Before I was even diagnosed with RA I self treated with natural and alternative methods to relieve my pain but became discouraged very quickly when the pain became intolerable and there were no detectable results from the "naturals". I was dx'd in 2008 and spent a year trying a variety of drugs most I was allergic to,then 6 mos ago I was put on Orencia, 10 mg of Prednisone and 20 mg of Leflutomide and finally am feeling better. Recently I visited some friends (one is a gastro MD) and they were talking about a new method of eating (reluctant to call it a diet) called the Primal Blueprint. They challenged me to try it for 60 days. The foods are not as restrictive as most arthritis diets and the MD said I may discover a significant reduction in inflammation after just a week. I was skeptical but I tried it and lo n' behold, I've lost 19 pounds in 3 weeks and I do feel better and have more energy. I'm still on my regular RA drugs but I'm feeling well enough to start weaning myself off the Prednisone. I've also learned that there is a connection between Celiac disease and RA. This diet removes all grains (glutens) which may be one reason that the results are so amazing. So FYI for those of you who have tried everything else and are willing to make a lifestyle change more naturally. P.S. I actually saved a lot of money on groceries.View Thread
I travel 4 hours north to see my Rheumatologist at a VA hospital in Portland Oregon and I stay with firends, one of whom is a Gastroenterologist. I just returned from my appointment where I presented this question to both doctors and this is what was said: The Rheummy laughed at first then said I see what you're saying but NO do not eat poorly in hopes of making my meds more effective. Good overall health is extremely important in fighting RA and its symptoms. The Gastro guy said that biologics are so specifically targeted that they signal only a small portion of the immune system and over all good health is very important. One does not work against the other. So folks that's our answer. Don't sacrifice one for the other. East well, sleep well and boost our immune systems til the cows come home.View Thread
Okay RA folks, here's my dilemma/question: If we're taking immuno-suppressants to calm our RA symptoms and in conjunction we eat well, take our vitamins, get plenty of rest (all of the things to boost your immune system) is there a conflict here? I recently got a cold and took Airborne and got better within just a few days - my Ra is still very aggressive in-spite of being on a variety of RA meds, so are my efforts to boost my immune system working against my RA drugs which are supposed to be suppressing my immune system? Should I switch to Twinkies, white bread and kool aid? Just saying!View Thread
This morning I woke up with a terrible sore throat and very congested. I am on Orencia, prednisone, Lefutimide and NSAIDS. I also take lots of vitamins. So what do I take for my cold symptoms? I also take anti depressants and most over the counter drugs say don't take if you are taking anti depressants. Halls throat lozenges have a warning not to take if you have a sytemic disease. Is RA sytemic? I have had some really horrifying reactions to drugs as I progressed through finding the right combo so I'm more than a little bit nervous about trying new drugs. I'm due to have my infusion on Friday and hope I can feel better by then. Any suggestions?View Thread
My Ra Dr's nurse suggested stretching your toes and foot several times a day by extending the leg out straight, reaching down with your hands, grab your toes and pull them towards you. I had extreme pain in my heels, arches, toes and the tops of my feet and this exercise really helped. My legs don't swell but my ankles sure do.I still can't wear regular shoes but I wear light weight plastic clogs in the summer and Uggs in the winter. This has also helped. I was allergic to Humiera, Enbrel, Methatrexate and most narcotics for pain so I am now on Orencia and it seems to help some without sending me into the ER with hives. I''m not sure what to expect so I tend to have pretty high expectationsin the beginning and then I get frustrated and angry when the medication is only mildly helpful. It has been two years for me and I'm trying to keep moving, eat well and keep the stress down. Good luck everyone.View Thread
I was rx'ed with Ra about 2 years ago. Almost all of my joints are affected. I started having some ringing in my ears and hearing loss which has gotten progressively worse. The ENT specialist said that the ear drum is made up of 3 small bones (joints) and perhaps the RA has affected my ear drums. Has anyone else experienced any ringing or hearing loss?View Thread
Investigate photo sensitivity. Many of the drugs for RA have this side effect. I was covered with a rash for 6 months that started on my arms and traveled my entire body. I went to a dermatologist and got several creams (none worked). My rheummy suggested that I stop all drugs for 6 weeks then start them again one at a time. In my case it was Humiera and Enbrel that caused the reaction. I am now on Orencia and doing so much better. I can finally sleep again and my skin is back to normal. The one drug that I didn't stop was Prednisone.View Thread
I am a 57 year old female vet and was diagnosed with RA about two years ago with much the same symptoms that you have. I have received excellent care at our local VA hospital and have been referred to the Portland, Oregon VA hospital to see a rheumatologist. Just like in the service you have to go through the chain of command and be proactive. If your PCP was the only Doctor that you saw, you can request to see an RA specialist. Be persistent. If you don't get the referral, go to the patient advocate and share your concerns with him/her. There is a protocol for treatment that can take years. No two people react the same to treatment. It has taken me two years to get to a point where I feel almost human again. I was allergic to the first 3 drug treatments and the 4th just didn't work. I am now on disability and getting Orecia infusions and the rest combined with the medications is working. I probably had RA synptoms for several years before I sought treatment (thinking it was old age creeping up on me). I wish that I had gotten help sooner. Keep a pain journal and request that referral. Take a list of questions with you to every visit. Be vigilent and good luck! View Thread
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