Post # 1
Hi Bees, sorry if I’m a bit long-winded but I’m feeling kinda lost right now with my blood test results and health issues. Any kind words and advice would be greatly appreciated!
As we approach our church ceremony next May, we also did quite a few things – i finished my PhD, we started new jobs, moved to a new country, bought a house, etc. We had our ups and downs, but couple counselor thinks we just need to pick up communication skills, etc. Now the health bit worries me quite a bit, and my SO is supportive and all. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis before I met him, and I am on levothyroxine for the past few years since i have signs of subclinical hypothyroidism. Few months back i started developing joint pains – it was more of a sudden one day i woke up in a lot of pain and that’s the start of my pain journey. I moved from UK to US to join my new job and my SO, and saw my PCP for the first time after sorting out my health benefits at work and after two visits she finally referred me to podiatrist who made me go for some blood tests. I just got a message asking me to make appointment to see a rheumatologist because my rheumatoid factor is high.
I have a lot of questions about RA, how to manage the pain, about having children while having RA and hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, how does it impact your relationship, marriage, life, work.. we’re taking it easy with wedding planning since we decided on simple and informal style.
I need a lifestyle overhaul it seems. So any advice is appreciated. Thanks, bees xxx
Post # 2
Hi there Bee,
One of the things I learned in school is that contrary to popular belief, anything with arthrokinetics, its actually very healthy to perform stability excercsies and perform strength training. With time, and if you don’t excercise, the symptoms can become painful and unmanageable. Excercise helps combat this. I would look into excercsies that are appropriate for your condition to help you manage the pain and prevent total lack of use as you get older. This is what I learned while getting my NASM (National Assoc. of Sports Medicine) fitness professional cert.
In addition to that, I will tell you my abuelita (grandmother) has it and over the years she has NOT done her job of working out regularly, walking, doing some strength training etc and she is in quite a way. She is in her 80’s but she has been mostly immobile for that last ten years. She is very much with it but has recently started to decline because she took a terrible fall. She has also had to have double knee surgery which was due to lack of excercise and excess weight brought on by prescribed medications/lack of good diet/lack of excercise.
Obviously, everyone is different. But I strongly encourage you to research how to stay in shape with arthrokinetic disorders like RA to help you manage your condition and ease into a nice long old age.
Good luck to you!
Post # 3
avprobeauty : thanks bee! I’ll ask the rheumatologist about exercises when I see her next week. I am aware I would probably need a change of food and lifestyle.. i do hope bees with this issue could let me know how this impacts their lives and if children are possible or just a pipedream etc.
Post # 4
KatzeB : my grandmother had 3 healthy children if that helps 🙂
Post # 5
KatzeB : My boss has RA and has had it for many years now. He works out 3-6 times per week (bootcamp, weight training, HIIT, cardio), eats mostly clean (with the occasional cheat meal thrown in), doesn’t drink much alcohol (maybe once per week), and pays close attention to the signs of a flare-up. He also gets massages 1-2 times per month, and takes meds (humira injections) if/when the pain gets bad, which only happens a few times a year now. His main areas are his right arm (shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers) and his back. He’s in his late 40’s and super fit and active; thriving with RA is possible, it just takes a bit of extra work. Definitely talk to a doctor who specializes in this condition. Good luck bee!
*I’ve worked for my boss for 12 years now and we are also good friends on a personal level. I promise I’m not weirdly obsessed with or stalking my boss!
Post # 6
- Wedding: September 2014 - Jacksonville Inn
I don’t have a thyroid disorder, but I was diagnosed with RA 3.5 years ago. My best advice is to find a rheumatologist you like and trust. You will likely see this provider more than any other, so you need to have a good relationship. I’ve also learned how important diet is when you have RA. Sugar causes a lot of inflammation, so I eat a low carb/low sugar diet. I try to focus on whole, real foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. If you haven’t yet learned effective ways to control stress, now is the time. When I am under a lot of stress it manifests itself as pain and inflammation. Managing stress can really help with your levels of pain. Also, exercise is vital. I’m not out running marathons but I walk as much as possible. It has helped with my flexibility and managing stress.
I do not have children and RA is partly to blame. My ex wife and I tried to have kids for a long time and we weren’t able due to my fertility issues. When my wife and I had been dating a few months, she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I was diagnosed just a few months after our wedding. So, we had planned on adopting but decided to remain childless after I was diagnosed with RA. I just didn’t want to bring a child into our family who would grow up seeing us struggle so much. I never wanted a child to feel like they already had a job, to take care of me. This was our personal choice and I think for us it was the right one. That being said, many people with RA have kids and are able to raise a family without issue.
Post # 7
I have both RA and hashimotos. Diagnosed with RA about 8 years ago and hashis 3 years ago (I’m 47) I had 4 children before diagnosis and before any symptoms.
Have a look at the AIP diet it seems to work well for a lot of people (it’s too strict for me lol) I try to stay gluten and sugar free and that’s been ok. The best exercise when having a flare up especially would be yoga or tai chi try not to do a lot of aerobic exercise as it’s basically telling your immune system to start it’s next attack! They’re also very handy at helping reduce stress which of course can cause a flare up!
rest when you need to and never feel guilty about declining an invite if you’re not feeling up to it.
Make sure you have a good relationship with your medical professionals and keep them up to date with any changes or issues you have, don’t try and “grin and bear” things.
Hope that helps a bit
Post # 8
Hi bees! Thanks for all your assurances and advice! The first visit to my rheumatologist went well. She was very kind but is definitely a no-nonsense expert in her area. Very knowledgeable and knows exactly what she’s talking about. Went through the physical examination to assess my joints, and my blood work. She put me on Prednisone to suppress the pain and reduce the inflammation for the next two months, and hydroxychloroquine for as long as my body is happy with. She’s referring me to the eye doctor to do a retina examination due to the side effects of hydroxychloroquine. The toe joints are getting less painful as long as I keep to the right shoes. She was suspecting fibromyalgia or vitamin deficiencies so did another blood test on me. Vit D and folate were low! So I have been asked to take some supplements which will probably help with muscle fatigue.
It’s so hard to wade through things.. and i haven’t had time to process through all these. I sort of spoken to my SO about stuff but since his parents have been around for a visit, we actually didn’t have much time to hang out with just the two of us for the past few weeks. I was pretty sad for few days. SO did ask if I still want kids with my current diagnosis… How did you all feel when you first receive the diagnosis? Any advice?