Advice, help, curious RA

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Hey guys, I got diagnosed with RA while on deployment about 4 months ago my question is I am on MTX injections, I heard this medication weakens your immune system? Elwhat exactly does this mean? The reason I ask is because I'm in the army and we go to the field and sleep on the rain, sleep in the cold, sleep on the heat etc, does my medication make other easier for me to get sick or infections by sleeping in woods etc??? Should I bring this up to my doctor stating that I cannot go to the field and sleep in certain conditions that could cause me to get sick since my immune system won't be as strong as everyone elses??? Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris, You're quite right - MTX is an immunosuppressant, which in laymans terms means that our immune system is compromised to the extent that we cannot fight off colds and respiratory infections without antibiotic assistance. In my case, our GP Surgery has a message on their telephone system asking patients not to ask the GP for "remedies" for cold, 'flu etc, but to go to a Pharmacist. I was told that, at the first sign of a cold etc, to go to the Surgery and have Amoxycillin prescribed to help fight the infection as my system won't cope otherwise. I've never been in the Services, but I would strongly suggest that you need to see the MO for your Unit and explain your situation to him / her. It may help if your GP were to write to the MO also. Possibly your CO needs to be informed also - I certainly wouldn't like to be "camping out", so perhaps you could be found an Admin role? Best wishes with your Career and hope the MTX helps.    

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris

    I am so sorry to hear you have RA. Unfortunately it's a desease that makes your immune system attack your joints. So unfortunately it does suppress your immune system. I had RA for three years and I haven't fought a cold and I worked outside. As I had to stop taking methotrexate as side affects and other meds not working I had to stop work because all my joints flare up.

    Hope everything works out for you

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  • Posted

    hi Chris.

    I'm a bit confused about your post,you said you were diagnosed with RA on deployment serving. later you ask wether you should tell your doctor about your diagnosis.

    you also say you concerned about sleeping outside etc.

    the thing is it won't help your condition as it's an immune disease and coughs and colds could linger. as regards your doctor about the RA, if you're positively diagnosed with it, your doctor will probably already know about this. the people who diagnosed you would write to your doctor in the army. hope that helps. take care. freda.

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  • Posted

    MTX and most other meds for RA will weaken your immune system.   That puts you at greater risk of catching colds, influenza and so on.   They in turn can develop into secondary infections and other complications such as inflamation of the heart or brain, ear infections and sinus infections.   Talk to you GP about precautions you should take and get an influenza shot.   Incidentally, the best place to pick up colds, influenza and other viruses is from infected people.
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  • Posted

    RA is an auto-immune diseases where your immue system attacks itself. Hence the immuno-suppressant drugs.

    MTX will make you slightly more suscepitible to infection but it does depend on how large your dose is.

    Personally so far, after 11 years on MTX and other drugs, I haven't found I was getting any more infections than before. But I do take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi Chris,

    Our body is controlled by the wiring in our brains,  we are designed to heal, but sometimes too much stress causes our body to attack itself, I believe it thinks it is protecting us, ugh. But putting us in pain, geez, doesn't feel like it. Drugs are not natural, so often harder on us and possible side effects make us more scared and stressed. Yes, I'm on several, hope to get off soon. 

    Research mind and body connection and healing, it takes work, but you will learn to live life even better than before. Learning about meditation will help you in your deployment as well. My illness has made me want a better more peaceful life. Heal that wonderful body of yours, best of luck. Thank you for your service. 

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  • Posted

    Yes.  Stay away from the sick and do talk to your doctors.  Thank you for your service and stay safe. Hugs.
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  • Posted

    I should also ad, since you'll be out in the bush be careful, while on MTX, or any othjer RA meds, your skin will tear easy, you will bruise easy and bleed more than normal from minor cuts and scratches and it will take longer to heal.

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