Enbrel is a Biologic. It works to specifically target the TNF cells in your immune system. It links up with them and kind of "neuters" them so they can't attack your joints and organs. It does help many people with RA. Enbrel is the oldest most popular TNF treatment. Yes, it will help with swellling, pain and fatigue that come from RA. It does lower your resistance to infection. You will need to wash hands more, etc. Most patients do have some improvement from it, but some (like me) don't respond to it. Then, the doc would find a different Biologic and try again. I hope it works great for you! The important thing is to try to slow the damage.
Hi tobadsosad, I hope you don't have RA. But you do need to figure out what's going on so you can be treated. Byroney is right - many do test negative with the tests we have today. We just need to develop better tests as we learn more about the disease. I did write a page on my blog about "do I have RA?" - here is the link - that might help you.
If you do have RA, then YES, you could feel a lot better on treatment. Most patients respond at least 20% improvement w/ treatment. Some do much better. Early treatment is supposed to have a better chance at success. Don't worry about being adopted - a good rheumatologist can diagnose RA w/out blood tests being positive - and mine never asked me about family history. If you don't get a good one the first time - don't give up. Sometimes it takes a 2nd or 3rd opinion to know for sure.
Sorry that you have this adding to your problems. I do hear this a lot. It is so wrong. If you send him a link will he read it? I met this one man who changed his tune after is wife got breast cancer. Her breast cancer was painful, but the RA was so painful, she didn't get treated early for the breast pain. She did die. He wrote up her story to try to help other spouses be more aware. Here is the link to part 1.
Maybe if you sent him tha link, he'd read it. Or maybe he will catch on if he realizes you are not the only one. Sorry you feel alone. Glad you are reaching out. Good luck 2 you.
Plus I don't know where you live, but some of these local groups w/ Arthritis Introspective are guys. The president has JRA & he's a guy.
Also there are lot of men on my Facebook page & that is a good way to look for someone local to you. A guy there started a Discussion called "Where the Warriors Live" and he has gotten a lot of responses. Maybe you'll find someon to connect with.
Hi Tracy. Let me see if I can help your sister. The Rheumatoid factor test is not actually an "RA test." It's an unfortunate mistake that some labs label it that way. It confuses people. Here is something to read that might help understand it.
Actually at least 30% of the people with RA have a negative result to that Rf blood test. Another more specific test for RA is the anti-CCP, but that one is not 100% either.
Maybe it will give you peace of mind to know that docs don't very readily hand out RA diagnoses. Many people try for years to get them. It is unusual to be diagnosed so early or quickly as you. Early treatment is your best shot at remission, so if you have RA, this is a really good thing. A 2nd opinion is also good if you feel unsure.
Maybe reading stories of others w/ RA would also help you some. We are not all the same though. Good luck to you!
Hi fairycop. I agree with Byroney you should get a second opinion if you are unconvinced. RA dx are not easy to get & most docs seem hesitant to dx, so your doc must be fairly certain if you are on mtx. But still, you need to know for sure for yourself so you can fight whatever it is w/ all your heart.
I'm sorry about the unbelieving family. That is common with RA. The lack of swelling is also common. Here is something to read about that - click here . Be sure to look at the comments. Hearing others descriptions of that may help.
A lot of your story sounds like typical RA, but we can't know like a good doc can. I hope you can find a good 2nd opinion that you trust. Good luck.
Usually people who don't have RA don't seem to understand that most hand exercises (I've seen the article) are too difficult and painful for people who cannot even clean their own teeth or hold a pencil or a cup. This weakness appears suddenly "overnight" and is not related to lack of exercise. It is caused by disease activity & is truly life altering. I just wanted to take time to explain that to you or anyone who reads this.
Also, I don't think the exercises will help prevent the deformities that Kat is describing. There is not much we can do besides try to pursue a treatment that works.
If a person with RA has "flares", then in between times exercise can be appropriate. Many of us have 'uncontrolled' RA that does not come & go with flares, but is always active. It is frustrating that the authors of the articles on this site don't always seem to understand this.