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Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Old 04-28-2004, 05:38 PM   #1
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Question Rheumatoid Arthritis

Hello Beach Chickies~

Yesterday I saw an orthopedist who is a pain management specialist. I've had on-going back pain for the last several months and so far, haven't had a definitive diagnosis.

Dr. ordered some bloodwork as he thinks I may have the beginnings of RA. I'm concerned that if the tests come back positive, how will it affect me diet and exercise-wise.

Do any of you fellow beach chicks have RA or any related auto-immune disorders? If so, how are you managing?

Thanks,

Mamacita
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Old 04-29-2004, 11:29 AM   #2
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bumping this up...
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Old 04-29-2004, 12:36 PM   #3
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I imagine it will depend on how severe your RA is.

My friend/weight loss mentaur at work lost over 100 pounds a year or two ago and was doing a great job keeping it off. Last September she developed RA. It started in her wrist and spread throughout her body in no time. I gather that this was very unusual b/c her doctor said he rarely saw new RA sufferers in such acute distress.

They gave her an anti-inflammatory steroid, Prednisone, which controls the swelling and makes her feel better, but anyone who has ever been on the drug knows it tends to make you very hungry and makes you retain water. She told me she put on 30 to 40 pounds between September and January.

Like I said, I think her case was unusual with it being so severe, but I would think that if your doctor chooses to treat you with similar drugs, it may be a bit of a battle for you with weight loss. My friend has continued to exercise, though, when she can. She just has to be more careful not to overdo it now.
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Old 04-29-2004, 03:55 PM   #4
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I have lower back pain and have been told that I will have long term bone problems and to expect a hip replacement and RA later in life. This is due to something I was born with not due to being overweight or any other problems. I manage by keeping as fit as I can. I have experienced less back pain by losing 15kg (about 33 lb) on SB Diet since February and this has made walking much more tolerable.

I have always exercised and in recent years have done this a lot. I favour swimming and aqua aerobics because they are low impact and the warm water soothes tight muscles. From time to time I get a program at my gym which incorporates weights and cardio but usually use the bike or strider. Sometimes I just go to the gym and spend half an hour doing cardio. My specialist (from when I was a kid) always told me running and any jarring exercise was out but encouraged me to swim or walk. Obviously this cuts out team sports and aerobics but I have had patches where I do tai chi, yoga or pilates and find these all really good exercies. I manage pain with heat (hot water bottle, wheat bags, spa, hot bath), anti imflammatories when I absolutely have to, and trying to maintain good posture.

My weight gain came about when I had a long period of bad pain and cut back my physical activity. It was pretty easy to eat in front of tv or lie on the couch reading a book but this made things worse not better so I encourage you to get some exercise every day, just find something that you can do. Apparently a great exercise if you have really bad joint problems is just to walk up and down a heated indoor pool. At my gym there are a lot of people that do this. I have found the key is staying active even if you just do some yoga or pilates exercises.
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Old 04-29-2004, 05:30 PM   #5
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Thank you for the info and tips! Hopefully, I'm worrying about nothing...but I feel better to be prepared and not be taken by surprise.

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Old 04-30-2004, 03:15 AM   #6
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Just keep your fitness up and your weight down. This will reduce wear and tear on your joints and muscles.
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