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I am a 74 year old male and until 4 weeks ago I was proud to say I have never had an illness nor been to a hospital or doctor because of poor health or injury.  Came back from a UK holiday with a nagging sore left shoulder, a few days later my left knee felt strange as if I had fallen, then my wrists and finger stiffness.  Why so sudden to an otherwise fit and active still working person.  Why to a guitar player and golfer, never smoked and weight as it should be for my build.  The blood test confirmed what my family Doc suspected,  but it is not an age thing,  they say possibly environmental,  I have always lived in rural locations and eaten fairly healthily.    I will accept that there are far worse diseases and deal with this.  Seems like all of us ask,  why in this day and age can brilliant medical scientists not find the reason for RA and other common deadly diseases.

Sorry for the rant, I am new to this ,  I will try to be halpful from now on.

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  • Posted

    Hello,

    Sorry about your diagnosis.  It is a painful and perplexing disease.  I am in my fifties, but other than age of onset my experience over the last few years is very similar to yours, even down to starting with pain in one shoulder.  

    My RA diagnosis was surprising not only due to my overall health, but that there is no history of autoimmune disorders in my family tree, as far as I know.  It is interesting that your doctor brought up environmental factors.  It is my (completely unscientific) armchair opinion that it could be a combonation of env. factors/stress triggering a genetic weakness.  I have two interesting factoids. One, women with "certain pro-inflammatory conditions are at greater risk of having children with autism—these conditions include rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, celiac disease, diabetes, and obesity." (Healthline). It has been shown that autistic people often have widespread inflammation.  This interests me as I am the mother of a severely autistic son. Interesting connection between stress hormones and immune response. Second, the occurance of rheumatoid disorders is higher in native americans, I believe it is 4-5X higher (sorry, I can't find the article).  Why? Some think RA originated with native americans. I haven't taken the time to really dig into it, but it is interesting.  I've heard viral infection and iodine proposed as possible triggers.

    I hope you fine this interesting as I do. Personally, I don't dwell on what I have/haven't done to cause the disease;  it's here and I try to deal with it.  I have found this forum to be very helpful.

    FYI, I have found substantial relief for 12.5 mg of Methotrexate weekly.

    Take care, best of luck in your treatment. 

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    • Posted

      Wow Karen,  you are probably 20 years younger than me.   At 50 I considered myself invincible and would always have perfect health , how naive,

      It is cruel that you have RA and already have challenges but you sound fairly positive and inquisitive and that for me is helpful to read.

      So far I dont have an RA specialist and have only been prescribed 2 a day Naproxen for pain.  It does seem like there is a common thread in the drug Methotrexate.

      I wish you all the best.

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  • Posted

    Hi David, sorry to hear you have R.A. Must admit it takes some time to accept the diagnosis and get your head around it. Difficult if you are usually healthy and keep yourself fit. I hope they can give you medication to help. It does take time to find one that helps you the most. It is weird how it starts, mine came on after a long haul flight and a holiday with family. A sore ankle which became very swollen and hot, at first we thought I had injured myself without knowing and even my GP. Thought the same. But eventually the other foot started and my knee. The most difficult thing is accepting I can't do the exercise that I used to do, but learning to pace myself. That comes with time.

    I hope you soon get some relief and back to doing some gentle exercise.

    Take care, I think your reaction isn't ranting, but frustration of not being in control. Give it time. There are some great people on this Forum, who makes you realise that you aren't on your own and your feelings are normal. Hope I don't sound patronising. They also can give some great advice. 😊

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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda, kind words.  A few weeks into this I shouldnt be a wimp. The only medication is a couple of Naproxen a day for a painful left shoulder and right knee.   Strange how similar our initial experiences are.  All the best to you.
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    • Posted

      You arnt a wimp David, I would think you will need more than Naproxen eventually to try and slow the R A down. It has taken me 2 years of trying different meds that I can tolerate and that has improved mine. I presume you will be referred to a Rheumatologist, it all takes time. I think patience is 1 of the main things that I have had to learn. Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi David, welcome to the forum. My story is also simular to yours.....sudden onset 6 months ago. Took me some time to accept my diagnosis, no family history, kept fit and ate healthily. ....used to run marathons and cycle a decent milage to work every week.

