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Perimenopause and RA possible hormonal ??

Hi everyone

Just wondered if any women out there think that RA could be due to hormonal imbalance?

I started with irregular and prolonged periods 4 years ago after always been regular as clockwork. Had numerous blood tests and all came back normal.

I stopped smoking in dec ‘14 and piled on weight in a year. In Oct ‘15 had nasty viral infection which caused nasty chest infection. That week my life changed. I was literally crippled in joint pain in my knees and struggled to get out of bed. Went to Drs he did lots of blood tests and referred me to rheumatology. My 1st visit was in jan’16 to which my joint pain had gone from knees but had it more in my thumb & wrist in right hand.

Through all this time I would bleed for weeks at a time & feel so tired I kept going to see my gp and they did blood tests & found I was anemic. Started on iron tabs within a couple of weeks started to feel better joint pain & inflammation went away rheumatologist was baffled. I kept telling him about my situation with my periods & how my health had changed since this.

In jan ‘16 i eventually started to eat healthy stopped drinking tea, coffee, alcohol and lost 3and half stone in weight and even went swimming every day. In June ‘16 i was literally crippled yet again, at this point not on iron anymore and still bleeding months at a time. I was given steroid injection which did nothing for pain and started on methotrexate folic acid and 10mg prednisolone. Things were great for 3months then ended up with mtx pneumonitis in sept.

I’ve reacted to 3 more dmards was eventually put on benepali in may last year & again things were great for 3mths when I ended up neutropenic and bad skin reaction and taken off it. Since then I’ve been on just prednisolone fluctuating between 10 & 5mg for the last 5months and felt so much better back to me with inflammation and stiffness starting again after bleeding for the last 7 weeks.

Gynacologist has wrote to rheumy to see if I can have Mirena coil fitted because they wouldn’t allow it whilst I was on benepali.

I think this is all hormonal and I’ve said this to rheumy, gynae & dr to be told it’s just coincidence.

What are your thoughts on this please?

Sorry for the long drawn out post

Kind regards

Shelly

INTERESTING

Just found this article about RA and hormones dailymail.co.uk/health/arti...

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I don't believe a hormonal imbalance causes RA, but I do believe there is a strong connection and hormone changes are possibly a trigger. There must be some reason wh three times as many women as men get RA, and there must be some reason why for a majority of women it appears around about menopause. Also, why should women who get it young find they often go into remission when pregnant?

My other train of thought is that female hormones and steroids are very closely related chemically.

So all these things make me believe there is a link, but that researchers haven't yet worked it out.

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Thankyou for your reply helix. I’m inclined to agree with you. Here’s hoping that eventually they will find a link and hopefully a solution 🤞

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I think it maybe because when I was on benepali and having heavy continuous bleeding my dr prescribed me norethisterone tablets for ten days and the rheumy nurse thought they may have interacted so told me not to have the coil fitted. Told them that I’d finished the course 3 days before I took my injection so did blood tests and said my wcc and neutrophils were too low & to stay off benepali but never said anything about having coil fitted again. So still not sure to this day.

I find when I’m spotting for wks I’m in more tendon & ligament pain not joint but sometimes when I’m bleeding heavy the pain and inflammation goes away. I’ve just been put back on norethisterone tablets for ten days.

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I was diagnosed initially in my 30s, but my disease activity has only really kicked off in the last 18 months (I’m 48 now) and I’m in surgical menopause after having ovaries removed because of problems. For me it seems more than a coincidence that this all kicked back off just as my hormones radically altered.

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I honestly think more research needs to be done into the hormonal links to this disease. Hope your not in too much pain and things settle down for you

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I keep bringing up the subject of a hormonal link to RA with my consultant but no real definitive answer. Have you tried Tranexamic Acid before having the coil fitted. I have flooded every month for six years whilst passing huge clots, been taking Ferritin for the past four years and bled for thirteen days last month unable to leave the house and shiwering upto ninr times a day - I can sympathise.

