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I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my doctor says there is nothing she can do to help me other than using Voltaren Gel and compression gloves…She says I just need to learn to live with it. I wake each morning with my hand crippled and unable to bend my fingers as they are stuck bent and hurts like hell. Is anyone taking medications for RA? If so, what and if you have had any major issues with medications?

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Oh, how insensitive is your doctor.

After weight loss surgery, you are unable to take nsaids. (Sleevers are eventually able to take the odd nsaid but not regularly.) But there are alternative pain relief & RA management drugs for rheumatoid arthritis than nsaids such as steroids and dmards (like methotrexate which 2 friends take). Chat with your surgeon as to whether you’re able to take these drugs as it will depend upon where in your body they are absorbed. Hopefully you may be able to take one of those.

Plus as you lose weight some of the pressure will be taken off your joints which should offer some reduction in pain too.

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I know someone from another bariatric group who takes RA drugs and has lost a lot of weight. She has been put on steroids now and has stalled, but not everyone with RA has to go on steroids too. There are lots of monoclonal antibody drugs. Are you not taking one of those? Are you seeing a rheumatologist? Or was this your PCP?

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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, KateTheGreat1 said:

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my doctor says there is nothing she can do to help me other than using Voltaren Gel and compression gloves…She says I just need to learn to live with it. I wake each morning with my hand crippled and unable to bend my fingers as they are stuck bent and hurts like hell. Is anyone taking medications for RA? If so, what and if you have had any major issues with medications?

I have RA as well. I am not allowed to take NSAIDS because I am on anticoagulants, so even before sleeve surgery that was not an option. I take one Norco daily to help manage the joint pain and flare-ups. One a day is enough to keep me reasonably functional, if not completely pain-free. I haven't had any major issues with meds and I am careful not to take more than one per day. I used to take Plaquenil, but I started to have eye problems (which it's known for causing) so I had to stop. My rheumatologist would rather not risk giving me disease-modifying drugs like Humira due to extra risk factors from unrelated conditions. So Norco it is, for now. Is it your primary doctor or a rheumatologist saying you just have to "live with it"? In either case, I'd be looking for a new doctor due to that uncaring attitude.

Edited by Jaelzion

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On 8/1/2021 at 1:52 PM, KateTheGreat1 said:

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my doctor says there is nothing she can do to help me other than using Voltaren Gel and compression gloves…She says I just need to learn to live with it. I wake each morning with my hand crippled and unable to bend my fingers as they are stuck bent and hurts like hell. Is anyone taking medications for RA? If so, what and if you have had any major issues with medications?

I don't have RA, but rather Osteoarthritis (though my doctor is testing my knees for RA in November because my original diagnosis was for my back and hips, but I've been having constant knee issues since April. I literally had a flare that lasted the ENTIRE month of April from the 5th until the beginning of May. And I've had multiple flares since). Before my WLS I never had issues with NSAIDs. I was even given the okay by my surgeon to occasionally take ibuprofen or another NSAID for inflammation in moderation (because I had a surgery that involves the sleeve stomach. Just with the intestinal bypass bit added). You're not supposed to have NSAIDs at ALL with gastric bypass according to my surgeons office. As for my own experience, the one and ONLY time I took ibuprofen I went to the ER with such bad chest pains I thought I was having a heart attack. Then my doctor gave me Votaren Gel for my knees and I broke out in hives and welts on my neck, even though the gel went on my knees. I took two benadryl and went the ER where they had to give me a steroid shot and monitor me and the whole time I was panicking because I've had an angioedema allergic reaction in the past so when my neck turned red and got welts I started crying because I thought I was having a reaction like that and when the angioedema reaction had happened they'd told me if I hadn't gone in my airway would have closed up and I would have suffocated. I had flashbacks and I was a mess! Then recently my doctor prescribed me Meloxicam which is supposed to be a mild NSAID. But the two times I took it, just like the ibuprofen, I ended up with terrible chest pains (and I'd taken benadryl before taking it because... paranoia) and the only think that helped with the chest pain was taking valium which is for my BACK (the meloxicam was for my knees).

So, I just use aspercreme with lidocane for pain as well as tylenol and tumeric and ginger root for inflammation. They've been working, luckily. I do believe RA has some steroids options that may help, from my understanding (which isn't much, mind you). You could try the tumeric, which I highly recommend. And the ginger root pills work as a good secondary and have the added effect of settling your stomach if you're dealing with nausea issues lol (I get the occasional nausea issue so it's a plus, for me).

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