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Arthritis

(11 Posts)
Fabster Sun 08-Nov-09 17:30:45

I have a feeling I have developed this and would like any info any one has about it. I will be seeing the GP this week for test results.

Is it genetic?

Can I reverse it?

What can I do to stop it getting worse?

What pain relief is there?

I feel like crying tbh.

The pain can be too much at times.

cakeywakey Sun 08-Nov-09 20:34:07

Sorry to hear you're in so much pain. I know how you feel. Can I just ask if it's osteo or rheumatoid arthritis that you're being tested for?

I have RA, and when I was first diagnosed was in excrutiating pain. Just knowing that I was going to have to walk up the stairs would make me cry because I knew how much it was going to hurt.

However, once I was diagnosed, was put under a rheumatologist and was on treatment, within three months I was soooo much better. Now, I'm running at about 90% of normal and that's more than good enough compared to where I was (about 25%).

It will be hard for a while, but once you have what's wrong with you confirmed, and are on treatment, you're on the way to getting back to your normal self.

If you haven't already looked them up, it's worth taking a look at the Arthritis Research Campaign www.arc.org.uk/ and if it's RA the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society www.rheumatoid.org.uk/

Good luck with your visit to the doctor this week, I hope that they are supportive.

Fabster Sun 08-Nov-09 20:44:58

Hi, thanks for posting. I was about to post a needy bump as I keep getting sharp digs of pain out of nowhere and I want to cry it hurts so much and also with the fear of what is wrong.

I am waiting for results for coeliac disease and if they are negative the GP has said he will send me to a rheumotologist.

DH is sure it is arthritis though.

cakeywakey Sun 08-Nov-09 21:04:52

I hated not knowing what was wrong with me, I was very frightened. Once I'd had my diagnosis it got easier though because then I could get on with treatment and finding out more about it.

I was very angry for a few months after my diagnosis, I think I went through the grieving process when I realised that I was always going to have this condition. I had to tell myself that it was bad, but it was controllable, and that I could have it a hell of a lot worse.

In answer to some of your earlier questions:

Is RA genetic - no. Doctors still don't know what causes RA. It's an autoimmune response.

Can you reverse it - unfortunately, no. Once you have it, you have it. The 'flares' of inflammation can be controlled with drugs though. There are quite a few different treatments that you can try. I'm on sulfasalazine for instance, because you can still get pregnant and breastfeed while taking it. The website links can tell you more about the other available treatments.

What can you do to stop it getting worse - generally looking after yourself will help, but there isn't anything apart from drugs that will ease your symptoms. Some people claim that diet can also help. Again, the RA society and your doctor/rheumatologist will be able to advise you.

Pain relief - if you aren't already taking it, ibuprofen can help as it is an anti-inflammatory. That didn't touch mine, so I was put on Diclofenac Sodium (Voltarol over the counter, but weaker than prescribed DS) while my sulfasalazine kicked in. While it helps to ease the symptoms, you can't take it for too long as it can have nasty side-effects. Worth asking your doctor about. A rhuematologist may also give you steroid injections to help ease the pain until any treatment starts to take effect.

I know how you feel about wanting to cry. If you feel like you need to, then my advice is to do it. I cried a lot when I was first starting having my joint problems - DD was 6 months old and it manifested itself after I stopped BF - and it helped me. Don't bottle it up sad

Whatever the outcome of your meeting with the doctor this week, try to focus on the pain being a transitory thing. At the moment, you don't know how long it will last, but you're on the way to finding out what is causing the pain and being treated to relieve it. Take care smile

Heated Sun 08-Nov-09 21:10:16

Am taking glucosamine & chondroitin, along with EPA and the pain is much reduced.

cakeywakey Sun 08-Nov-09 21:20:59

Oh yes, Heated. I also take an EPA supplement which I think has helped. The Arthritis Research Campaign recently published a complementary therapies guide for arthritis here: www.arc.org.uk/arthinfo/patpubs/6300/6300.asp that draws together research on the effect and safety of complementary medicines. Not many for RA, but useful to know nonetheless.

While I take the supplement, I'm still on my drug treatment as well to minimise any cumulative damage to my joints.

Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 08:11:32

Thank you.

What is EPA?

I am a bit limited to what I can take because of having asthma so tend to stick to paracetomol.

I am planning on walking the kids to school more as I need to lose some weight so hoping that not being over weight might help but if nothing help it might help me feel better emotionally. It will be a bonus if it means the kids have no energy left to behave badly.

Heated Mon 09-Nov-09 10:22:39

Sorry, it's a typo, should be EFA which is Essential Fatty Acids (Evening Primrose Oil, Cod Liver Oil and other vitamins)

I'm actually taking no other medicines at the moment until I see the consultant next week, since the cure has been worse than the illness, which he did warn me about. Currently it seems to be under control with the supplements and with paracetamol. There may come a time where that balance shifts.

Fabster Mon 09-Nov-09 10:25:54

Actually that reminds me, DH bought me some cod liver oil capsules and I do think I felt better when I was on them.

Heated Mon 09-Nov-09 12:12:25

I get mine from SimplySupplements which I think have a bogof offer on at the mo, plus other discounts. The reason we started using them was their Omega 3 for the children doesn't contain aspartame.

Was advised you do need to take glucosamine & chondroitin, along with EPA, for a few months before you really feel the benefit and they work for some and not everyone. For me, it certainly has taken the sharp ouch out of the pain.

cakeywakey Tue 10-Nov-09 21:13:57

That's handy to know Heated, will take a look SimplySupplements, it can get a bit expensive otherwise.

Feel a bit daft about copying EPA - knew it was about right but couldn't dredge info up from brain blush

Fabster, I hope that your Doctor is able to give you some more definitive answers this week and can help you on the pain front.

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