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GI symptoms related to RA??
50plus posted:
my 78 yr old mom diagnosed with RA 50+ years ago. 7 artificial joints, severely deformed hands, painful feet and ankles. About 3 years ago she began having recurrent episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. began taking cholestyramine, which did help with diarrhea. abdominal pain worsened; gall bladder removed in sept 2011. weight at that time was 138. continued to take cholestyramine; not as effective as before. appetite very poor. continued to have recurrent vomiting, sometimes food that had been in her stomach for hours with no change in appearance. sept 2012 weight down to 118. had a violent attack of vomiting bile, horrible diarrhea lasting for days, bright blood in her stool, excruciating pain. hospitalized, treated for pain, hydrated. began having "attacks" about every other week. hospitalized 5 more times. then attacks increased in frequency, but diarrhea wasn't as severe, so managed about a dozen at home with fentanyl patch and antinausea meds. weight down to 104. just spent week in hospital with GI specialist doing exhaustive testing. only finding was gastritis, bile present in stomach, barium moved very very slowly thru intestines. sed rate is 79. is this a common picture in late stage RA? Could it be inflamation of the blood vessels feeding digestive system? she has not seen a rheumatologist in 25 years. she is dying a slow and painful death from this.
bleeski responded:
I'm so sorry your mother is having such a hard time. She may be having some kind of complication of RA but it doesn't sound that way to me.Not being a doctor myself I wouldn't want to say for sure but I think something else is going on.I hope they keep looking for a cause so she can be comfortable.You sound like a very loving, concerned daughter.Best wishes to you both.
xperky responded:
So sorry she is suffering so much. It sounds like her intestines were looked at. The only thing that comes to my mind is possibly ulcerative colitis. I had it when I was young and it's hard to diagnose. Now I have RA. I recently learned they are both autoimmune diseases. A rheumatologist might treat both with a biologic.

I found relief from the ulcerative colitis with a low-fat, high fiber diet. Lots of brown rice, soft cooked vegies, and very lean protein. I found raw vegies aggravated things, and fats were the worst! No fried chicken, ever again! Your mom might try things like oatmeal, bananas, hard boiled eggs, steamed chicken, cooked carrots, mashed potatoes and apple sauce for a while and see if she feels better.

I sure hope your mom finds relief from her new pain quickly.

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