Discussions By Condition: Arthritis

Does Rheumatoid arthritis cause inflamation?

Posted In: Arthritis 12 Replies
  • Posted By: jeanill
  • May 6, 2008
  • 08:03 PM

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ALWAYS cause inflamation? I have real bad stiffness in the mornings, and I have trouble walking (my legs hurt when I stand up and get very heavy and sore.) My joints in both hands, knees and ankles are stiff and sore, too!:( But I do not have any swelling, except at the outer corners of my ankles...(the doctor said it was boggy edema). I get itchy pink rashes on my chest that last about a half-hour. And I feel very sick and tired, all the time. A nurse told me I had symptoms of an autoimmune disease. But my doctor is very mean and is about to retire, and he said my RF test was negative, and ignores me.:mad: Could I have RA and still have a negative Rheumatoid Factor test and a negative SED rate? I was thinking I might have sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis? Does anyone know what rests are done to diagnose this?:confused:

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  • Does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ALWAYS cause inflamation? I have real bad stiffness in the mornings, and I have trouble walking (my legs hurt when I stand up and get very heavy and sore.) My joints in both hands, knees and ankles are stiff and sore, too!:( But I do not have any swelling, except at the outer corners of my ankles...(the doctor said it was boggy edema). I get itchy pink rashes on my chest that last about a half-hour. And I feel very sick and tired, all the time. A nurse told me I had symptoms of an autoimmune disease. But my doctor is very mean and is about to retire, and he said my RF test was negative, and ignores me.:mad: Could I have RA and still have a negative Rheumatoid Factor test and a negative SED rate? I was thinking I might have sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis? Does anyone know what rests are done to diagnose this?:confused:Yes, it absolutely is possible to have RA or another AI (auto immune) disease and have a normal RF. Sed rate, CRP, etc can be elevated or normal. Doesn't mean you don't have (or do have) an AI disease, the labs have to be looked at with the symptoms. How about your blood counts? are you anemic? That's another symptom of AI diseases. Keep track in a journal or diary what your symptoms are: duration, location and severity are important clues. Different AI diseases are going to show different symptoms and lab results. If you have swelling, redness, etc only when not at your docs, see if you can get some pictures, or bring a friend/family to verify your "story". I was very lucky, Had symptoms for a couple of years, finally got a new primary doc, who referred me to a great rheumy. Diagnosed my within 5 min. I have a rare form of RA (or pre-RA, depending on what you read) called Palindromic RA. The pain is severe and debilitating, but there is often no signs of redness, swelling, etc. The joint can look perfectly normal but causing severe pain. My RF, AntiCCP, and sed rate are all elevated, the antiCCP extremenly elevated, RF and sed rate mildly elevated. My CRP (C Reactive Protein, another inflamation marker), however, is very low, well within normal limits. Others I know with the same disease have different lab results, just as they have different symptoms. Good luck! If it's possible you might want to get a new doc and not wait for this guy to retire! If that's not possible, repeatedly request seeing a rheumatologist ASAP.
    CindySue54 32 Replies Flag this Response
  • Thank you so much:)...I will ask my doctor about Palindromic RA! Maybe I also have pre-RA! My FIRST doctor at my neighborhood clinic said I had symptoms of an autoimmune disease, :(and she sent me to a local hospital...and ever since then, I have been sent back and forth from intern, to rheumatologist, to physical therapist, and back to intern with no real answers! My RF and SED rate are normal, but I do get brief itchy rashes on my chest every day, (they are SO pale that the picture we took of my chest did not show it)...i figured that the doctor needed to SEE it to diagnose it! Also, I have severe morning stiffness, and stiffness after sitting, along with my leg pain and difficulty walking. And this is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis...So I believe there is some test the doctors are overlooking!
