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Lap Band and Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Started by grannytwinkie, Dec 30, 2008 1:32 PM
9 replies to this topic
9 replies to this topic

    grannytwinkie

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: Sep 2008
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 30, 2008 - 1:32 PM

#1
I have just been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and my treatment options are NSAIDS for the inflamation. I know that we are not supposed to use NSAIDS with the lap band, but I am in so much pain that I have to do something.

I am getting very depressed as I was finally getting my life under control. I had the band surgery, have lost about 40 pounds and am off of all of my diabetic medicines and now I have this new health issue hitting me like a wrecking ball! Does anyone else out there have RA and if so how are you treating it and still following the band rules?

Been crying either from the pain or depression for about a week now, need some help! :)


    RestlessMonkey

    So NOT a Cupcake

  • Posts: 6,186
  • Joined: Jul 2008
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgery Date: Aug 2008
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches
  • Starting Weight: 405 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 64 lbs
  • Current Weight: 341 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 170 lbs
  • BMI: 56.7
Posted December 30, 2008 - 2:06 PM

#2
I'd say call your surgeon and ask him for tips about managing the band and NSAIDS. It is important to take them if you have RA...not just for the "pain control" aspect, I believe, but also to help control the inflammation. There are MANY people who need NSAIDS for various conditions so you won't be the first. I am sure he can give you tips (like only taking them after meals, adequate water to make sure it passes through your pouch, whatever!) to allow you to safely and successfully take whatever drugs you need.

As to your depression, does your RA doc have a support group? I can tell you only what you already know; that many people have RA and live full healthy lives. After the first flare, it's possible that it will go into remission and not bother you again for years, if ever. The goal is to get the pain and inflammation under control right now. Just think how much WORSE you'd feel if you had been diagnosed with this and had NOT done the band? Dealing with 40 extra pounds, diabetes and the meds, AND RA?

It's a big adjustment but you've already shown, by getting the band etc, that you can take charge of your health. This is just a glitch. Call your surgeon right away and get that NSAID issue resolved; you'll feel better physically AND mentally.


    grannytwinkie

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: Sep 2008
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 30, 2008 - 3:03 PM

#3
Thanks for the reply. I have a call into my surgeons office now about the NSAIDS. Hopefully I can get the pain under control and be able to at least get some sleep which will go a long way to help with the depression aspect.

I am really bummed out because I wasn't able to pick up my 2 year old grandson when he visited me today because of the pain in my hands and shoulders. Made me feel really old and useless.


    RestlessMonkey

    So NOT a Cupcake

  • Posts: 6,186
  • Joined: Jul 2008
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgery Date: Aug 2008
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches
  • Starting Weight: 405 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 64 lbs
  • Current Weight: 341 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 170 lbs
  • BMI: 56.7
Posted December 30, 2008 - 3:34 PM

#4
I understand! (and you're 7 years younger than ME! I went back to nursing school when I was 50---overweight and out of shape. So yes, I'm insane! LOL)
I had "sciatica" right before my surgery and couldn't pull my own pants up. I sat and cried like a moron! It was like a whisper of what was headed my way. But that kind of thinking is nonsense...I don't know what the future will bring. And oddly my surgery (probably the heavy duty meds) "cured" my sciatica and I haven't had it since!
I normally say follow your docs advice but if he resists you about the NSAIDS I'd take them anyway. Mine told me I could take them if I needed, just to be careful and not do it on an empty stomach. What I do is take them JUST before I eat with minimal water... so they don't hang around in the pouch but go on through. Then 15 minutes after I have eaten I make sure I drink at least 8 ounces of water. That will minimize the danger to your band and stomach. Your surgeon will surely have some tips for you.

I think you're right, too....once you're rested you'll be better able to cope. On the bright side, unlike osteo arthrities, the RA can go into remission.

Hang in there!

AND you probably know this but if you've been in pain (and your RA untreated) for more than just a short while, it may take a couple days for the drugs (both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties) to really kick in. But they will help you!


    grannytwinkie

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: Sep 2008
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 30, 2008 - 4:07 PM

#5
Surgeons office called and they weren't thrilled with me taking the NSAIDS, but said that since I am on Nexium for Barretts disease that I can take them, but to let them know if I get any burning like an ulcer.

