©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Question:

What was the treatment for your rheumatoid arthritis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Elizabeth, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis approximately 5 years ago. I woke up one morning and was in so much pain I took half hour to get out of bed. I couldn't sit and if I fell onto a chair I couldn't get myself up again. I have been on all the medications available as well as having the needle jabs in my knees and shoulders. I have now stopped all the medication and controlling with diet. I have cut out all processed sugars and salt and am coping well with heaps less pain. Bananas put my pain through the roof but all other fruits do not seem to increase my pain. It is trial and error with food but I am on top of it at the moment. If I eat a particular food and it causes a lot of pain, I do not eat it again.

Comment from: Sandi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I first lost my ability to stand up from a sitting position due to total body weakness. The physician I saw that same week ran a blood test and told me it appeared to be rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The arthritis specialty office would not see me for 3 months to see if the diagnosis was real. It's been 8 years now and every month I receive an infusion named Orencia, a biologic, that keeps me functioning at my normal level with very few flare ups. This physician specializes in RA and I have two friends who have been treated by him for 30 plus years. He's very dedicated and knowledgeable. Thank you doctor.

Comment from: Andrea, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 24

My pain doctor wanted me to try sports physical therapy for my back rheumatoid arthritis (RA) before starting shots or medication. I began deep tissue massage, electrical stimulation, and skin scraping over the affected areas. The scraping was almost unbearable at first; but it's been a couple of months and it's now mainly annoying. The daily pain is almost gone. They say the fluids have begun circulating back in the area, allowing the RA to heal itself. I will have to apply these treatments for the rest of my life, but I am glad I tried this before medication. I suppose this method wouldn't be so successful on RA that is deeper under the surface - you'd have to ask your doctor if it would work for yours.

Comment from: Jhill112, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 18

I have dealt with this for 10 years aches over my entire body constant nausea. 7 months after my 40th birthday I gave up smoking, red meat foods that are processed and developed a healthy eating diet of veggies, fruits and fish and nuts. My body began the healing process after 4 weeks. I later changed my sleep pattern, bed sheets and what I washed my sheets with and where my bed was located in my room. My body went from 238 to 215 with a healthy eating, sleep and daily exercise and yoga. I dare you to try for more than a month.

Comment from: Joanne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

My pain started 10 years ago. I thought it was due to stress and working too much. I have six kids and I'm a full-time stay at home mom. My hip on the left side was the first to feel the pain. It would be painful at night, causing me to be awake. Then my leg would be stiff and I would be unable to get out of bed in the morning. I finally saw a doctor because my right hand was so stiff and painful, I felt as if I couldn't drive. That was when I was diagnosed with RA.

Comment from: Suzy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 11

I am 50 years old and I have realized I have RA and Sjogren's syndrome for about four months. I have not been to a doctor yet but I am married to one. I have been trying to manage my symptoms with NSAIDS and I take flax seed oil. I am in pain every night with my shoulder and my hands. I plan to have a steroid injection in my shoulder this week and I am thinking about seeing a rheumatologist.

Comment from: frustrated with pain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 27

I was diagnosed with RA at age 46. Now I'm 49 and I'm in pain constantly, not to mention the intense fatigue. I am on Remicade, Arava, folic acid, and Percocet. It started in my neck and spread to both hips, hands, feet, back and just in the last two months, to my knees. I now take antidepressants. Working retail in a large warehouse doesn't help. I am hopeful they will find a miracle cure someday. I feel like i am 90 years old.

Comment from: citizen48, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 24

I am a 63 year old female diagnosed six months ago but have had symptoms for at least 20 years. I'm taking methotrexate and Cymbalta, as well as infusions of Remicade. All my pain is from my waist down and although slightly better, certainly not something I can stand. I am going to switch doctors because I confided to my current physician that oxycodone every six hours was not helping all that much.

Comment from: Phil, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 21

Male, 65 years, R.A. since age 26. Over the 40 years that I have had RA, I have, I believe taken most of the drugs created for the disease. All have resulted in the normal side effects or contra indications. Currently having subcutaneous injections of methotrexate , which I believe is about to come to an end because of side effects.

Comment from: lseibel64, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

Enbrel has made a significant difference in my symptoms. It extremely reduced fatigue and decreased pain and swelling.

Comment from: Angelique, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

No medicines have worked for me. I have experienced whatever side effects I was warned about. The only treatment that has been successful has been the taking of steroids (prednisone) maintenance dosage of 2 in the am with breakfast but then I will awake in the morning with lots of pain until the next dose. I now take 2 as usual with breakfast and one at night with dinner and have been pain-free period for more than 2 months. I have regular blood tests and do not experience any of the side effects from taking steroids. Thank God this works for me. I feel great! p.s. Every time I have been taken off this medication, I am almost bed-ridden and riddled with pain. Prednisone is definitely the most effective treatment for me and the only one which works. I've been taking it for about 25 years.

Comment from: Holistic approach, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

I was diagnosed at 37 with RA. I am now 60. In the beginning I used NSAIDS, but only when I really needed to. My mother was diagnosed with RA when I was 14 and she tried gold treatments, got hooked on prednisone and it destroyed her bones. It causes the adrenals to stop working. She was also methotrexate which seemed to stop working after 30 years. I did not want to go the route my mother went. I am not willing to use methotrexate for damage to the liver. I am allergic to sulfanamides. The research I have done on new treatments has not made me want to use them because of the way it affects the immune system. I am around children all of the time and don't want to take the chance of various infections. I have tried homeopathy (expensive, am a huge proponent of acupuncture, but what I have found helps the most is cymbalta and omega 3's. I buy good quality 2:1 omegas. I tried a less expensive brand for a month and the pain came back. The cymbalta helps because constant pain causes depression and depression causes pain, at least in my case. I have never missed a day of work due to this disease and I don't intend to let it rule my life. I seem to have more pain at night especially during spring and autumn. My RA count is 512.

REFERENCE:

McInnes, I.B., and G. Schett. "Mechanisms of Disease: The Pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis." N Engl J Med 365 (2011): 2205-2219.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors