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    Welcome to the RA Board!
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff posted:
    Greetings and welcome to the Rheumatoid Arthritis message board. Whether you've just been diagnosed, or you're an RA veteran, we have articles, videos, tips and best of all, support to share with all of you.

    So let me give you some links to get started. Firstly, RAtv is an excellent resource to learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis. You can learn not only about getting diagnosed and working with your doctor, but about diet, exercise, and even RA in children. You can also meet real people like an exercise director, beauty queen, state representative, and even a black-belt winning grandmother?all dealing with RA and its challenges.

    From here you can find links to Tracking Your RA Pain, How Well Are You Managing Your RA, and RISE, which is our educational program that can help you understand treatment options. This is a great page for you to bookmark.

    If videos aren't your cup of tea, check out articles in our Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Center. You can also sign up for our Free Rheumatoid Arthritis Newsletter and get tips and information delivered directly to your mailbox.

    Best wishes,

    AthenaCD responded:
    Family won't accept or acknowledge my 7yr olds JRA and I don't know how to describe what it is doing to her!!!! My husband refuses to let her take her meds unless she is in pain and I don't know what to do. Do you know someone that could help?
    saldou responded:
    I am also new. I was diagnosed with RA about 3 years ago. Recently my doctor told me that the disease was progressing a lot faster than he had anticipated. He gave me the option of starting Enbrel, Humira, or Remicade. What experiences do you have with these drugs? The only two people that I have talked to are recommending just starting with Remicade. Any thoughts???
    MsDaphne16214 responded:
    Take you husband with you when you take you child to see his/her rheumy and have the doctor explain what's RA is about. You can also get a lot on info off of WebMD. Have him read it or read it to him. Look under rheumatoid arthritis or JRA. People with RA and children with JRA usually look pretty normal and heathy, but they can sure feel awful. daphne
    MsDaphne16214 responded:
    These meds for RA affect each person differently, but you don't know until you try them. I was on Enbrel for years. It can, as every medication for RA can, have lots of side effects. I didn't have any originally. I went from a r-factor of close to 700 down to the low 200's. My symptoms needless to say improved dramaticly. Enbrel and Humira are injections that you give yourself and Remicade is an infusion that is give, I believe once a month. For me giving myself and injection was a lot easier that going for an infusion. You can read about the different medication on WebMD's RA section.
    DIYSTER responded:
    I agree with MSDaphne, everyone responds differently so it is difficult to say. I just started on Humira this week. On this medication you give yourself an injection every 2 weeks (they offer pens or syringes and I'm using the syringe which turns out is much simpler). It's only been a couple of days but I am seeing a dramatic improvement in my RA symptoms. So far I give Humira a giant thumbs up!
    lisacrt responded:
    This is my first time using a message board so hopefully Im using it right. Just Diagnosed with RA It started around january, waking up with stiff fingers and swollen joints, its been keeping me up at night. Seen my doctor and suggested on doing blood work , all the blood work came back negative for RA and also did the x-ray. my doctor suggested that I should try steroids, which I did started at 10 mg a day and celebrex with it. I seemed to help the swelling put the pain is still there, so he suggested that I should see a rheumotoligist, which I did mak the appt but have to wait until the end of may to see, and the appointment was made 2 months ago. So in the mean time he wants me to start methetrexate , but did state that it is very toxic to your body and to have routine bloodwork. I got the medication but after reading all the side effects I decided not to take it and hope that it wont get any worse until I get to see the rheumotologist and get more information about it. Well in the mean time my hands are hurting worse all the time now in the morning my fingers are very hard to open up in the morning and hurt really bad, my toes are starting to hurt allong with everything else, so I decided to give the methetrexate a try, I have been very tired and having headaches and it also seems to bothering my eyes, I took 3 last week and supposed to take 4 tommorow but not sure if I will or not Im in the health profession and work 12 hours a day and I really need to to be alert I work with very critical pts. Dont know what to do and Im very nevous can anybody give me any advice or positive thougts on this .
    Janellemf responded:
    I am very sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble. I was diagnosed at three months old with JRA and now am 23. I have been on and off methotrexate for as long as I can remember and recently stopped for fear of long term effects. As my doctor says.."medicine is poison", but if it keeps your joints in good shape and the pain away, as well as maintaining routine blood work, I suppose the benefits out way. The only advice is to keep moving. Take care and best wishes.
    depete67 responded:
    I am new to this board but have a few questions. I was dionosed with RA in Dec. went to the RA Doctor in March so from Dec to Mar I was taking Predizone 20MG one a day and feeling pretty good. When I went to the doctor she put me on Methotrexate, Folic Acid and is weaning me off the predizone. I have been in denial since I have been very healthy my entire life, I am now 60 what a birthday present!! I have have muscle spasms for the last 3 days and my legs are so swollen they look like elephant legs, is this something anyone else has experienced?? Also allergic to the sun, don't drink milk or eat meat so I had no Vit. D!! I am taking 50000IUs 2 times a week and will go for a bone dinsity test next month. I have never taken prescription pills, I always look to natural healing and joined several companies for their tested products, but it looks like RA is a different animal?? I am just a lost sole here and would just like to talk to some people that have the same awful stuff!! Thanks for listening and if anyone knows about the swelling, please let me know!! Donna
    Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
    Welcome everyone who has just arrived!