    jeanill 24 Replies Flag this Response
  • Yes, it absolutely is possible to have RA or another AI (auto immune) disease and have a normal RF. Sed rate, CRP, etc can be elevated or normal. Doesn't mean you don't have (or do have) an AI disease, the labs have to be looked at with the symptoms. How about your blood counts? are you anemic? That's another symptom of AI diseases. Keep track in a journal or diary what your symptoms are: duration, location and severity are important clues. Different AI diseases are going to show different symptoms and lab results. If you have swelling, redness, etc only when not at your docs, see if you can get some pictures, or bring a friend/family to verify your "story". I was very lucky, Had symptoms for a couple of years, finally got a new primary doc, who referred me to a great rheumy. Diagnosed my within 5 min. I have a rare form of RA (or pre-RA, depending on what you read) called Palindromic RA. The pain is severe and debilitating, but there is often no signs of redness, swelling, etc. The joint can look perfectly normal but causing severe pain. My RF, AntiCCP, and sed rate are all elevated, the antiCCP extremenly elevated, RF and sed rate mildly elevated. My CRP (C Reactive Protein, another inflamation marker), however, is very low, well within normal limits. Others I know with the same disease have different lab results, just as they have different symptoms. Good luck! If it's possible you might want to get a new doc and not wait for this guy to retire! If that's not possible, repeatedly request seeing a rheumatologist ASAP. hi CindySue54Since you had RA I would like to ask you a few questions about your experience with this disease and how you dealt with it. How can I contact you?
    Yasminas 9 Replies
    • August 14, 2008
    • 00:37 PM
    • 0
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  • hi CindySue54Since you had RA I would like to ask you a few questions about your experience with this disease and how you dealt with it. How can I contact you?Well, not sure. I can't give my email address on here, and they don't appear to allow private messaging...so I guess on here? :confused: It might be helpful to other members too, so on here isn't a bad idea.
    CindySue54 32 Replies
    • August 14, 2008
    • 00:48 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Well, not sure. I can't give my email address on here, and they don't appear to allow private messaging...so I guess on here? :confused: It might be helpful to other members too, so on here isn't a bad idea. That was a quick reply. :) Thank you! I may have RA triggered by a virus/bacteria (maybe mycoplasma). And now it seems that I am left after the infection with pretty bad joint and torso pain, stiffness of the body, night sweats and sore throat. I just wanted to check with you whether you had or have the same symptoms when you had your RA? How long did it take you to get back to normal and what type of treatment did you do for this RA? Your help is much appreciated. I am quite scared of this disease and am not sure if I can have a normal life now. I am 32 yrs old female.Also this could be helpful to read for some http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7560535.stm
    Yasminas 9 Replies
    • August 14, 2008
    • 00:59 PM
    • 0
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  • That was a quick reply. :) Thank you! I may have RA triggered by a virus/bacteria (maybe mycoplasma). And now it seems that I am left after the infection with pretty bad joint and torso pain, stiffness of the body, night sweats and sore throat. I just wanted to check with you whether you had or have the same symptoms when you had your RA? How long did it take you to get back to normal and what type of treatment did you do for this RA? Your help is much appreciated. I am quite scared of this disease and am not sure if I can have a normal life now. I am 32 yrs old female.Also this could be helpful to read for some http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7560535.stmYasminas, I have a rare form of RA called Palindromic RA, although I'm thinking my doc is going to change the diagnosis when I see him next week. PRA is different in that the pain we have bounces from joint to joint, usually only 1 or 2 joints at a time and usually only for a day or two. There is also no joint damage. My symptoms have been pretty severe, even for PRA and now I seem to have some damage in one of my fingers. It looks deformed to me and has been bothering me for over a month now. They say that the pain of PRA is much more severe than RA, but I tend to think it's about the same. Unfortunately most pain meds, including narcotics don't usually help much. It's said also that about 1/3 progress to RA, 1/3 spontaneously go into remission and 1/3 continue with PRA for life. The "cause" and treatment is the same as RA....they have no clue what the cause is or how to treat it. Now....I've had symptoms for about 2 - 2 1/2 