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Re: RA and Worried
Jul 10, 2010
Yes....see a rheumatologist! ASAP!

The current thinking with RA is that the sooner you start treatment, the more you prevent the really bad things that can cripple you.

That said, the drugs are primarily safe and they start you on low level drugs first(low as in low toxicity) and then if they don't work they slowly add more or go up a level until you are under control.

Sad to say but your doc is very out of date.

RA can hit more than just joints and that is why it's so important to get it under control . Mine hit my eyes before it even hit my joints. Connective tissue is throughout the body and so RA can hit almost anywhere, including heart and lungs, not just joints. That is why you need the care of a specialist and early treatment.

I've posted these before and I think I want to do just a plain thread featuring them so others can read it when the come here but here are the 7 qualifications for RA of which you need to have at least 4. I've abbreviated them

1-morning stiffness for at least 1 hour plus
2-arthritis in at least 3 joints
3-arthritis of the hand joints(wrists,hand knuckles, finger knuckles)
4-symmetric arthritis(same joints both sides)
5-rheumatoid nodules
6-positive rheumatoid factor
7-X-rays showing erosions or bony decalcification typical of RA

As you can see, the blood work is only 1 of the 7. I have sero-negative RA which means I do not have a positive RF. Nor do I have any rheumatoid nodules but they are developing. And I have the other 5.

I started with a drug called Plaquenil that is a base line drug for lots of people and very safe. Been used for malaria for years and years but it helps RA and most auto-immune disorders for some reason. then my doc added methorexate, a cancer drug that's been around for 50 years. But it give in tiny doses compared to what cancer patients take. Is very safe. Then there are a bunch of medium level drugs and then the top of the line is the biologics that you see advertised on TV all the time...Enbrel, Humira, Remicade and Orencia. There are even more. And of course, prednisone(cortisone) is used a lot to stop flares.

I don't know what your doc means by the drugs being as bad as the disease because I'm on a combination of methorexate and Orencia and I feel pretty good. My doc does blood work every 4 weeks and watches me carefully....TB tests and chest x-rays every year, extra blood work every few months. But my hands are currently pain free and best of all, I can see straight.

See a rheumatologist...it just may save your life and at a minimum, let you live your life again! You shouldn't have to live in pain like this.

gentle hugs...........Jenny





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