Bizarre!!

I was diagnosed two years ago with RA following short illness with bowel obstruction due to adhesions which seemed to set RA off. I have been well controlled on plaquenil for 6mts but never symptom free.

Then in Jan my old surgery scars broke down and I had to have emergency surgery for five hernias- ill for three weeks- drips no food or RA meds as I couldn't eat. Still haven't gone back on meds due to nausea and post op complications but RA gone at moment!! de nada, zilch. Thought for sure I'd have a bad flare as illness usually sets off and no meds. I'm relieved but suspicious and waiting for the worst. Don't know if the fluids only for 3wks means it was something I eat which aggravates my RA symptoms or not.

Has anyone else had this as a good side effect of being really ill!! Puzzled, puzzled , puzzled. Thanks in advance for any replies.

Polly xx

12 Replies

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  • Thats a strange one Polly. You would think being really ill & no meds would make your ra worse.

    Sorry i havnt advice other than to keep everything crossed it stays away.

    I'll keep everything here crossed for you too that it stays away.

    My rheumy nurse once told me they had a patient with severe ra and only 1 kidney, he developed kdney cancer and had a transplant. After his op his ra never, ever returned. Hes now been free from it for over 10 years.

    Our bodies are funny things.

    Take care

    Jo

    Xxxx

  • Gosh that is strange isn't it? I do remember being very suddenly pain free in the late summer of 2011 - just waking up and all RA symptoms had gone. I couldn't call it remission because I was undiagnosed and untreated still but that same day a period arrived after over a year of none. It was a humdinger of a period and I've never had another since but after about 3 weeks of no RA pain whatsoever and feeling brilliant it came roaring back with a vengeance. I saw a gynae and my GP suggested I ask him about whether HRT might help as looked like lack of oestrogen might be causing the RA symptoms. Gynae said stuff and nonsense - oestrogen is a steroid and would act same as Prednisolone but menopause alone wouldn't cause high ESR or knuckle swelling etc so it was just masking my symptoms in all likelihood.

    Sorry that's a bit of a disraction from your strange situation I know. Perhaps the body can only fight one thing at a time? My eczema of a lifetime disappeared four years ago and has never returned having covered and itched me always. I have never worked out why but assume the death of our 17 year old cat and stopping using oil paint must have helped. See if you can keep a food diary - eliminate one food type and then reintroduce it. If you can do this with help of an allergy clinic or dietician. I do hope it stays away - you've been through enough it seems. Tilda xx

  • For some reason this doesn't surprise me. The way I'm starting to see it is that anything that happens to the body, or mind come to that, might trigger RA so I don't see why it can't work the other way round. Perhaps it's unwise to speculate but like you I do wonder whether not being able to eat properly for a while might have somehow adjusted your immune system ..... it's just impossible to know though. But long may it last & I hope your recovery goes more smoothly from here on.

    Just one more bit of possibly silly speculation - if RA is basically the immune system mistakenly attacking joints maybe having some 'proper' healing to focus on kind of distracts it???

    Luce xx

  • Luce im with you on that theory.

  • Don't some folk say that their RA is much better when they have a cold? That would be the same principle.

  • That's interesting isn't it? I have heard of this before and it does seem as if RA is behaving like a naughty, spoilt child who, when he doesn't have a new toy to play with and concentrate on he just goes round destroying all his other toys (i.e. joints) in a hissy fit!

  • I told my husband about my theory & he said I'd made it sound like a bored teenager!

  • In all seriousness Polly I'm as baffled as everyone else but long may your RA symptoms stay away! Hope you feel better soon

    All the best

    Jo xx

  • Ive had 2 ops in the last year and both times have felt better BUT 4 weeks almost to the day after the ops things went bang in a big way and when I mentioned it to Rhuemy he said body produces its own type of steroid which will work after op but then drops off so then back to normal I hope not in your case and you feel better soon

    lizz

  • Your digestive system is very tied up with your immune system, forgotten most of what I learned in college though (I blame old age, need to research again!).

    There are some foods it is better to avoid in my experience - I cut out nearly all potato family food - no potatoes at all, no fresh tomatoes but love pasta and pizzas too much to totally give up more processed tomato, and aubergine (bye bye home made ratatouiile ). Meat is supposed to be bad too but I've been veggie all my life anyway. I definitely remember feeling worse the day after I had potatoes or fresh tomatoes.

  • I think everyone's comments are on the right track and I agree that RA behaves like a spoilt child/teenager. I recently spoke to a chap who's wife has had RA since childhood and when she got pregnant for the first time her RA disapeared or went into remission and then returned soon after she gave birth. So, perhaps it's true that our hormones play a part in the overall sceme of things.

    I've mentioned before that I had really bad urticaria/angeodema for years before RA kicked off. The urticaria started after I had a gynae op which I was always puzzled about. Food was one of my biggest problems. Dairy, particularly cream made me come out in a huge rash all over my body, as did a nice juicy steak. But, water on my skin had the same effect as did some plants in the garden.

    Thankfully, I've not had a flare up of urticaria since my RA kicked off and though I still use lacto free milk I can eat a juicy steak now without any ill effects, not sure about horsemeat !!!

    Our bodies are very complicated, but some of us humans have immune systems that have lost the plot! It's interesting to hear experiences which could possibly shed some light on what might be triggers to starting RA as well as different things that might keep it active.

    Maybe some foods do have an effect on our RA, but then lack of sleep does too. Rest is a key to helping ourselves when we have a flare up, so perhaps the rest you had when you were recovering after the op helped too, Polly. Also the theory about your immune system being busy elsewhere in your body is a realistic fact too.

    Anyway Polly, look after yourself and I hope your RA remains quiet. Junexx

  • Thanks everyone,

    I might have spoken too soon as I have really bad back today! Not sure if is due to carrying about 2-3 litres of fluid in a giant wound seroma or the RA. Taking no risks so back on the meds pronto!! and hope its the seroma. Lots of food for thought with everyone's comments though. Thanks,

    Polly x

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