Is this what they call a "flare up"??

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I have been diagnosed with mild RA for about 1 year nowbut all bloodwork etc is negative.  Am on MTX now by injection 20mg but it doesn't seem to be having any effect after 3 months. Sulfasaluzide didn'[t work either. This past 3 days have not been able to go to work  hardly able to do anything.  Lots of pain. Swelling in knee and ankles and extreme exhaustion but not able to sleep for pain at night.  Paradoxical or what...  Walking has been really hard even with stick. Also woolley headed and unable to concentrate on anything - just want to doze.  Exercise out of question.  What I want to know is  - is this what they call a "flare up" since it the first episode I have had like this.  Normally just normal (well for me) levels of pain and tiredness etc. and also can you get a flare up when you have negative bloods and everything else??   - Can anyone help clarify this. Thanks for your help. Gill

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  • Posted

    hi gill.

    daft as it sounds,depends on the individuals definition of flare.mine after 1 year of it was same as yours.tiredness unreal.specially teatime.1year later pain from neck down.everywhere.i got through it.had one recurrence since of that scale.that is a flare.or so I'm told by experts.i know of no one who has frequent flares.specially with meds now.far as I'm concerned I'm average.2 flares in 20+years.try not worry.youll be ok.trust yourself.take care. best wishes.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gillar, pretty much yep... Experiencing something simialr as of Enbrell for few weeks :-( I have no swelling or redness. Just lots of pain and tiredness and this mental fog. And joints deforming slightly here and there... Never had elevated marks except ANA. Usually, I try to disregad this and take painkillers. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it does not. After exersising it becomes slightly better and then hits the day after... I hope that your dr will find the right med - if the MTX does not help, perhaps you should move to another med? Talk to your dr. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    I am so sorry to hear your story it is very similar to mine I had no blood elevation except ANA and CRP but I felt very tired with sore knees ankles and feet. I can really appreciate the horrible brain fog And lethargy. I too could not work. I luckily had a very good GP and rheumatologist who persisted on finding the right mediation. It is hard to know if this is a flare up or the disease process! It took me 4-5months on methotrexate to kick in. It is a very hard time but don't suffer go back to your dr. For me it did get better but it's been a long hard year! Good luck

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  • Posted

    I can sympathize. I also have negative bloods but have had flareups. They can come on suddenly, last several days (or weeks) and then vanish just as suddenly as they come on. And the pain, foginess and fatigue I know only too well.

    But, for me and I assume for you, as time goes on you will get fewer flareups and they will be less severe. I have one every three or four months now and they are milder. This probably has to do with the tweaking your rheumatologist does with you over the years. Don't be afraid to tell your doc every symptom and how this affects you. I once off-handedly mentioned that I had chapped, stinging lips and pimples around my mouth suddenly, He glommed right onto that and put me on folic acid. It worked within two days. So nothing is too small to bring up.

    Hang in there.......it gets better.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gillfar, please don't give up.  I too had same symtoms and negative on test results.  It took about six months on Methotrexate and Sulfasalazine.  I took Prednisone as well (though I don't recommend it).  I started feeling so much better that after we moved last December, I stopped taking the drugs once I ran out.  I was hoping I didn't really have RA.  As each month passed I was in more pain.  It was so bad I wanted to cry.  I went back down to Oregon and saw my Rheuatologist and I am on Sulfasalazine and Methitrexate.  I have been for a couple months now and I am just starting to feel better.  I do not take Gabapentin anymore either.  I will NEVER stop takng the orescriptions again.  However, it did prove to me that the pain was nit in my head.  Best of luck??.

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