yrs now, but once I saw a Rheumatologist I was diagnosed immediately. My RA factor is positive as is my Anti-ccp (sometimes seen in PRA, but usually indicates we'll progress to RA). My doc has basically said he's diagnosed me with PRA because I have no joint damage, despite severe symptoms. I saw the rheumy first time last November and was given plaquenil. I told him at that time that if possible I didn't want to use any of the newer drugs and he suggested either plaquenil or antibiotics. I only took a couple of doses of the plaquenil and had to stop it due to stomach problems, which I have a long history of problems in this area. When I went back in January he gave me Doxycycline...again because I didn't want to use the newer drugs. I'm a nurse and I research everything. I've never really understood the idea that our bodies just turn on us (or at least not in these high percentages of people...a rare case here and there fine, but not the numbers we see today). In doing research I tripped over a website for PRA and was directed to a RA forum by a friend. Both sites talked about the infection connection and I started researching that. Right now I'm reading Scammell's book about Dr Brown and the research and treatment he had done with antibiotics....and the remarkable results he had! I highly recommend Scammell's book (http://www.amazon.ca/New-Arthritis-Breakthrough-Fibromyalgia-Spondyloarthropathy/dp/0871318431/ref=sr_1_1/702-7745188-3284064?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218752460&sr=1-1), it is amazing! Dr Brown has had people with RA, Lupus and even Scleroderma go into remission! Just by treating with antibiotics! And the antibiotics used (tetracyclines) are well known, been on the market for years, and felt to be very safe. There is no problem with resistant bugs either as tetracyclines work by a totally different mechanism. (this is what they use long term for acne and other issues)OK....back to me and my antibiotics. I started on the Doxy but after a month I had to stop it due to stomach problems. I was told to take probiotics along with the meds and that helped a lot. I was able to tolerate them for several months, then had to stop them for a month due to stomach issues (which turned out to be totally unrelated!). I'm back on the Doxy and I'm really hoping it will work. It will take several months, possibly as long as 5-6 months, to know if there is a positive effect, but I did see a definite reduction in the degree of pain I was having. Of course, like my doc said, that happens with PRA, so I may have just been having a "normal" remission....but within 2 weeks of stopping the Doxy the symptoms came back! As I've said, I'm not big on many of the newer drugs....to me it's like trying to kill a fly with a cannon....but remember too I'm not faced with joint damage, just pain. If I have progressed to RA I may change my mind, but will still give the Doxy a chance to work before trying anything else. The drugs they use interfere with your immune system and that is dangerous in my opinion! I do frequently have a sore throat and until recently frequently had fevers for no apparent reason. I've not had much morning stiffness, I get that at night mostly. I've also had other problems related to RA like depression, dry eye, etc. I firmly believe that at least in some of us (?many) a "bug" is the cause....or as Dr Brown said, an allergy to the bug or the toxins they produce. Kill the bugs and the symptoms should get better. For many it's still a life-long treatment, but it's a pretty benign treatment. If you have mycoplasmas it can be difficult or impossible to confirm except with special testing, which isn't covered by many insurance plans. If you have a "co-infection" of staph or strep that can be more easily determined and needs to be treated with different antibiotics as tetracyclines are not effective against most strains. I've chosen to not have the testing done as I can't afford it and there is no guarantee that a negative result means you don't have mycoplasmas, apparently they are really good at hiding! Right now I'm working with 3 other women trying to get a PRA support site up and running. There is one out there, but they seem to be pretty adamant about conventional treatment.....meaning Humara, Methotrexate, etc. One of the women I'm working with firmly believes diet is the main thing that we need to change, and I have read a lot about refined carbs and wheat (some say all grains) causing or worsening symptoms. I think I've rambled on enough for now. My suggestion would be to Google Thomas McPherson Brown, MD and if possible read the book I mentioned above. Also look into "leaky gut" and at least cut back on grains, especially wheat. Take probiotics (should be refrigerated brands), even if you don't take antibiotics....they will help heal your gut and keep it healthy. Feel free to post any other questions. I get an email notice from this site and usually check my email 2-3 times a day.
