Might have RA and want to understand it better

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Hi, I'm a 17 year old girl and I was recently told that I probably have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had an inflammation in my eye called Irisitis and the doctor asked if I was experiencing any joint pain which I am especially in my knees. They have now told me that this may be connected and that I need to have blood tests and I need to do some research into RA. As I am completely new to all of this and am slightly worried about what this all means for me and my future I felt that maybe the best thing to do is ask the people that have RA. So I'm asking for any stories, advice, information on treatments, anything that will help me understand this all a little bit better so that its all a little less scary. Any information would be great.

Thank you

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  • Posted

    Hiya Emily.

    Hopefully, you may not have RA as I'm sure no one ideally would want to. If you do though, I'm fairly new to it too but that's because my mum was diagnosed last year. She is much older than you, as am I! What I do know is that this site is so helpful and great people are always willing to share experiences which has helped us no end. We also find our doctors and nurses at the hospital great too.....so, whatever RA may or may not bring you Emily, I wish you well and try not to worry. You are doing all the right things researching etc.


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  • Posted

    Hi Emily, This forum has some folks with excellent advice as far as what to watch for on blood tests and symptoms. I've had RA for a couple of years now and it is a life changer. It's all in your attitude, just look at it as a challenge. You may find it necessary to change your diet and cut out gluten, red meat, diary and junk food. I did and I thought it would kill me but you know what? It was fun coming up with new recipes and I embraced it. If it turns out you do have RA, you will want to make sure you get lots of Omega 3 from fish or supplements. It will cut down on inflammation. You may want to google inflammatory foods and get an idea of which way you want to go. Some of the medications that are given for RA means you will have to cut down on drinking if you are a partier. Smoking is another factor. You will be tired a lot and need to make sure that you get rest when you need it and your family will have to understand when you say you're tired, you're tired!! It's not an ordinary kind of tiredness. You may lay up for 2 or 3 days and sleep but when you feel that way don't push yourself, rest! I have it in my shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands so I don't know about the knees but you will need to find alternative ways of doing everyday chores as the RA progresses. Be sure and take your meds as prescribed and tell your doctor about everything even if you don't think it will apply. Keep a diary of flares (that's when your body goes into overdrive with pain) and anything that helps or makes your RA worse or better. 

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  • Posted

    Sometimes I don't understand ... The med we are taking supposed to stop the progess of RA or they just slow down... Meaning we are going to be crippled also eventually?? I'm just confused .... It is rly a horrible disease ... But I m fortunate to find this forum sharing with kind ppl.. I will keep fighting and trying for eveything they will work for my disease ..

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    • Posted

      Its a rotten disease to have but its much more treatable than it once was. There are new biological drugs available which I have just started and having spoken to some people on them I have been told their lives have turned around. You need to start on the usual initial drugs first as they may be all you need. RA is not curable but the drugs stop or slow down its activity. So you need not feel you will end up crippled. Some people do change their diets drastically but I have not. I am vegetarian anyway and try and eat healthily. Its up to you. Just be strong and optimistic because all these new biological drugs are working so well in getting to grips with this disease! Age is on your side too! I think older people find it harder to deal with.

      Take care. Where are you? If you need to talk I will happily let you have my phone number.


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  • Posted

    Hey Emily, i am 19 years old and have recently been diagnoised with RA. I have it in my shoulders, wrists, hands and fingers. I get painful nodules on my knuckles as well. I have been put on a medication called methotrexate.

    For me this drug doesnt really agree with me and it gives me stomach complications. It is different for everyone as ive been told.

    I know i have stressed out about this, and although it is hard to get your head past it and coming to turms with it there are others with it and talking to people with it is the best thing you could do to help you come to terms with it.

    Take care, and i hope you dont have it but if you do dont stress. Youll get through it, like us all.

    God bless you.

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