    After reading your posts, I am going to put up some links that may help. Just as a side note, more of the great RA folks will see your posts if you start your own new thread on this board instead of posting under a thread like this one. You do that by clicking on the orange "start discussion" rectangle on the middle-upper left on this page:

    For those looking for herbal/natural help, here's Natural Treatments for RA along with the Best and Worst Supplements and Herbs for RA.

    Would you like to see some good exercises for painful joints? Take a look at the Rheumatoid Arthritis Exercise Slideshow and get started.

    Can Diet Help Rheumatoid Arthritis? Finally, I have information on Swollen Joints, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), and Rheumatoid Arthritis Medication.

    Whew! I sure hope those help,

    marieelena1026 responded:
    Hello I have RA. I have tried many medications and either they dont work or I have had allergic reactions. I will be starting Rituxin next week. Anyone on Rituxin and how are the reactions?
    lisalisa977 responded:
    Hi. I have heard many good things about Rituxin however I was one that had a side effect. Unfortunately the treatment caused me to go into antifolactic (not sure of spelling and spell check was no help) shock. Just wanted you to know what to look out for. I started having trouble breathing and my blood pressure shot up very high. I felt like I had someone sitting on my chest. So just be aware. I know other people that have had good success with no side effects. By all means take the chance and I wish you all the luck that this medicine will work for you. Let us know.
    Kathcares responded:
    I had Shingles Oct 2007 went into Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN) and in the middle also diagnosed with non-seral RA. I have a permanent spinal cord Implant for PHN pain, and am currently on Orencia by infusion (too many side effects from methtrexate, Arava & Remicade) and need to premedicate with zytrtec, zantac (T-cell blockers) and Salumederol and extra fluids at infusion and still have flu like symptoms for 24 hours and working with RA Doc on this. I was bed ridden for 1 yr and 3 mnths and started walking out of my motorized wheelchair after PT in Dec 2008. My biggest irratation is the nueralgia and parathesis in my hands and especially my ankles and toes. I wrap Lidoderm patches that are cut in strips around my toes and place everywhere on very active days. I look like a mummy when I leave the house! I am trying to stay active by taking a walk of around 1/2 mile but come home tingling on face hands and feet and in extreme pain, especially feet. I have great walking shoes so that is not issue. Does anyone have any advice on dealing with the foot toe pain. It is having an effect on the activities I would like to do. Thanks
    Kathcares responded:
    I am so sorry that you are experiencing a flare that would require a change in meds. I have only tried Remicade for 8 months. It started well, but began to have flulike side effects that lasted for about 4-5 days so switched to Orencia. I still have to premedicate and am not feeling well for 24 hours, but I am in early 50's and have seen the severe damage done to older folks in my RA's office so am taking the chance. (This after and with failed tries with methotrexate and Arava)The infusion nurse told me it is very common for the self injectables to stop working after 1-2 years, then again the same can happen with Remicad or Orencia. My uncle likes the self injectables because he enjoys a social alcohol drink. It is recommended to not drink alcohol on the infusion type drugs. A lot will depend on your insurance, time factors etc. The good thing about infusions is how closely monitored you are and you will meet others that are receiving infusions and learn a lot! It is like group therapy with medicine! You can always request to try something different if what you are doing is not working. The WebMD website has great links to the different meds. Everyone is sooo different. Remember it takes a couple months for some of the meds to start working, so depending on how fast you are progressing may effect which one you choose. If you are seeing an RA doc who has a lot of experience does he/she have a preference?They see it all the good and the bad, and if he/she knows you well, they may have the best recommendation for you. Please post how it goes for you.
    Cecily1974 responded:
    I'm 34 years old with Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and osteoarthritis and feel all alone with these illnesses. My family doesn't understand and my dad says it's mind over matter to get over the pain. All the medications that I'm on are not helping. I'm still trying to find the right combination of meds. I live in AZ and I was hoping the warm weather would help my arthritis. However, it hasn't. I pray everyday that God will help me find the right combo of drugs and help me make it through the day. I'm glad to be part of this group, I hope it will be the support that I need.

    Thanks Cecily

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