    CindySue54 32 Replies
    • August 14, 2008
    • 10:48 PM
    • 0
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  • Yasminas, I have a rare form of RA called Palindromic RA, although I'm thinking my doc is going to change the diagnosis when I see him next week. PRA is different in that the pain we have bounces from joint to joint, usually only 1 or 2 joints at a time and usually only for a day or two. There is also no joint damage. My symptoms have been pretty severe, even for PRA and now I seem to have some damage in one of my fingers. It looks deformed to me and has been bothering me for over a month now. They say that the pain of PRA is much more severe than RA, but I tend to think it's about the same. Unfortunately most pain meds, including narcotics don't usually help much. It's said also that about 1/3 progress to RA, 1/3 spontaneously go into remission and 1/3 continue with PRA for life. The "cause" and treatment is the same as RA....they have no clue what the cause is or how to treat it. Now....I've had symptoms for about 2 - 2 1/2 yrs now, but once I saw a Rheumatologist I was diagnosed immediately. My RA factor is positive as is my Anti-ccp (sometimes seen in PRA, but usually indicates we'll progress to RA). My doc has basically said he's diagnosed me with PRA because I have no joint damage, despite severe symptoms. I saw the rheumy first time last November and was given plaquenil. I told him at that time that if possible I didn't want to use any of the newer drugs and he suggested either plaquenil or antibiotics. I only took a couple of doses of the plaquenil and had to stop it due to stomach problems, which I have a long history of problems in this area. When I went back in January he gave me Doxycycline...again because I didn't want to use the newer drugs. I'm a nurse and I research everything. I've never really understood the idea that our bodies just turn on us (or at least not in these high percentages of people...a rare case here and there fine, but not the numbers we see today). In doing research I tripped over a website for PRA and was directed to a RA forum by a friend. Both sites talked about the infection connection and I started researching that. Right now I'm reading Scammell's book about Dr Brown and the research and treatment he had done with antibiotics....and the remarkable results he had! I highly recommend Scammell's book (http://www.amazon.ca/New-Arthritis-Breakthrough-Fibromyalgia-Spondyloarthropathy/dp/0871318431/ref=sr_1_1/702-7745188-3284064?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1218752460&sr=1-1), it is amazing! Dr Brown has had people with RA, Lupus and even Scleroderma go into remission! Just by treating with antibiotics! And the antibiotics used (tetracyclines) are well known, been on the market for years, and felt to be very safe. There is no problem with resistant bugs either as tetracyclines work by a totally different mechanism. (this is what they use long term for acne and other issues) OK....back to me and my antibiotics. I started on the Doxy but after a month I had to stop it due to stomach problems. I was told to take probiotics along with the meds and that helped a lot. I was able to tolerate them for several months, then had to stop them for a month due to stomach issues (which turned out to be totally unrelated!). I'm back on the Doxy and I'm really hoping it will work. It will take several months, possibly as long as 5-6 months, to know if there is a positive effect, but I did see a definite reduction in the degree of pain I was having. Of course, like my doc said, that happens with PRA, so I may have just been having a "normal" remission....but within 2 weeks of stopping the Doxy the symptoms came back! As I've said, I'm not big on many of the newer drugs....to me it's like trying to kill a fly with a cannon....but remember too I'm not faced with joint damage, just pain. If I have progressed to RA I may change my mind, but will still give the Doxy a chance to work before trying anything else. The drugs they use interfere with your immune system and that is dangerous in my opinion! I do frequently have a sore throat and until recently frequently had fevers for no apparent reason. I've not had much morning stiffness, I get that at night mostly. I've also had other problems related to RA like depression, dry eye, etc. I firmly believe that at least in some of us (?many) a "bug" is the cause....or as Dr Brown said, an allergy to the bug or the toxins they produce. Kill the bugs and the symptoms should get better. For many it's still a life-long treatment, but it's a pretty benign treatment. If you have mycoplasmas it can be difficult or impossible to confirm except with special testing, which isn't covered by many insurance plans. If you have a "co-infection" of staph or strep that can be more easily determined and needs to be treated with different antibiotics as tetracyclines are not effective against most strains. I've chosen to not have the testing done as I can't afford it and there is no guarantee that a negative result means you don't have mycoplasmas, apparently they are really good at hiding! Right now I'm working with 3 other women trying to get a PRA support site up and running. There is one out there, but they seem to be pretty adamant about conventional