Runner recently diagnosed with RA

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi,

just wanted some opinions regarding exercise and food to cope and lead a balanced life with RA. I was running lots and doing a lot of strength training with circuits. I was diagnosed 3 months ago because my right wrist was in severe pain. The doctor has prescribed 15mg of Methotrexate and says exercise is good for me. However, any form of pressure on my wrists and sometimes my ankles causes pain. I'm used to pain with endurance running however it seems that any exercise that causes any mild discomfort should be stopped? I'm told yoga is good, but there are only a few positions that dont put pressure on your wrists.

Wanted to understand how other athletes cope? Is there a particular diet that works? Is drinking a complete no no? The pain in my wrist is yet as severe with no effect from Methotrexate, although the doctor says the swelling has reduced.

Quite life changing for me. No exercise is frustrating along with the fact that its been a while and Methotrexate hasn't taken away my pain. The doctor is going to introduce embril injections, has anyone tried this? I was hoping the pain would subside and I would be able to go back exercising normally again, but that hasn't happened yet. I miss my excercise regime which was my key to sanity with a stressful work environment.

Thanks

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  • Posted

    I'm certainly not an athlete but as someone who's had the disease for over 20 years I can tell you that you will need to work at finding the correct balance of exercise without overdoing it. I think all of us at some time overdid the exercise and paid dearly for it.....that's how we learned what was right for us.

    I would suggest you opt for less strenuous forms of exercise. distance is better than speed.

    As far as diet. Just keep a normal, healthy weight.

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  • Posted

    I'd agree with Lynn about overdoing the exercise (8 years RA).

    I cycle every day, which takes the weight off my knees, which is where my greatest pains lie these days. In fact people were always surprised to see me 'still' cycling, assuming it would be tougher than walking, but it's not. It's a lot easier to get around on a bike for me.

    My rheumy always told me that non weight-bearing exercise is good and, when there's maximum inflammation, swimming is best. In fact walking through water, I was told, is the very best, and in the days I had access to a swimming pool, that's what I also did.

    Swimming itself can be tough if the shoulders and knees are inflamed because water tends to push your limbs in odd directions, which can sometimes create extra pain. But as you're an atheletic person, it's possible that that kind of pain wouldn't trouble you – and it may not be damaging.

    You'd have to check that one out.

    I had always been a dancer, too, but had to limit my dance stints quite consciously and against all inclination because of the misery in my joints the next day.

    But, having said all that, all exercise has to be good. Just think about reining yourself in before you start to feel it, rather than after, which will take trial and error.

    As for food.... well people will suggest all kinds of anti inflammatory diets and there are some things that are better than others, of course (avoid heaps of coffee for example). But in the main, though a healthy diet is always good, it will not make much a difference to the RA as such.

     

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    • Posted

      You're so right about the food. But I have noticed increase in pain with alcohol. To resist temptation is something that I'll really have to get used to. 
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    • Posted

      No alcohol, no coffee, and I'm told sugar is not a good thing either sad I was reading that allergies / food intake has a lot to do with the inflammation caused in the gut leading to RA. I guess trial and error is the best way to find out. We need to strengthen the muscles around our joints yet not with direct impact to the joints. Will have to find a solution to that. Problem is I've always done high intensity, so to move to Pilates/yoga, takes a lot. Plus I can't put too much weight on my wrists right now. Sometimes I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it disappear smile do u take glucosamine btw? Supposed to be good for the joints. 
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    • Posted

      I drink a coffee a day and put a pinch of baking soda in it to make it more alkaline.

      I occasionally have a glass of wine (by occasionally, I do mean occasionally – like average once a month).

      I have not noticed any effect on my liver

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  • Posted

    Hi there. Don't give up all hope of returning to exercise & especially your running. As ,an ex runner myself I know how daunting that can seem. Believe it or not it's still early days for your Mtx and depending how you manage on it the dose could be increased. I have 20grm of Mtx plus 50grm of Enbrel a week both in injection form. I have RA  in my feet, hands/wrists, shoulders and osteoarthritis in my big toes and starting in my knees. I go to the gym regularly and bowling. Exercise IS ok & good for you. I didn't go back to running but know others who have - right up to marathons. Eat as normal , very little alcohol with Mtx as it can affect your liver . I was also told no soft or blue cheese , no pate, no liver and no dishes with uncooked eggs. Make sure you have a flu shot and be aware that you may be more susceptible to infection as Mtx compromises your immune system. Good luck but get back to me if I can offer more help or advice.
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    • Posted

      Wow, that's a lot of medication. Thank you for the encouragement. I'm trying to get myself together to find the right balance and stay positive. Helps to learn more about others like yourself with it. 
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    • Posted

      It's a chronic disease that requires meds to control it. I take MTX weekly  [pills] and Folic Acid daily  and Humira injection every other week and Celebrex [NSAID] twice daily....and once in a blue moon, Tramadol.
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    • Posted

      My doctor perscribed Tramadol and I must confess I thought it was only for dogs.  I took one and it took me 36 hours to come out of it!  I haven't taken one since.  Is that how you feel?  It really didn't take the pain away, but I was so groggy I didn't care.  :-)
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    • Posted

      I took a tramdol one night, I was so desperate to get some rest. I dozed for most of the next day too. Same as you, I was too tired to care about the pain. I threw the rest away - I didn't like feeling so tired
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  • Posted

    I am a spin instructor.  I have had RA for about 18 months.  I'm on metho also.  I am still in pain but with the meds, can get out of bed and move.  What I found if I could bear the pain and get on the bike and start pedeling, in about 15-30 seconds the pain was gone and I could teach a class.  Now once I'm off the bike, all bets are off.  Keep moving, that's my motto.  I lift weights too, not real heavy ones though.  Once again, if I can just start working those joints, they ease up.  Again, once I stop, it's back to pain.  I think food and drink affects RA sufferers differently.  Foods with a lot of acid will affect some, I know one person who can't eat any pork.  White wine can do it.  I think you just have to test them and see what works for you.
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    • Posted

      Fantastic! I've just been spinning lots recently too. I'm hoping it will help me keep fit and soon I can get back to running. Many times I wonder, what if I never found out? I'd still be running assuming the pain was from exertion. Hot water bottle helps, you may want to try that. Going to try a massage this weekend. 
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