Head pressure when bending

Ok I was diagnosed in March with RA have not seen a rhuemy yet they can't see me til August so my doctor put me on a low dose of methatroxate and pain meds but I'm really scared to take the methatroxate so I have only taken it twice. I recently started getting terrible pressure when I bend over also get lightheaded and blurred vision when I stand back up. Anyone experience anything like this.

5 Replies

  • Hi Jaclyn, I am very sorry to know that you have been diagnosed with RA. I am a RA patient since June 2014 and I am still in methotrexate now.

    RA is an autoimmune disease that need to be treated immediately to avoid further damage to the tissues around the joints and the joints eventually. I do agree with you that methotrexate has a lot of side effects but it may not happen to all who take it. It depends very much on your own body and other medication that you take.

    I have been taken the medication without fail and listen very closely to what my doctors said. I exercise everyday though it was very painful at the beginning but I need to continue if I want to live a normal and healthy life again.

    I am basically very much back to normal after about 1 1/2 year of treatment and my doctor said that I am in remission right now. Beside methotrexate, I am prescribed with Arava, folic acid, calcium, osteocap, fish oil and glugosamine too.

    Methotrexate takes about 12 weeks to work, therefore I was given steroid and pain killers for few months. I was very worried about all these medication but I did understand that I needed them if I wanted to recover. I surrender myself to the professional who knows best.

    I could not change my clothes, I could not put on my shoes, I could not hold a glass of water, I could not open a door, I could not squat, I could not sit on the floor, I was very miserable. Because I am a single mother and my son is still in college hence I told myself that I must not collapse because I cannot fail my son as he depends very much on me to support his education and his living expenses.

    I was lucky that my daughter came back 3 weeks after I was diagnosed of the disease. She took care of me for about 10 months before she started to work again.

    After I was diagnosed the disease, I came to know that some of the RA patients here in Malaysia, who were worried about the medication like you and decided to cut them down without the doctors' knowledge. Many of them that I met with ankles, knees or figures damaged permanently.

    During the physiotherapy sessions, many RA patients did not do their part to exercise daily at home because of the great pain, therefore they did not recover as fast, instead their hands and legs getting weaker and stiff.

    In July 2014, I basically collapsed and could not move my hands and legs much because I was in great pain. My muscles were wasted because I could not move much. About 3 months later, I started the very light exercise using just a 2 1/2 feet long stick to move my hands up and down, front and back and side ways. Very frustrating because there was no results after months of non-stop exercising my hands.

    Many RA patients could not tolerate the great pain and frustrated with no improvement in doing the exercises daily hence they gave up. For me, I told myself that I would be better one day hence I did not give up. About 6 months down the road, I noticed that my hands could move up slightly and I was so happy hence continue the exercise and add on using thera band, soft ball and walking a lot more daily.

    My body improved tremendously after about a year. I am now very much back to normal but I still cannot get away from the medication because the doctors said that I need to be monitored closely to ensure longer remission and no relapse after 6 months then they may consider reducing the methotrexate slowly.

    I am telling you all these because I want to encourage you to listen closely to the doctor, not to cut the medication yourself. Since the doctor is equipped with the professional knowledge to help us, then surrender yourself to him or her. Do not give up and continue to exercise though it is painful.

    You must believe in yourself and have a positive thought to focus in your recovery. Talk to those who have the same problem and get good advice from them. No supplement to be taken on your own without the knowledge of your doctor because supplement may have interaction with methotrexate. A lot of time because RA patients take supplement on their own and cause problems to their internal organs.

    So far my blood tests were okay except the very last test where my liver reading was a bit high and the doctors wanted me not to take any additional things beside what I have been taken.

    Recently I developed rash, itchiness and feeling of vomiting for the last few weeks. I happened to read that though fish oil is good for RA patient but overdosing of it would be bad for us instead. One of the research said that 15 months should be the maximum period to take fish oil. The sides effects listed were what I have right now. I stopped taking the fish oil immediately since yesterday. The rashes subside, itchiness less and I feel good right now. I hope that my liver reading will be back to normal in the next blood test to come in August.

    Also, while reading the fish oil problems, I come across the right way to take the calcium carbonate and folic acid. I should chew the calcium carbonate and then take it with meal. I should not take the folic acid immediately after I have taken the calcium carbonate. I should take the folic acid after at least about 1/2 hour.

    I hope my information above is helpful to you. Do contact me if you need more advice. You can add me in facebook if needed or even skype me. I know how horrible the feeling can be when one is diagnosed with RA and the great pain that comes in.

    By the way, I am doing yoga, pilate and foam roller exercise daily now.

  • I know how meds need to be monitored i just have not started them thanks for all the advice. I can't type right now my hand is swollen and can't move fingers I'll type more later.

  • Jaclyn11305,

    One can have a good chance to go into remission and stop the erosion of the joints is when treatment started early. Erosion of joints is not reversible hence we need to avoid that.