treatment.....meaning Humara, Methotrexate, etc. One of the women I'm working with firmly believes diet is the main thing that we need to change, and I have read a lot about refined carbs and wheat (some say all grains) causing or worsening symptoms. I think I've rambled on enough for now. My suggestion would be to Google Thomas McPherson Brown, MD and if possible read the book I mentioned above. Also look into "leaky gut" and at least cut back on grains, especially wheat. Take probiotics (should be refrigerated brands), even if you don't take antibiotics....they will help heal your gut and keep it healthy. Feel free to post any other questions. I get an email notice from this site and usually check my email 2-3 times a day. Thank you CindySue54 for the answer.You certainly have done a lot of research and have an idea of what type of meds to accept and not to accept. Right now I am on anti inflammatories becasue I am in my 8th week of pain. My doctor spoke about giving me steroids for this. I do not know anythign about steroids or if this will help me but you did mention that they do interfere with the immune system and that is very dangerous. If i do not take steroids and stay on naprosyn (anti inflamatory) then I will forver feel pain and have nausea! :( At the moment I am not dealing with a Rheumatologist because I was sent to an Infectious disease specialist since they suspencted an infection. However I have a feeling that once my infection white blood cell count which was 40,000 goes down to normal he will send me to a Rheumatologist. My question was initially will my jont/torso inflamtion ever go away after the infection? How long can one wait to see it it does before going on other meds? I am desprate and have no idea how to deal with this and the doctors becasue like you said - they do not know how to treat this.What meds can should I accept and now???!!!!How long shoudl one wait before the inflamation goes down or before one decides when it should go down? I am lost!!!How can my body turn against itself just like that?
    Yasminas 9 Replies
    • August 15, 2008
    • 04:10 AM
    • 0
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  • Thank you CindySue54 for the answer.You certainly have done a lot of research and have an idea of what type of meds to accept and not to accept. Right now I am on anti inflammatories becasue I am in my 8th week of pain. My doctor spoke about giving me steroids for this. I do not know anythign about steroids or if this will help me but you did mention that they do interfere with the immune system and that is very dangerous. If i do not take steroids and stay on naprosyn (anti inflamatory) then I will forver feel pain and have nausea! :( At the moment I am not dealing with a Rheumatologist because I was sent to an Infectious disease specialist since they suspencted an infection. However I have a feeling that once my infection white blood cell count which was 40,000 goes down to normal he will send me to a Rheumatologist. My question was initially will my jont/torso inflamtion ever go away after the infection? How long can one wait to see it it does before going on other meds? I am desprate and have no idea how to deal with this and the doctors becasue like you said - they do not know how to treat this.What meds can should I accept and now???!!!!How long shoudl one wait before the inflamation goes down or before one decides when it should go down? I am lost!!!How can my body turn against itself just like that?Yasminas....don't be afraid of Cortisone, just be respectful of it. Short term, what they usually call "burst and taper" cortisone can be a Godsend! For me the doc orders 60mg the first day, then dropping the dose by 5mg each successive day. The danger is when it is taken for long term. When used long term it's not the immunosuppression that is the real ussue, it's the effects of the cortisone itself. Two things can happen....first you can start to have symptoms of excess cortisone (like cushings disease), which can include immune issues as well as stomach ulcers and bone demineralization (loss of strength and structure of the bones). The other problem is that if taken too long the body will stop or slow down it's own production of cortisone, which can make it very difficult to stop the pills. It can be done, but must be done slowly and carefully. If your doc has you on a constant dose, it's probably a small one, but I personally would talk to him/her about getting off it. If you're on a burst and taper, don't worry just follow directions and don't stop it suddenly. Some docs are very generous with cortisone, others are very tight with it. My doc is good....he knows I'm a nurse and I spoke to him about the known dangers and problems and assured him I'd only take it if I had no choice....and he gladly game me a standing prescription in case I need it. I dropped it off at my pharmacy in May, but have not yet had it filled. It's good for a year, so if I feel I need it I can just call the pharmacy and get it filled. Last March I did a course of burst and taper and it was a great relief. Like you, I had pain everywhere and all the time. Some joints hurt for weeks and others were just for a day or two....but every day I was in pain (Mostly 6 on a scale of 10, going up to an 8 or 9 on bad days). I finally