Well I am going to make sure that I take them with food or milk as well as taking the Nexium. Hopefully I can get back to a more active lifestyle. I bowl twice a week and have not been able to cause my hands and shoulders don't work very well lately.

I know what you mean about a glimpse into the future aspect, I mean if this is what I have to look forward to and worse, I am not liking it one bit!


    RestlessMonkey

    So NOT a Cupcake

  • Posts: 6,186
  • Joined: Jul 2008
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgery Date: Aug 2008
  • Height: 5 feet 5 inches
  • Starting Weight: 405 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 64 lbs
  • Current Weight: 341 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 170 lbs
  • BMI: 56.7
Posted December 30, 2008 - 4:37 PM

#6
Well, there you go. You don't REALLY want to take with food, though (once you're restricted) because the pill AND the food will just linger in your pouch, and there's no digestive juice up there. Probably safest for you would be to take whatever NSAID with a sip of water and THEN eat your meal. If your doc told you a different way of course do that. But we have to think differently with the band...once you're restricted, things slow WAY down. You don't want aspirin, ibuprofen, or other nsaid just hanging out for a few hours in your pouch, with or without food there.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!


    HeatherO

    Bariatric Hero

  • Posts: 2,946
  • Joined: Feb 2008
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 31, 2008 - 11:38 AM

#7
I agree about taking them before you eat with plenty of water to wash them down. When you get tight restriction food is definitely there for many hours.

Perhaps you could even cut the pills to make them go down a little quicker or crush them if they are not time release. They aren't so much of an issue if they are not hanging around in your pouch for extended periods.


    aubrie

    Bariatric Master

  • Posts: 1,669
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 31, 2008 - 2:07 PM

#8
I have the same issue, but I'm a bit hopeful. I've recently seen a new thing on the market as far as pain relievers, and that's the fast acting liquid gels. The melt faster and have liquid inside. I'm assuming the medicine would move through a pouch a LOT quicker. I see my surgeon on the 9th, so I'm going to ask him about it then.


    grannytwinkie

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 60
  • Joined: Sep 2008
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted December 31, 2008 - 2:32 PM

#9
I can't get into a rhuemetologist until after the first of the year so I went to my GP clinic today to try to get something in the way of pain relief. NOT A DARN THING!! I was told to keep taking the Reflan that hasn't done a thing to alieviate the pain at all. I am so frustrated! I layed there and cried for about 2 hours last night before I finally fell asleep, which lasted about 2 hours, so I am trying to work on 2 hours of sleep and can barely move.

So not looking forward to a future like this, it's just not worth it.


    Elismom1992

    Novice

  • Posts: 16
  • Joined: Feb 2007
  • Location: OHIO
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted January 1, 2009 - 5:36 PM

#10
I've been diagnosed with RA for about the last 2 years and I can completely identify with what you're going through. When it first started for me, it was absolutely horrible and the worst thing I had ever went through in my life. I was barely able to walk with the pain in my feet and knees and would cry and cry every evening. It's hard to explain to others who've never experienced that pain and stiffness. It intrudes on and overwhelms every area of your life; and it is depressing. There's definitely a mental aspect of the disease you're going to have to work through along the way.

But, first, you need to get in with a good rheumatologist and get your symptoms under control. My doc started me off on prednisone and sulfasalazine. The prednisone did get the inflammation and pain under control at the beginning, but the side effects are not good. I could have eaten my own leg at times. HUNGRY, HUNGRY, HUNGRY. But it did get things under control some what. I went off of it pretty quickly and am now on an Enbrel auto-injector weekly & sulfasalazine daily.

Like the others have said, take the NSAID either on an empty stomach, or (if it's a crushable pill like the sulfasalazine) crush it up and mix it with some yogurt or other soft-food. Just enough to not irritate the pouch. Then, follow it up with at least 8 oz of water. It will flush it throgh the pouch.

Good luck and I promise, it is something that is controlable, although right now, I'm sure it doesn't seem that way. The key is a rheumatologist who will listen to you and work with your symptoms and your situation.


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