Advise for RA treatment : Hi all Glad about this... - NRAS


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Advise for RA treatment

Advise123 profile image
14 Replies

Hi all

Glad about this website . I was diagnosed with RA last year and was prescribed Sulfasalazine which I am reluctant to take as I still doubt ( I was having pain and inflammation in my ankle ) I have rheumatoid . Now my pain has gone I requested whether I can double confirm whether I really have rheumatoid before taking the heavy side effects tablets for which they didn’t agree as they said I definitely have RA and don’t want to waste their time .

As nobody to advise I hope for your advises . I am thinking of Homeopathic treatment via my GP which also I am not sure whether they understand my concern . Please advise - Thanks

14 Replies
helixhelix profile image

In the early years of having rheumatoid arthritis it can come and go, so having quiet periods with no pain is quite common. It doesn't necessarily mean that the diagnosis was wrong.

Do you know how your diagnosis was confirmed? For example did you have blood tests that showed that you were positive for the rheumatoid factor and the ant-CCP antibody? And did you get examined carefully by the doctor or even by ultrasound that showed synovial inflammation? If these tests have happened then I'm not sure what extra you want them to do to double confirm?

There is no homeopathic treatment that will work on RA. Generally the medical advice is to start treatment as early as you can, as that has the best chance of stopping the RA developing and causing damage.

However other people have found it successful to clean up their lifestyle in parallel with conventional drug treatment, and then they have found that they can slowly come off the drugs with no return of symptoms.

Advise123 profile image
Advise123 in reply to helixhelix

Thankyou for the information and advise . The diagnosis results were Seronegative arthritis and Synovitis in one of my angle which I consider I got it because of overuse and they consider it as RA. I don’t have any other joint pain than this but now no pain here also after taking ibrufen.

I am 48 And when consulted GP for symptoms like forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and difficulty thinking clearly and body ache / fatigue esp before my periods I was told that there are Menopause symptoms .

I don’t feel any stiffness or have swollen joints . Normally I have a dry skin from my child hood ...

Many of my friends have tender joints and difficulty in moving ... so just wish to check whether it’s definitely RA or some other kind of arthritis or some other health issues . It can be consider as a second opinion as RA is a long lasting treatment to follow with Immediate huge side effects .

Sorry for my thinking like that ..

Mall profile image
Mall in reply to Advise123

If your blood tests show that it is RA then it is RA and not over use.

Advise123 profile image
Advise123 in reply to Mall

No my blood test didn’t show it is RA

AgedCrone profile image

If you have seen a Consultant Rheumatologist & been told tests he carried out tell him you have RA...why ever do you doubt that?

Of course you are perfectly within your rights not to take any drugs, but when you read on here the dreadful symptoms people have when they only get diagnosed after joint damage, which they didn't realise was occurring, now needs drastic treatment, maybe you might change your mindset?

I'd have a chat with a rheumatology nurse to explain why the rheumatologist has prescribed Sulphsalazine.

Quite often RA pain ebbs & flows, but if blood tests indicate to your rheumatologist that you need to take a Dmard......

Maybe getting a second opinion from a different Rheumatologist would help,you make a decision?

Hi there, and welcome. It is quite possible that you DO have RA, even though you feel ok now. I do understand how you feel. I was diagnosed in Jan this year when I was going through what was probably a flare up - My ESR, CRP, Anti CCP and RF numbers were astronomical and meant a double zero positive RA diagnosis. At the moment, I only have a bum left foot and hand, so I have been questioning too. However, I go back to those test results and accept that it most likely is RA, and it’s probably mild and at this point in time, not a major inconvenience - but - I need to go through the process of getting these inflammatory markers stabilised, and then see what happens from there.

Sulfasalazine is one of the gentler medicines available, another is Plaquenil (which I am taking). I know the sound of the medication is a bit scary, but either of those 2 I’ve mentioned are tolerable and you may never need to go “hard core”, but, you’ll never know unless you give it a try and get those inflammatory marker levels checked, until they’re satisfactory. The alternative of not taking medication is potentially damaged joints etc.

Given your doubts, perhaps another chat with your Rheumatologist about outlining a treatment plan, that you’re both happy with, and that you understand and can commit to, might be worthwhile? All the best, cheers Deb

Teapotts profile image

I would get a second opinion for your own peace of mind, however I am sure a rheumatologist would only diagnose if they were absolutely sure. I got a vague “it seems like RA” diagnosis at the start, but there is no doubt I have it now! They are massively over stretched and it’s not in their interests to have another patient on their books! Sulfasalazine is one of the less harmful meds so this might be reflective of your low level of pain. I came off my meds to try and get pregnant and despite no pain my joints became damaged, so please do not underestimate the damage RA can cause with no pain.

dbestdeb profile image

I too, was reluctant and didn’t want to accept the diagnosis. I was advised that the very early treatment would stop the potential damage done to joints, so I went along with it. That was 5 years ago. Now I know that I do for sure have the disease and although I have some pain, stiffness, and fatigue, my joints show no big damage. I have moved on from sulfasalazine to other meds that are more tailored to my individual condition. My experience has been that while diet, supplements, and exercise do help, and you may have periods of remission, they are not a cure. Best wishes to you on your journey.