spent one weekend in serious pain and called my doc Monday morning and asked for cortisone. By the end of the day Tuesday I was pain free. In my case the pain stayed away for almost 2 months....but part of that is the way PRA differs from RA.....we frequently (or some frequently, for me not so much) have days, weeks or even months where there is no pain at all. When I said about conventional meds supressing immunity, I meant the newer drugs, like Humara, Methotrexate, etc. They work by different means, but they all supress immunity so a simple infection should not be ignored and can turn into a major problem. This is the main reason I've chosen to try antibiotic therapy first. As for if/when your pain will go away, it's hard to say. There are several things that may be going on. You could have some fibromyalgia, or you could (like me) have some tendinitis along with the RA. Apparently it's not uncommon for people to get diagnosed with more than one connective tissue disease. Since they all seem to have the same cause and treatment, many docs don't give more than one diagnosis, or they may say that you have a mixed disease. Know though, that if you get your RA under control, the torso pain should also resolve. Now.....you are in for a few bad months. With the cortisone you may start to feel great, but it is very likely that your symptoms will return when you stop it....maybe not as bad, but it's very unlikely that the symptoms will go away and stay away. Use this time to do some research on your own and learn as much as you can about your disease. Also find a support group (or two or three) that you feel comfortable with. http://www.tenderjointsraised.com/ is a good place to start. Also look up antibiotic therapy for RA (Dr Brown, Harvard protocol) as well as read up on the conventional drugs (RxList.com is a good site). Another thing to research is diet and herbal supplements. Be careful on sites that want to sell you things, but also remember that just because the site IS selling things it's not bad. (Dr Michael Eades on inflammation, Weston A Price on natural foods, Dr Joseph Mercola for several topics). I am 100% in favor of 2 things. 1. You should learn as much as you can so you can make an informed decision....remember docs just don't have the time to go into all the things you might want to know. and 2. whenever possible go with natural and the least benign treatments possible. Even if you decide to go on "heavy duty" drugs, eating a natural diet, taking probiotics, etc can only help! I hope this isn't too disjointed. I'm writing this at work and keep getting interrupted (imagine! the nerve of these people! LOL). I'll try to get back on later today and see if you've responded. If I missed anything, I'll pick that up then too. Hang in there! You are not alone and there is a very good chance you can get this disease under control! PS....if you do go to Tender Joints, join the forum and look for me, same user name. At first you may not be able to send personal messages, but once you do, send me one. I'm going to see if I can forward you a few documents friends have written, about AP (antibiotic therapy) and diet/natural therapy. In the meantime, check with your insurance provider and find out what your coverage is for "alternative" therapy and treatments....you may be surprised what they'll cover!
    CindySue54 32 Replies
    • August 15, 2008
    • 02:28 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Yasminas....don't be afraid of Cortisone, just be respectful of it. Short term, what they usually call "burst and taper" cortisone can be a Godsend! For me the doc orders 60mg the first day, then dropping the dose by 5mg each successive day. The danger is when it is taken for long term. When used long term it's not the immunosuppression that is the real ussue, it's the effects of the cortisone itself. Two things can happen....first you can start to have symptoms of excess cortisone (like cushings disease), which can include immune issues as well as stomach ulcers and bone demineralization (loss of strength and structure of the bones). The other problem is that if taken too long the body will stop or slow down it's own production of cortisone, which can make it very difficult to stop the pills. It can be done, but must be done slowly and carefully. If your doc has you on a constant dose, it's probably a small one, but I personally would talk to him/her about getting off it. If you're on a burst and taper, don't worry just follow directions and don't stop it suddenly. Some docs are very generous with cortisone, others are very tight with it. My doc is good....he knows I'm a nurse and I spoke to him about the known dangers and problems and assured him I'd only take it if I had no choice....and he gladly game me a standing prescription in case I need it. I dropped it off at my pharmacy in May, but have not yet had it filled. It's good for a year, so if I feel I need it I can just call the pharmacy and get it filled. Last March I did a course of burst and taper and it was a great relief. Like you, I had pain everywhere and all the time. Some joints hurt for weeks and others were just for a day or two....but every day I was in pain (Mostly 6 on a scale of 10, going up to an 8 or 9 on bad days). I finally spent one weekend in serious pain and