Flares

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Can anyone help me understand what is meant by having flares in RA? I have  constant pain particularly in my shoulder and feet. The pain in my shoulder started 3 years ago yet I still haven't seen a Rheumatologist, however I go next week for my first appointment. The pain has been more or less constant apart from in the early days it may have subsided for up to a week. Can anyone help me understand this? Many thanks

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  • Posted

    Hi hun..You may have long periods when your RA is quiet, or in remission. Then, suddenly, the inflammation becomes more active and you have a rheumatoid arthritis flare. This is how it is for me anyway. My pain never goes away but it's a heck of a lot worse when the flares come on. X
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    • Posted

      Mine subsided totally when I first went on Methotrexate, the nausea was bad though, but after a year mx stopped working for me, my flares were coming thick and fast. I'm going back on mx on Friday but ny rheumatologist is putting me on injections instead of pills. Apparently this is meant to keep the nausea away. We shall see lol x
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    • Posted

      I'm not sure if the rheumatologist will put me on anything like Methotrexate at the first appointment. I've had blood tests at my GP surgery but I suppose she will want to do her own. It just means more waiting around. Just want to start treatment asap because of the length of time I've had the pain and my GP not referring me.
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    • Posted

      Ooops..posyed before I had finished typing.. seronegatative RA but apparently it still means I have the disease. Your rheumy will no doubt discuss your options with you. Methotrexate is a toxic drug but I was desperate for some relief at that time. I had a lovely shot of steroid in my bum whuch gave me great relief as well. Mx can take a while to kick in x
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    • Posted

      The blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis were negative when I first visited my gp but because my mum and gran had RA he referred me to a rheumy consultant. I had more blood tests and the ra factor still wasnt present he based the diagnosis on obvious things like, swollen painful joints, stiffness in joints in a morning, fatigue, blotches and the fact that my family had the disease. X
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    • Posted

      Just a quickie, Matron, to say that the pain can completely susbide.... sometimes for very long periods.... that's when the disease is in remission.

      I have two friends for whom the disease has been inactive for years together.

      One for whom it was inactive for 12 years. But then came back - always a blow.

      In my own case, it was active for years and went into remission about 6 months ago. I'm touching wood of course. Always tempting fate by saying it's in remission, but the fact is, right now, the pain's all gone away.

      So it can happen. Don't lose hope.

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  • Posted

    Hi Matron,

    Following on from what @EnglishRose63 said, a flare for me is when one or more of my joints become sore & swollen, or "flare up" this can happen for no reason at all.  For instance i've woken up this morning with a swollen painful knee and my fingers on both hands have been tight and painful since the weekend but I've not done anything out of the ordinary; unfortunately it's just part of the disease for me....I'm putting it down to the cold weather but I'm back for more blood tests on Monday so maybe that will show something.

    I can't speak for anyone else but my pain has never gone away completely but there are days when I do not feel pain so I hope the same goes for you xx

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    • Posted

      The way my rheumatologist described it to me is that I have a very high pain threshold as I was misdiagnosed for 10 years (I have had pain in my hands since I was 18 but my GP put it down to my hyper mobility) so now at the age of 30 what I describe as a "good day" is probably still painful compared to the norm......although don't let this worry you, the effect of RA is completely different in each individual person.  You will definitely feel better once you're on medication but I cannot say that the pain will disappear completely (I’d love to say that haha) but it doesn't for me, there are definitely pain free days like I said earlier so be as positive as you can be.  It took me a while to actually accept that I have RA; when I was diagnosed in Nov 2013 it was a mixture of relief and sadness.  Relief that somebody was taking my pain seriously and going to treat it and could give a name for the pain but sadness that I do have this disease and will do for the rest of my life - I always thought of it as an "old persons disease" (my naivety was terrible I know).
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    • Posted

      I'm convinced I wasn't diagnosed correctly. When I look back 9 years ago I went to see my GP because my knee was extremely painful. He sent me for an X-ray which didn't show anything and I was prescribed analgesics. It settled down but I often felt a bit of pain but nothing to concern me. Then of course 3 years ago I get a very painful shoulder and as time has gone on other joints are affected. My GP wouldn't refer me in September when my blood test revealed I had a raised RF and serum protein level. I had to absolutely insists as the pain got worse.
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    • Posted

      Sounds very similar to what I went through! I'm pleased your persistence has paid off.  Your joints will possibly be scanned at your appointment (similar to a baby scan) so they can assess the permanent damage IF ANY - so I wish you the best of luck x
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    • Posted

      Mine started in my shoulder as well. I remember it well because I took my son to Butlins for his 16th birthday (he'd never been lol).. I went to bed around 1am and woke up with an excruciating pain in my shoulder. I'm not normally the crying type but wow I cried!! My mum was with us on hols and we were worried sick as we didn't know what us was. I knew it couldn't be anything life threatening because its a pain my shoulder.. but still it was worrying. x
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    • Posted

      It surprised me just how painful RA is. I remember crying when I had the severe pain in my knee during the night. Nothing seems to reduce the pain. For me it's been a case of grin and bare it.
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