Advise123 profile image

Thankyou all for the positive advises . I am happy to go through the treatment if I definitely have RA . My pain has gone for last 12 months after diagonosing with RA with out no treatment ( and like I said before I believe that I got inflammation due to overuse and stress I put on my ankle ).

And none of my other joints has inflammation .

I requested RA nurse for another MRI scanning but was rejected .

Anyway like you all said I will have second opinion with another Rheumatologist and will start treatment if confirmed .

What’s your all opinion about Homeopathic treatment for RA?

Also any counselling services available for RA patients ?

Thankyou all for your valuable information , advise and time

Nondplume profile image
Nondplume in reply to Advise123

My Husband has had RA Sero+ for two years now. His RA factor was over 600. We got the Di Adamo book on Arthritis as it has all the right supplements for your blood type. So he started on those twice a day for 18 mths and now takes them once a day. I added a few other supplements like Hyleuronic acid and Serrapeptase - Drs Best. It has good anti inflammatory properties. After suffering serious side effects from Methotrexate ( Bacteraemia) he went onto Sulfasalazine and Minocycline ( from an infectious disease Dr) He is now RA symptom free apart from this weird chest pain - ? Muscular, ? Vasculitis ? From the ? Sulfasalazine, which he has now cut back to 1000 mg a day. Side effects listed for Sulfasalazine include all of his symtoms including the skin rash and itching. He has been off Prednizone for three months and has no other pain and no join deformity. This pain is associated with exercise. We are monitoring his heart because he has had episodes of Afib over the past two years also. He also takes Magnesium. You can get a spray magnesium which helps joints when massaged in. I also made a massage oil, paste with shea butter, aloevera with Lots of anti inflammatory oils. That worked well. I am a retired RN.

Kalimers65 profile image

Hello Advise123 I will tell you my RA story. I 1st started with symptoms when I was 38 in both feet. I had 2 young children and I didn't drive. ( I'm 65 now). I had lots of blood tests and nothing confirmed for about 6 years. I had a remission when I got flu. It was like a miracle - within 1 hr all my symptoms left my body . I had just diclofenac sometimes . When i had no symtoms i took no medicine. I had no damage.

After about 6 years I had a bad flare up ( I was divorcing my husband). Doctors wanted to put me on methotrexate but I had taught a doctor and he told me not to go on it - at this point. I had reflexology every 3 weeks and my inflammation gradually decreased. Even my GP started to think reflexology was really helping. I have just slight joint damage in 2 fingers which is no problem.

I had a remission of 13 years! I took no medication as I had no pain and no inflammation and all my blood tests were normal. I walked about 6 miles every day to and from work, ate healthily and did yoga. There was no damage. Why put chemicals into your body which have nasty side effects if you feel well?

2 years ago RA returned. It's in my left foot, knee and a bit in my hip. The consultant immediately said methotrexate which I didn't want as I had Hepatitis A in my twenties and methotexate isn't good for your liver. She persuaded me to have a steroid injection. It did nothing. I'm feeling much better now so I'm not sure what I will do when I see her next week.

You are right to question everything. It's your body. Some people ( not just those with RA ) take every medicine that doctors think might help and then have to cope with all the unpleasant side effects that damage their health -physical and mental.

Homeopathy can be effective in my experience but probably not with RA ( I tried it for 6 months and nothing happened ) but when my son was very young and had eczema it really helped.

Yoga and tai chi helped me though.

That's my journey so far. I have been very lucky with remissions and no joint damage. Good luck. I hope my story helps you a little.

Advise123 profile image
Advise123 in reply to Kalimers65

Thankyou for your story .

Yes that’s correct . You can really jump in to things after all it is your body and especially for the treatments which has huge unpleasant side effects .

My blood test didn’t show any RA symptoms or any of my other joints . Only one angle which has pain showed inflammation which was due to overuse . Now there is no pain now as the inflammation is cured as I am careful not to overuse .

Even the nurse/ GP didn’t liked when I asked can I go a double confirmation .

I know we all get a mild arthritis when we get older . Not sure how I can get it double confirmed .

Again Thankyiu for your story .

Kalimers65 profile image

You're welcome. Anymore inflammation in youŕ ankle get a bag of frozen peas and wrap a towel round it and place it on your ankle . Put your foot on a chair first . All the best!

Advise123 profile image


Just want to let you all know that , I went a second opinion and the consultant after going through the details ,decided that I am not having RA although my joints have mild arthritis symptoms which is common for my age ladies and to contact them if any pain or symptoms in the future .

Was wondering my guessing was correct and unnecessarily I would have taken the highly side effects tablets . Anyway I will be precautious although cleared of RA .

Thankyou for all your support

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