called my doc Monday morning and asked for cortisone. By the end of the day Tuesday I was pain free. In my case the pain stayed away for almost 2 months....but part of that is the way PRA differs from RA.....we frequently (or some frequently, for me not so much) have days, weeks or even months where there is no pain at all. When I said about conventional meds supressing immunity, I meant the newer drugs, like Humara, Methotrexate, etc. They work by different means, but they all supress immunity so a simple infection should not be ignored and can turn into a major problem. This is the main reason I've chosen to try antibiotic therapy first. As for if/when your pain will go away, it's hard to say. There are several things that may be going on. You could have some fibromyalgia, or you could (like me) have some tendinitis along with the RA. Apparently it's not uncommon for people to get diagnosed with more than one connective tissue disease. Since they all seem to have the same cause and treatment, many docs don't give more than one diagnosis, or they may say that you have a mixed disease. Know though, that if you get your RA under control, the torso pain should also resolve. Now.....you are in for a few bad months. With the cortisone you may start to feel great, but it is very likely that your symptoms will return when you stop it....maybe not as bad, but it's very unlikely that the symptoms will go away and stay away. Use this time to do some research on your own and learn as much as you can about your disease. Also find a support group (or two or three) that you feel comfortable with. http://www.tenderjointsraised.com/ is a good place to start. Also look up antibiotic therapy for RA (Dr Brown, Harvard protocol) as well as read up on the conventional drugs (RxList.com is a good site). Another thing to research is diet and herbal supplements. Be careful on sites that want to sell you things, but also remember that just because the site IS selling things it's not bad. (Dr Michael Eades on inflammation, Weston A Price on natural foods, Dr Joseph Mercola for several topics). I am 100% in favor of 2 things. 1. You should learn as much as you can so you can make an informed decision....remember docs just don't have the time to go into all the things you might want to know. and 2. whenever possible go with natural and the least benign treatments possible. Even if you decide to go on "heavy duty" drugs, eating a natural diet, taking probiotics, etc can only help! I hope this isn't too disjointed. I'm writing this at work and keep getting interrupted (imagine! the nerve of these people! LOL). I'll try to get back on later today and see if you've responded. If I missed anything, I'll pick that up then too. Hang in there! You are not alone and there is a very good chance you can get this disease under control! PS....if you do go to Tender Joints, join the forum and look for me, same user name. At first you may not be able to send personal messages, but once you do, send me one. I'm going to see if I can forward you a few documents friends have written, about AP (antibiotic therapy) and diet/natural therapy. In the meantime, check with your insurance provider and find out what your coverage is for "alternative" therapy and treatments....you may be surprised what they'll cover!Thank you Cindysue for replying to my wife and my heart goes out to you as far as your condition and hope you improve.I appreciate the help and support and I often visit sites to answer cardiac questions as it is what I do for a living.Well, doggonit, this has been terrible and she is in Australia away from the docs I work with. We surmise it is mycoplasma given my illness. I got sick the 3rd day of her trip to the states. She didnt get sick until 3 weeks later. Then turned poorly after her flight back to Australia. The cardiologist I literally sick next to said, sounds like you have something. I said I put myself on keflex for the entire trip and no response also nightsweats that soaked our bed. In fact, I slept on an airmattress embarassed about soaking the bed for her trip in the states.After hearing I put myself on keflex, he said you must have mycoplasma as he had it and cancelled his trip. (we work together and we schedule time off together)A zpak of azithromycin and I was all betta. She on the other hand flew under partial pressure to Sydney via the USA which is low pressure (the exact opposite of hypobaric treatment) and mycoplasma is a borderline anaerobe which thrives in that.She got immediately worse.Aussie docs refused for six weeks to put her on the azithromycin rather erythromycin which there is a known immunity for mycoplasma with that. I argued strongly to rotate antibiotics and to also take the azythromycin that cured me given the incubation period of 3 weeks matches perfectly to her onset. And given that it goes around the community in waves every few years and this has been the year after I have talked to patients who have had very similar.The Aussie docs tested for everything, unwavered and dismissing the history of my illness and the community of which we have noted a rise in mycoplasma cases.Mycoplasma is notoriously hard to test for. She improved tremendously after finally six weeks later she took azithromycin but also contracted influenza which also affects the joints