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Autoimmune Arthritis

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tushnurse posted 6/20/2013 12:54 PM

Well today was the last test in many to determine what disease I have and the extent of it. I have had painful joints for aprox 10 years. I saw a reuhmatologist about 5 years ago. He basically said you have arthritis. Nothing autoimmune. Suck tt up.

This winter was really bad for me hands swelling joint on my hands changing. I saw a new reuhmatologist and she is awesome. Ran blood work. Did X-rays, more blood work, and an MRI of my lower back. She feels I have a type of arthritis similar to psoriatic arthritis. Based on the results today she is planning to start me on immunosuppressive medications.

I am lookin for thought and experiences both positive and negative to Methotrexate. Has it helped? Were the side effects worse than the treatment or not noticeable ? What other medications have you used to stop the joint damage? What type of exercise can you do without wanting a body transplant after?
This sucks, but certainly is not a terminal illness. I am working hard to get extra weight off(I got happy an fat again). I have lost about 25 pounds this year so far. Anyone have any help with alternative treatments?

Thanks for reading and sharing.

jrc1963 posted 6/20/2013 16:05 PM

No experience just well wishes that everything works out.


FaithFool posted 6/20/2013 18:30 PM

Have you tried acupuncture?

imagoodwitch posted 6/20/2013 18:52 PM

I have a friend who has psoriatic arthritis, without Humira, she would be crippled and housebound.

kernel posted 6/20/2013 18:58 PM

I second the acupuncture.

tushnurse posted 6/20/2013 19:28 PM

I am thinking on tryin acupuncture I just don't know of anyone who has done it. I am a huge proponent of balancing eastern an western medicine. They haven't been doing it for thousands of years for no reason.

I've heard some bad stuff about methotrexate an was wondering what individual experiences are with it. I am hopeful I won't need a biologic.

armynurse posted 6/20/2013 20:14 PM

I was treated with oral Methotrexate and then injectable. Unfortunately after about 6 months of injections, my kidney function decreased dramatically and suddenly and I had to go off methotrexate immediatly. I have both lupus and RA. I am young enough that my kidneys are not impaired, and my normal kidney function is excellent. It was very scarey for me. So I cannot take methotrexate at all, ever again.
I will take other biologics from here on out.
Best of luck. I do know they like to start you on Methotrexate because it is VERY cheap. And the other biologics are spendy.

ThoughtIKnewYa posted 6/20/2013 20:46 PM

I have psoriatic arthritis and have been on Methotrexate. I didn't really notice much change so I went off of it. I also have MS, so any biologics (like Humira) are off the table, for me.

FaithFool posted 6/20/2013 20:50 PM

TN, sent you a PM with a link.

purplejacket4 posted 6/21/2013 00:02 AM

I prescribe methotrexate so I have some thoughts.

It is a very old medicine and therefore very cheap, most people tolerate it well with few side effects. You do have to take folic acid supplements with it to protect your bone marrow. It is not as strongly immunosuppressant on your actual immune system as some of the others.

Now humira, imuran,, remicade, etc are stronger but they are also newer and much more expensive. I worry more about these people's immune system when fighting an infection.

Another drug is plaquinil. It was originally an anti malaria drug but found to help autoimmune conditions. It has very few side effects (one though necessitates a trip to the eye doc before starting) and is very cheap. I haven't found it to be as good as he methotrexate and other immune modulators.

Hope that helped.

tushnurse posted 6/21/2013 07:37 AM

Thanks for everyone's input.
PJ. I know she does use plaquenil on some patients. I am Hoping like heck that whatever I have doesn't progress, I'm only 42 ( almost 43) but don't want to end up crippled.

I guess time will tell.
Thanks again for sharing everyone.

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