RA and colitis anybody??

Hi all. I've been taking 12.5 mg of Methotrexate for the last six years now for sera negative rheumatoid arthritis. However, for the last six months or so Iv been suffering with extreme bloating of my lower tummy area at the end of the day a few times a week. Very painful and lasts for hours. Long story short - I recently had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy done, awaiting biopsy results next week but the doctor reckons I might have a condition called colitis. A bit of research online indicates there's a bit of a connection between colitis and RA..... Just wondering if there is anybody out there who does suffer from both of these together and what are it's implications?? I am a 29 year old female. Thanks!

13 Replies

  • Hi, i have similar RA & now ulcerated colitis. Not pleasant can be controlled by diet & more medication

  • Ulcerative colitis or crohns (both forms of inflammatory bowel disease) are far more common with spondyloarthritis than with RA, but they are all autoimmune conditions, and its very common to have more than one autoimmune disorder, and to have them in any combinations. The only real implications are in the choice of treatments - there are some DMARDs and some biologics that work well for both colitis and inflammatory arthritis, so if you did have IBD then your rheumatologist will probably choose RA meds that also work on the colitis.

  • I've had colitis 16 years, arthritis diagnosed just over 2 year. Not much different, colitis can flare as with RA, treated for both with sulfasalazine, but moving onto meth soon also, sulf not doing much. Diet can help, but I found once a flare starts steroids can be helpful also.

  • There will be certain foods that your body is reacting to causing the colitis & possibly the RA. If you want to try & get at the cause, read the book The Paleo Approach by Sarah Ballyntyne & Conquering Arthritis by Barbara Allan, by making drastic changes to your diet initially & then adapting it once you know what your body reacts to, it can have huge beneficial effects on your Auto immune conditions. You have to be focused to do it as it is not easy, but it will be a whole lot easier than your dreadful colitis & RA. Definitely worth trying, especially the former.

  • I have to reply to this post, foods will not cause colitis, I have had ulcerative colitis for many years now and arthritis for 3 years. Colitis is an autoimmune condition not cause by anything that one eats. Colitis will flare up, just like RA does without warning , if you are diagnosed with colitis you will receive treatment from both the rheumatolist and the gastroenterologist as part of their multi disciplinary treatments for these conditions. Steroids are usually the first option , mtx will also be used for both, Infliximab usually as a final resort. Hope this helps

  • Coeliacs Disease which is another autoimmune disease is very clearly caused by food of which I only know too well of the suffering, i also have friends with severe colitis who are getting better by changing their diet. There are countless people who are managing their RA with their diet,, Barbara Allan being a well known one. I also have a friend who is managing her auto immune Multiple Sclerosis with her diet, it makes her feel hugely better, which when all is said & done, that is what we all want to achieve. I understand if you don't wish to take this route, that is each persons choice. By suggesting this route I am not minimising your Autoimmune disease in any way, just putting forward an opinion which is based on countless very well respected & documented research. Each person can chose their way to treat their RA myself included. I was under the opinion, we all respected each others viewpoint on this website, whether we agreed with it or not & were here to try & support eachother and help eachother in how we manage our autoimmune diseases. It was just a suggestion based on my own personal journey & thought it may be of interest to other sufferers who want to look at other avenues & try & find some control over these monstrous autoimmune diseases, especially if you suffer badly from the side effects of the drugs.

  • The RNHRD at Bath says if food were to help then the NHS would save a lot of money and not waste time and huge funds with research. Also said results of research are inconclusive...

  • Perhaps a healthy diet would be good for everyone and all will feel a lot better. There should be no need to take vitamin supplements then. Much better to take your vitamins via food naturally rather than tablets anyway. I am more concerned as to whether overloading with flu jabs for example help trigger these autoimmune diseases. Oh how I wish I could control these things with food. I remember (Vaguely as can't think of her name!) woman making huge claims cured her MS. Wrote book etc. But she died as it turned out she was in remission :(

  • I was also merely stating my opinion after many years of suffering with severe chronic ulcerative colitis and many hospital in stays too. I still stand by my opinion that foods alone do not cause colitis. This dreadful disease is an auto immune condition which, as far as I am aware us incurable. I am a great admirer of my gastro consultant and everyone must take heed to listen to advice from health specialists for fear of making this condition worse.

  • I had to stop methotrexate as it gave me horrible tummy cramps. I have noticed, on this site, that other people have suffered similarily. It would be worth mentioning this to your GP etc and maybe come off metho and try something else.... which is what I did.

  • Hi! I was diagnosed with RA in 2012 and for nearly 2 years treated for RA, tried Methotrexate and Arava amongst many others....turns out I had IBD - Crohn's disease all along. The doctors said that although I showed minimal signs of Irritable Bowel Disease during my treatment of RA (2012-2014), all the aches and pains and swellings were due to the Crohn's all along!

    I signed off with my rhuematologist in February and have been taking Humira injections via my gastroenterologist since Nov 13 and am feeling great! So good luck with your continued treatment and the outcomes. I know how I felt when I was initially diagnosed with the 2 autoimmune diseases (frustrated, upset, depressed etc). Hopefully I'm proof of a good news story :)

  • Hi all! Many thanks for the feedback, it's good to hear that various different situations out there. I'm not surprised there are people who sadly suffer with both conditions..... It will be interesting to see what my doctor comes back to me with next week. My RA is in my hands, but the Methotrexate I've been taking for the last six years has completely controlled it for me. I'm an art teacher, and would be worried about having to come off the meds (in order to start something new or different to tackle whatever is going on with my colon) for fear of what may happen to my hands

  • Strange but I have RA and my wife has ulcerative colitis often wondered if it is something we picked up somewhere that has made our immune systems misbehave all be it with slightly different symptoms.

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