in certain people.She was scared to death as the infectious disease doctor suggested Still's disease. Which, and many auto-immune disease can be triggered by a mycoplasma infection. Many are bold to say that all of it is.In the USA, as she is in Australia, the cardiologists, my friends and mentors were baffled by this. We suggested the azithromycin as I responded favorably after our honeymoon. Wait out the flu bug, get the cooties out. THEN, if the joint pain does not go away, start the corticosteroids.I suggested a longer course of antibiotics as mycoplasma kinda lingers but did not want to risk clostridium difficile. So she refused..I am of the opinion that the Aussie docs through arrogance did not prescribe nor take a prior history of myself who clearly had the symptoms and delayed her treatment. Possibly triggering an autoimmune disorder. They told her the IDS did that it was possibly Still's disease with poor prognosis> I was furious at that!My opinion, given the enormous research and discussions with doctors is that she has had joint irritation by the mycoplasma, which significantly improved with azithromycin FINALLY after I got horribly upset they would not prescribe. And then she h as to wait out the influenza bug she had.I expect a full recovery. In 2 weeks, if that does not occur then steroid therapy should be considered. I also suggest to never get medical care from Australian doctors. I will fly her over to treat with specialists recommended to me in the USA.You cannot IMAGINE from a medical professional the lack of common sense in socialized medicine with these Aussie doctor.Thanks again
    cardiacguy 1 Replies
    • August 16, 2008
    • 02:12 AM
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  • Wow!! Thanks for the background info! Yea, i agree that the docs should have taken your history into account as well as your wife's. I've always thought it was routine to do so...I'm a RN and we always did when taking histories on patients.....of course that was many years ago and things sure have changed! I would hate to condemn an entire health system due to a few docs though! I'm in NC, in the Duke system, and believe me, I've run up against a couple of VERY bad docs! But I wouldn't condemn the whole system because of them. Very interesting what you said about flying! I rarely fly as I don't like it and really don't want to deal with the hassle....but it sure is something to consider! So is your wife on antibiotics now? From what I've been reading, there is a lot of info that points to arthritis being caused by infections, mycoplasmas being the main ones. I think this just makes that argument more legit. Just like Lyme made docs question and infection connection.
    CindySue54 32 Replies
    • August 16, 2008
    • 04:02 PM
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  • Hi, Please consider this product for your daughter, its all natural. If you want to phone me i can send you some info on the product where a doctor has done a 10 research on the product. I used to have very bad Arthritis in my hands. I was introduce to this health juice called TAHITIAN NONI JUICE. Now 3 months later the pain and swelling has totally disapeared in my hands, i can use my hands againe and have my life back now. This is truly an amazing health juice. The juice is based on the NONI FRUIT from Tahiti. The fruit is high in PROXERODINE, this chemical repairs sick cells in the body. I order the Heath Juice, just by phoning: 1-800-445-2969 From USA, or 08 4561 26664 from the UK and quoting reference: 2443471 Its best to buy in by the case, one case is 4 months supply. Thanks. Michael Lancaster Tel: 07868745737, if i do not answer just please leave a message and i will get backto you.
    MICHAEL LANCASTER 5 Replies Flag this Response
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  • From what I read onhttp://www.northwestkneeclinic.com.resources/common-conditions-injuries/arthritis/it most certainly does! Hey this web site has some great knee exercises and remedies for knee arthritis. I know I've been doing one of those exercises for 6 months for my patellar tendinitis and it feels so much better! I can't believe it because the doctor said I was going to have to have surgery. Okey, Dokey, I hope that helps you!Does Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) ALWAYS cause inflamation? I have real bad stiffness in the mornings, and I have trouble walking (my legs hurt when I stand up and get very heavy and sore.) My joints in both hands, knees and ankles are stiff and sore, too!:( But I do not have any swelling, except at the outer corners of my ankles...(the doctor said it was boggy edema). I get itchy pink rashes on my chest that last about a half-hour. And I feel very sick and tired, all the time. A nurse told me I had symptoms of an autoimmune disease. But my doctor is very mean and is about to retire, and he said my RF test was negative, and ignores me.:mad: Could I have RA and still have a negative Rheumatoid Factor test and a negative SED rate? I was thinking I might have sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis? Does anyone know what rests are done to diagnose this?:confused:
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 22, 2011
    • 07:33 PM
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