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Hi juneann

Yes I did try it at the beginning before mild heart attack the had hormone tests done and they’ve given me progesterone since

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There could possibly be a hormonal,connection.....but you say you had a virus & from what I have read that could be,the cause of some types of RD.

Whatever causes it...I just wish some genius could,find a cure!

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Me too

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I was diagnosed sero negative 2 years ago. at the time i was going through the menopause and kept asking the question if it was linked but they dismissed it every time. now on methotrexate hydroxy and sulfasalazine but they didnt reduce swelling or pain until i went onto HRT. i couldnt manage with menopause and symptoms of RA all at once. since been diagnosed with thyroid issues so now taking more hormones and last 6 months pain free no swelling at all and no pain first thing in the morning. not sure if its coincidence but like you i think its too much of a coincidence. still havent had a blood test come back positive. good luck and hope yoy soon start feeling better x

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Are you still taking the meds for RA as well as HRT?

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Yes, I think it might have been a trigger for me.. going through the menopause. If I had my time again I would have tried hormone replacement therapy to soften the blow....

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Hi Shelly, May I ask how old you are? Perimenopause doesn't suggest that old and yet a heart attack - Yikes! Do you think Tranexamic Acid 13 Feb - Keep the Faith - BBC1contributed to it? Clots concern me as that's what the drug is meant to do although I already pass lots and lots of heavy clots. I'm 55 and no end in sight to my periods, my Nana, mum and eldest sister stopped at 54.

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I’m 52 next month but was 47 nearly 48 when perimenopause started. I’ve been on steroids since June ‘16 and my GP said that steroids can interfere with your periods but rheumy haven’t mentioned anything about this. So who knows?

No I wasn’t taking the tranexamic acid then sorry if I mislead you to that.

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How do you know when you've hit the perimenopuse? I've been on a hormonal rollercoaster since 15...Erratic Periods, PMT, pregnancy (loved it) and now with my beautiful baby boy sixteen and independent I feel sad and redundent. I understand the menopause is actually one day which marks a year since the last period, from what I understand though symptoms can continue into the 70's and 80's.

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I was told by gynaecologist last month that it’s perimenopause and they gave me four options of treatment. Also had regular as clockwork periods up until 4years ago. Had all the menopausal symptoms while still bleeding.

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Juneanne go to the top of this page just found an article about RA and hormones that I’ve just posted link to read

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Thanks Shelly.

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Following a hysterectomy I went into surgical menopause at 40 despite still retaining my ovaries. First episode of painful wrists followed and a blood test showed Rheumatoid factor. GP said to go away and live my life. HRT started shortly after and, although some mild wrist discomfort, all was good for the next12/13 years. A health scare over HRT meant the GP would no longer prescribe. Full-blown menopause symptoms followed and made my life hellish. I persuaded a new GP to prescribe HRT again 6 years ago and life was good again until crippling migraines began a few months later and was unable to take it anymore. Just over 2 years ago a nasty lingering virus floored me for months, my wrists became painful again and I had what turned out to be my first full flare and diagnosis of RA followed. It seems clear to me that the hormonal link is clear but, in my case at least, it may need another problem to tip you from 'possible' to 'definite' RA.

J

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I have to agree with you, for different reasons though. I was on the pill for many years, stopping only to have children, then coming into menopause stage I went on to a low dose HRT and stayed on it until at the age of 73 I had to come of it due to Unprovoked DVT. I don't think it was the cause......For reasons too long to go in to here, However, since coming off the pill I have gradually started to hurt, badly, my lower back, my neck, my hips, my knees and my finger. my little finger has a painful knobbly swelling. All this since coming off HRT - no estrogen. I am convinced that I have suddenly acquired all of these age problems since being deprived of estrogen. So yes, I think you have a valid point and unfortunately Doctors tend to think we are stupid, when we quite often know our own bodies best. I wish you luck and hope you feel better soon.

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