Anyone else experiencing RA alongside osteoarthritis ... - NRAS


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Anyone else experiencing RA alongside osteoarthritis and being peri menopausal? Feeling exhausted…

Hollyhock123 profile image
14 Replies

Well the good news is current treatment plan of mtx and etanercept is keeping my RA controlled. But X-rays and US of feet and hands show that the pretty constant pain is osteoarthritis, and it’s in all fingers and toes. Alongside fully blown peri menopausal I’m feeling pretty exhausted.

It’s likely that child birth triggered my RA, and just wondering if anyone has noticed that hormone changes later also affect them. My folic acid has just been upped as was just 1 tablet a week, but now 3 days because of nauseous feeling. Also noticing stronger reactions to some things - alcohol, crisps, chocolate. Can’t tolerate any now.

Waiting for appointment with GP to discuss meds for pain which is osteoarthritis linked, and where to go with menopausal symptoms. Am going to speak to work as struggling on many levels with this combo.

Also interested to hear what’s worked for you if you’ve juggled this combination.

14 Replies
Pink75928 profile image

Morning Hollyhock. Sorry you’re feeling so rubbish. I am in the same boat as you, RA, OA and peri menopausal. I’m only 37 but feel 87. I wish I had the answers for us both, but I feel totally lost sometimes. Always here if you need to offload though xx

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to Pink75928

Lost is a good description! Maybe lost in the fog? Answers would be good wouldn’t they. In the meantime I’m responding to and getting involved in anything that is looking at Arthritis and menopause. Thanks for the offer, always good to share with those who get it. Take care

CripLady profile image

Morning. I would take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements as starters. Your body needs extra calcium as it gets older and Vit D helps with absorption. I would also take a B12 for some much needed energy. I think that there may well be links with menopause, as RA onset begins at this time for lots of women. There was a discussion on here recently about menopause so have a scroll about.

I remember my nana being in hospital with RA years ago, and the woman in the bed next to her had full body immobility (RA) as a result of childbirth.

Take as much time as you need off work and try and sleep whenever you can x

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to CripLady

Thank you, will do. I’d love to sleep but really struggling with that at the moment which of course isn’t helping. Poor lady. I really feel for her. I didn’t have full body immobility but my husband and my mum both had to take leave over a 4 month period as I couldn’t look after the baby on my own. Have very few memories of those first 6 months whilst I was diagnosed and meds kicked in.

Lolabridge profile image

Sorry you’re struggling atm. I’ve got RA and osteoarthritis plus recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia too. The latter has added to my fatigue and I’ve just started taking amitriptyline which should help with that and improve my sleep. But thankfully the menopause is in the distant past. Yes do tell your GP how much you’re struggling, and don’t put a brave face on it or allow yourself to be fobbed off with “of course you’re tired you have a busy life.” I hope you can get some help.

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to Lolabridge

Thank you. GP got back back to me really quickly and have an appointment tomorrow.

I'm going through peri menopause and i don't know what the heck my body or mind is doing most of the time!

I find it makes my RA symptoms worse, GP has asked if I would consider HRT which I'm not ruling out but I feel I need to loose some lbs first and get use to my RA medication first.

Sorry I cant offer any help but I understand how you feel x

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to Marionfromhappydays

I thought RA symptoms were worse but biologics nurse is pretty sure RA is controlled it’s the other stuff! I’m going to rattle soon 😜 I’ve got an appointment with the HRT nurse in a couple of weeks to discuss that option.

bpeal1 profile image

My RA was triggered by child birth too. I was diagnosed 18 months after the birth of my first child, but had symptoms from when she was only a few months old. Hormonal things definitely affect it. Every time I got pregnant I had a massive flare which resulted in miscarriage until my rheumatologist put me on aspirin. With the combined help of my rheumatologist, haematologist and obstetrician I carried my son to term. At my rheumatologist’s advice I had a merina coil fitted (she said I couldn’t afford to lose blood every month) and it does seem to have smoothed out the hormonal changes too. As far a as I know I’m not peri menopausal yet (I’m assuming even with the coil I’d know) but expecting it any day. I’m now mid forties and my mum went through the menopause in her early forties. I too am worried what the hormonal changes will do to my RA.

I have some secondary oesteoarthristis, mostly in my feet. I’ve had surgery on my left foot and waiting for a date for my right foot. Unfortunately surgery is the only thing which has brought me long term relief. I’ve had steroid injections and various insoles and braces which have helped. I would ask for a referral to a podiatric surgeon for your feet. Despite their name as well as foot surgery they are also experts in conservative management of feet conditions.

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to bpeal1

Sorry to hear you’ve had a tough time too. I had massive gynae issues after giving birth and since as well, but that’s from the emergency caesarean rather than RA. I’ve also had my right foot operated on, but that originated from a damaged tendon which the RA then attacked! Currently discharged from orthopaedics, but still with podiatry. At the moment my osteoarthritis is the pain and impacting how much I’m mobile. I think that’s my biggest frustration as in the last 5 years I’ve gone from running, playing netball, regularly walking 10k+ to just about managing a 3k walk and then having to rest for 24hrs at least after!

I’m definitely peri menopausal, on Desogestrel so limited bleeding anyway due to fibroids, but so many of other symptoms.

There does to be a lack of information on RA and menopause though.

Shamrockgirl profile image

I have found my Osteoarthritis is worse in recent times, it was only when I had a bad fall face down on concrete in September 2020, I begun to realise. It took me until July this year (difficult with Covid) to see a GP at the surgery & get X rays on my knees. Took ages for the results, the GP letter just says try certain supplements & keep active! How patronising that last comment was, I have always tried to be active & out & about. But turning 60 recently, having Fibromyalgia & ME, along side the 2 types of arthritis, makes that hard. I’m also getting much worse fatigue than previously.

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to Shamrockgirl

Gosh, that’s hard waiting so long for appointments, and not at all helpful. You have a lot to be coping with, but like you I’m always trying to be as active as I can. I’m having to readjust my expectations again though. I need longer recovery now, plus pain relief.

Orangebox profile image

Yes - osteoarthritis started happening around peri-menopause, then RA. HRT has been an important disease modifier for RA <consultants have a blind spot about this>. Using a rebounder is a great exercise for RA.

Hollyhock123 profile image
Hollyhock123 in reply to Orangebox

I had a long chat with my biologics nurse about HRT. Although I had to go through GP for it, I so appreciated her knowledge on the subject. 3 weeks in 🤞🏼

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