    The good news is, started on Methotrexate and now slowly getting my life back! I've even finally managed to get back on my bike after 7 months of doing zero exercise. ....albeit short distances but i'm working on building it up.

    Wishing you well once you get started on appropriate treatment.

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    • Posted

      Kaz,  thanks for your post.    Wow, it looks like it is the fit and active folks with healthy lifestyles that are most likely to inherit RA.  I have not yet seen an RA specialist being only a few weeks into this new world,  only prescribed two a day Naproxen for the pain.    So far the common thread suggests Methotrexate is the most helpful drug.  I never took anything stronger than asprin my whole life and I hated that ,  is Methotrexate a short term solution,  is it harmful in some other way......
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    • Posted

      Methotrexate is longterm treatment David, if it agrees with you. I seem to be tolerating it so far though I do know some folk tolerate the injections better as they are kinder on your stomach. My rheumatologist describes RA like putting a pizza in the oven with the temperature high.. . resulting in the pizza burning. With Methotrexate it's like turning the oven down......the pizza will still cook but MUCH slower. Summing up, RA never goes away, but we can slow down its progression.

      Wishing you well whatever treatment regime you start on

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  • Posted

    I really can't see too many things worse than this disease, it eats you up.   I was once a bodybuilder, exercised regularly, was never overweight and ate decent meals.   But still I came down with type 2 diabetes and OA.   in 2015 I was diagnosed with PMR, diagnosis was change to RA a few months later and two months changed again to PsA.   I have largely lost the use of my hands, the PsA afects a couple of fingers, thumbs, wrists, forearms, elbows, upper arms, neck, hips, big toe and balls of my feet and the Rheumatologist can find no medication that gives me relief or slows the progression of the disease.   Then 3 weeks ago I had the right superior and middle lung lobes removed due to cancer.   It is my opinion now that I was just wasting my time exercising, eating right and leading an active lifestyle.   It all comes down to luck, if you have it, you have it regardless of lifestyle, if you don't, stiff chedar.   Doctors can't decide whether the medication caused the cancer or the cancer caused the RA.   RA/PSA is a terrible, disfiguring and painful disease, having just come through a lobectomy,, regarded as one of the most painful operations, I can tell you it has nothing on RA.   I really can't imagine anything being, except maybe a crucifixion.

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  • Posted

    Don't worry, you will!

     

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  • Posted

    Yes, it sounds like a lot of healthy people come down with RA. I was healthy and very active when I came down with it. After two excruiating shoulder flares then both hands flaring and swollen I found a doctor who told me I had RA. I thought RA was like OA until I started researching it. I advise you to google RA and read up on what it really is and how it is treated. If you don't get on a medicine for RA it will continue to get worse. I'm happy that naproson helps you. The right hand side of this forum provides excellent info. A lot of people find that MTX helps but everyone is different and it didn't help me. It made me feel like crap. Study all the meds and their side effects because if you go to a rheumy they will prescribe one for you. Also study the effects of prednisone. A lot of people swear by it but I only take it for severe flares. I refuse to take a daily dose because of the side effects. When you do go to a doctor or rheumy about this, remember you are in charge of your body and you have the first say in what to do and take. I wish you well as everyone here does and hope the RA doesn't progress. There are some excellent people here with great advice and I am happy to have found this forum. Although this forum comes from the UK, a lot of us are from the US like me. Keep us posted on your situation smile

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    • Posted

      Thanks ,  this is the kind of helpful post I was hoping for.  I am in the early stages but I will take your advice and get on to some kind of serious medication, symptoms have already progressed to pain in both shoulders and both knees,  my passions are golf and guitar and both have RA related forums, with my wrists and fingers now less flexible and painful I fear my abilities in both passions will diminish quickly, handling things mentally will be the next challenge.

      All the best to you,  I am in Canada by the way.

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    • Posted

      Glad everyone has helped you with advice. All meds are to try and slow the R.A. Down and everyone reacts differently. Everyone has a personal experience. I can only speak for myself, but I found the hardest part apart from the pain and fatigue, it is the mental side of it and that takes a long time to accept. I hope you have family to support you and wish you all the best. I'm in the UK and appreciate the medical side and care will probably be different. Take care.

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