    When I was diagnosed of RA by the GP, he referred me to the rheumatologist immediately. However, I was still being put on X-ray and blood test before I was treated. While waiting for the treatment, I went online to check information related to the disease and I came to know the very poisonous effects of the medicines that I might have to take.

    In addition, I also read that I needed to get treatment immediately to avoid joints erosion and to have a better chance to go into remission. I therefore decided to surrender myself to the professional.

    Also, I read the alternative beside taking the horrible medicines but the alternative can only help to reduce inflammation and pain but not to help the progression of the disease in anyway. RA patients need to stop the invasion of the disease to the joints and the muscle around.

    My advice to you is to get into the medicine immediately and do not go for any supplement. Stop the disease progression first before you consider other option to help in the process but you need to discuss with your doctor before you do anything.

    In the meantime, when you are still not at the peak of your pain, do exercise your joints. I sat my hands under my buttock because I could not straighten my figures. I could not exercise only for the first few weeks when I was at my peak of the disease because I collapsed.

    If you can still sit on the floor and squat down, then sit on your calf daily to ensure the mobility of your knees to avoid stiffness at that parts of your body. If you cannot, then try to hold on to a chair or table to do the squatting down exercise for your knees. Say if you can sit on your calf, then also do the exercise on your toes by kneeling down. After I failed to sit and squat for months, I tried very hard to do all these exercise to get myself back to normal. I can now squat and sit on the floor without any problem.

    Do not give up and get your treatment early.

  • Kai,

    I have followed your links and went over to read the posts of Dr. Monica Aggarwal, she said that she was a vegetarian hence it was easy for her to just get rid of the dairy products for her problem. She also advises her patients to do the same. However, she is still on methotrexate now but she is on a reduced dosage and she is very much better now. Bear in mind that she has taken the medicines for a long time already before she eliminates the dairy products from her diet, hence the methotrexate already works on her.

    I also have come across Paddison Podcast recently, Clint has put a disclaimer in his program that that is only for educational purpose and he is not suggesting RA patients to go without the medication. Also bear in mind that he was on methotrexate for a long time before he went into plant-based diet and finally get rid of the methotrexate and has a little girl for his family.

    All the RA patients that he interviewed were on methotrexate for sometimes before they joined his plant-based diets. Those that I went through, they are still in methotrexate but slowly reduce dosage.

    However, I do believe that some vegetable may help to reduce the inflammation and pain but it does not help the disease progression hence I suggest to take the medicines and no harm trying the plant-based diet and to remove the dairy products if needed.

    In my case, I do not eat much red meats before I was sick. I eat fish, chicken, and a lot of vegetable and fruits. I do love dairy products which I took daily. After I was diagnosed with RA and I read that dairy products might cause problem in inflammation, hence I stopped that totally. Since I am in remission after 1 1/2 year of methotrexate, I did try to eat a little bit of dairy products once in a while, say once a month. Since I love them so much, very miserable avoiding them totally, right?

    My doctor told me that they would keep me in close checked of the remission process, if I continue to have very low disease activities, then another 6 months down the road, they will reduce the dosage of methotrexate for me. They also said that they cannot take that off from me totally but they will monitor and reduce it gradually.

    You see, I am not on plant-based diet but I have been taken methotrexate for about 2 years now. I was declared in remission after about 1 1/2 years since the methotrexate, therefore RA patients should not just depend on alternative to reverse the RA process. This message must be cleared to avoid any further damage to us.

  • Hi Kai,

    No one -- Aggarwal, Paddison, McDougall, Klaper, Greger, etc. -- is saying (or implying) pop-off your meds & munch veg . .

    Yes, they never said that but the REVERSAL OF RA as compare to the disclaimer was just too misleading hence I am afraid that RA patients may not notice it and misunderstand the whole concept.

    RA patients are in great pain and they like to find the best solution to get rid of the problem immediately. Unfortunately, this is a long fight and no short cut to it. But with the hope to speed up the process, it is high chance that they will just overlook the disclaimer.

    However, if there is something to be put in front of the REVERSAL OF RA, I think it will attract more attention to avoid misconception. If you go through all the posts, some of them did mention that they will drop med and go for plant-based diet. Oh.... This is just not helping them but may kill all their joints eventually if they are not lucky enough to have the aggressive RA.

    I am sorry if I confuse you. This is all my concern in fact. However, no harm trying the plant-based diet as I said but DO NOT STOP THE MEDICATION unless being told by the physician. This is my only message across.

    I love dairy products very much but I don't eat much red meat. After I was sick and I came across the message of dairy products and red meat may not be good to arthritics patients hence I cut down the dairy products totally. Now that I am in remission, once in a very blue, I do try a little when I see them in the supermarket though.

    I will go through your links again during weekend, I need to work during weekday hence not much time for me to go through that in details.

    Thanks for the compliment of my photo, when I was very sick, I looked like a very old woman. This photo was taken last year end when I went for a local trip with my daughter.