RA plus carpal tunnel

Posted , 5 users are following.

I’m new at this and I have been searching and asking all over the internet without any good responses. So I hope this post provides at least 1 comment from somebody with experience.

I’ve had RA for about 12 years. I’m a 46 year old man, never smoked, not overweight (actually, quite lean and slender), 12 stone, golf instructor and quite physically active.

I was diagnosed in 2004 with RA. Symptoms began long before, but I attributed it to golfing every day. My diagnosis also included carpal tunnel syndrome, verified by EMG. Both hands are affected (RA plus CT) but mostly the right.

As it began, I had quite bad pain and numbness in my hand and thumb. Especially on the right, the pain and numbness would take turns and it almost drove me mad. Holding a club made it far worse and I had to cut back on clients.

My first med was for Methotrexate which seemed to work for 2-3 years. But the symptoms worsened in late 2014. After starting Enbrel and then Humira we realized I cannot take any of those due to additional issues I have, so I stopped.

As far as the carpal tunnel, I decided to self treat it and I was quite successful (pain subsided more than 90%). Such took a good month but nonetheless I’m happy with the results (I also returned to my full time clientele). But now I’m here with the pain from RA again. Interesting note: I can actually tell this is RA pain and not carpal tunnel pain, even though they might sound similar.

After this long preamble, this is my question. They want to put me on 100mg Azathioprine. I studied it and read numerous discussions that Azathioprine will make you retain fluid. They say “don’t worry” but this is my health, my pain, my livelihood, not theirs. Fluid retention will almost certainly make the carpal tunnel syndrome come back again (just as it does for pregnant women). Thus, I do not want to risk being where I was 2 years ago. That’s unacceptable.

Does anyone have anything to offer, perhaps a similar experience?

Many thanks. Cheers

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    I was diagnosed with mild carpal tunnel and tendinitis in the search to find out where my pain was coming from.  Eventually I was diagnosed with RA.  Fluid retention can be remedied with a diuretic.  Just another pill!

    Good luck to you!

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    • Posted

      Hi, and thank you for that. Yes, indeed, another pill! But I take so many now that frankly I feel that all those meds are partially responsible for my problems worse.
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    • Posted

      I know what you mean!  Just remember if you do go on water pills you will probably take them in the morning and spend your morning in the bathroom!

      but I take a high dose twice a day and it usually subsides by noon!  

      Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Funny you should mention that. I actually used Lasix to initially get rid of my carpal tunnel. It had nothing to do with my RA, but you would think such would take care of the CT, right? It didn't - all it did was make run to the loo every hour. Not very pleasant.

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  • Posted

    I am a music instructor with RA for most of my life. Symptoms get worse with age as expected. I get bad finger pain holding the bow (i play viola) and have to stop and rest. Even typing this hurts. But i was curious about your comment on carpol tunnel and RA. I always assumed i had ct in additon to the RA. Never diagnosed but i am sure of it. I guess i also assumed the two were related. But reading your post got me thinking if they really are. I found many refs saying RA and cts are NOT related, but those with one have a higher chance of getting the other. (so how is that NOT related???) The only thing i know is that both worsen no matter what. Aren't we lucky?!

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  • Posted

    Hello. I wanted to respond to this post also because i am currently on Azathioprine. It most surely makes you retain water,,,,me at least. So I think its wise to be cautious as you say.
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    • Posted

      Hi, yes as mentioned above, from what I can tell carpl tunnel and RA must be linked in some way. You will read that they are not "related" but I am not sure what that means. If you have one and chances are greater you will get the other, how can they not be related? Huh??? Look, Im a just golf pro and a practical person, not a medic or scientist. But I read a lot and that just doesnt make any sense to me. My experience tells me to learn everythign you can about what you have and see if it make sense. Chances are if something sounds odd, somebody is trying to make money from it.

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    • Posted

      It's now getting late and my hand and wrist are a real bother. So let me understand, you are NOT taking methotrexat now? What are you doing for your RA? If I may ask, how did you treat the carpal tunnel component? I would like to do that too and maybe the RA wont be so bad, right? Thanks.

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    • Posted

      For my RA I am currently not doing anything at all. I stopped methotrexate a few years ago but I plan is to go bak on it again. Its effects started to get lesser and lesser back then which is why i stopped. But its supposed to kick in again when you restart it after a few years of letting it flush out. Thats what they say, so lets hope so.  As for the carpal tunnel, i used a machine from the states. Its not cheap but i can tell you it really works. Thats why i was not in a hurry to treat the RA, becuause taking care of the carpal pain was such a milestone. Now if i can just manage this last bit of RA pain, i will be very very happy indeed.   

      Emis Moderator comment: I have removed product/company names as we do not allow repeated posting of these in the forums. If users wish to exchange these details please use the Private Message service.

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