British Lung Foundation

Cronich Lung Disease and Inflammatory Arthritis

I have just put the same question on the arthritis forum.

Does anyone else have chronic lung disease and inflammatory arthritis? I have bronchiectasis and inflam arthritis causing daily pain which presents anywhere and everywhere, most often in back, toe, neck, jaw and fingers.

I cannot take NSAIs because it caused ulceration to lower bowel. Tried hydroxycloriquin which initially seemed to help, but after a month or so began having flashes which progressed into full blown pretty constant migraine. I have been prescribed Sulphasalazine and haven't managed to get on them yet as I had facial surgery because of lentigo maligna (pre cancerous). Pathology found rogue cells in the margins and so had to use cream which latches onto rogue cells and promotes the immune system to attack them. Since Christmas samples from my lungs have cultured haemopyllus influenzae and I have been on virtually constant antibiotics during this time.

I was interested to read, if a bit alarmed, that some of the dmrds are photosensitive. This is concerning to me as some of the abs I take for my lungs are also photosensitive and I have my facial stuff to consider, although I always use factor 50+.

My inflam markers are always very difficult to interpret - is it the lungs or the arth or both at any one given time. Aaargh.

A rheumy I had suggested it is thought there is thought to be a connection between bronchiectasis and inflam arthritis - makes sense to me as my immune system has always had to work overtime as it were. I don't have the R factor. My lung cons did say you can get sulphasalazin lung Aaaargh again. Take so many drugs and nebs I am concerned I can tell you re starting these drugs.

If what my rheumy says is correct re bronchs and inflam arthritis then I would hope to hear from someone in a similar position or any helpful suggestions or comments would be appreciated.


5 Replies

Sorry mispelt chronic ooooops


Hi Cofdrop

I have bronchiectasis and polyarthralgia. The latter has never been diagnosed as anything specific - a query rhematoid arthritis about 20 years ago that never really became RA, and now just joint swelling, especially if I use my joints more than usual - eg standing for a hour or more, kneeling, carrying a suitcase (I am very lucky: neither condition prevents me leading a normal life).

I have often thought there there MUST be a link between these two inflammatory diseases, and sometimes wish that Western medicine treated us more as whole people, rather than the lungs being looked after by one team and the joints by another.

In the past I was prescribed sulphasalzine, but had to stop as it affected my liver enzymes.

I'm afraid I can't help in terms of your concerns re. medicines, and I do hope your doctors will be be able to help. I, too would be interested in hearing of others who suffer both conditions.



Thank you so much for your replies. Fern I found your link very helpful. Gill I am sorry you too are dealing with bronchiectasis and arth. Difficult situation to be in I think because I can't see how you can be on dmards without frequent breaks because of the frequency of lung infections. My resp expressed a little concern (albeit an off the cuff remark) about 'sulfasalasine lung'. Then there's the sunlight thing - already take doxy which is also photosensitive. Feel like I'm between the devil and the deep blue sea. Gill are you a member of Bronchiectasis R Us? If so just post you met someone on BLF and I will pm you. There are peeps on there who have both bronch and arth. I totally agree with you about the holistic approach, and I think to some extent my cons try to do that, but it must be a nightmare if all your health issues make you a bit complex. I do have other health isues but these are my main probs.

Always managed bronch well - scared of the rheumy drugs but can't go on existing with this pain.

Look forward to the day my arth is more under my control and is managed well.

I'm not usually such a miserable git........honest.



Don't know if this would help at all - seems to be just a small study, but have seen it getting a lot of mention all over the web:

Incidentally, I know systemic inflammation is involved in copd - so assume it might be in other lung conditions too. Hence we may be predisposed to other inflammatory conditions. P


Thank you Parvati - really interesting - thank you for the link.

I think you are quite right re systemic inflammation.

Thanks again. C xxx


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