 3 or 4 months and which worked better than taking tablets. It wasn't very pleasant to have done, especially the shoulder one, but it was worth it.

He is not symptom free and is very stiff when he gets out of bed, had trouble if he has to use a keyboard for too long. He is managing it at the moment by taking supplements. He takes rosehip capsules, cod liver oil, glucosamine and a multivitamin. He hasn't had a proper cold since he has been taking them!!! He notices if he doesn't take these for a day or two as well so they must be having an effect.

The rosehip he started taking after reading a recent study of people with RA which came from Denmark I think. Apparently it is quite effective so might be worth a go.

DH still drinks orange juice but I think citrus fruits can have a detrimental effect on joints (my mother has it too and avoids it) Can't think at the moment of other dietary restrictions but I am sure there are some.

noddyholder Tue 29-Jul-08 11:13:41

Well I think in auto immune conditions it is dangerous to tamper as the cells can attack organs aswell as joints and I have 2 kidney transplants to prove this!If a herbalist can help great but initially to quickly take down the inflammation steroids are used and they work although in the long run they are harsh on the body.

3littlefrogs Tue 29-Jul-08 11:16:29

Oh goodness - don't take anything to boost the immune system. RA is an autoimmune disease and it will make it worse. Haven't read the whole thread BTW - just posted this as soon as i saw the advice to boost immune system.

Your Rheumatologist/Clinical nurse specialist should be able to put you in touch with your local/national support group. Also, there are expert patients who are closely involved with support groups/hospitals who can give lots of helpful advice.

An occupational therapist assessment can help with all sorts of things that can help to reduce strain on the joints.


noddyholder Tue 29-Jul-08 11:20:51

thank you 3littlefrogd this worried me too.I know of several people who lost transplanted organs doing this sad These conditions are complex and not for self medicating

Niecie Tue 29-Jul-08 11:20:59

on Rosehip powder

Don't know if it will work for everybody, I don't understand the science but I know DH has found it helpful.

misi Tue 29-Jul-08 11:26:19

constant use of steroids can damage your liver. yes steroids are good, I have a tube of something or other in my bathroom 'just in case' I don't like modern meds but I won't not use them if they are neccessary. but as I said, the first thing I will always recommned someone do when they present with things like RA is to see a qualified nutritionist to sort out the diet and then see what happens after that. natural meds should always be used in conjunction with modern meds to start but modern meds can often be phased out once you have the condition under control if you do it properly, thats why you should ALWAYS go to a herbalist and not do this yourself. each case is unique and should be treated as such and knowledge of the condition is needed. as a test, ask your doc what foods can trigger RA, psoriasis or gout episodes, I bet out of every 10 docs asked, 1 may know, 3 will have a guess and 6 won't have a clue!!

3littlefrogs Tue 29-Jul-08 11:30:21

There are better drugs than steroids for RA nowadays. I am desperately searching for the name, because it is not my "area", but I know that antimalarial drugs are achieving some promising results. A good rheumatologist would know the latest research.

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