Is There A Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis?
As someone who is afflicted by this painful and debilitating diseases, I want to share with you the treatment I am on that hasn't cured the disease but has stopped Rheumatoid Arthritis in its tracks.
If you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), you will want to read this article, if only to be more aware of a treatment that could stop the endless cycle of pain and deformity that occurs as a result of Rheumatoid Arthritis. It might not be a topic that I usually post on my website but it is one that I am sure many of you out there will find informative and perhaps even a lifesaver.
I was diagnosed with RA just over 4 years ago in my 50s and, with RA in my family, I was expecting this to happen but wasn't prepared for the truth of it.
After the onset of severely painful joints in my fingers, hands, ankles and toes, I visited a local Rheumatologist. After numerous tests, scans and x-rays, the specialist confirmed severe onset RA.
In only a few months before visiting the Rheumatologist, I suffered such severe pain that it made me cry every day. My joints were starting to swell and change shape and it almost looked as if the bone itself was deforming (rheumatoid nodules forming). I would wake in the morning after a restless night with pain in my hands and feet that was almost unbearable. The pain did not go away during the day and I resorted to all types of pain medication to try and relieve the pain, but nothing worked. At bedtimes, I dosed myself with sleeping pills just to be able to get some rest and relief from the pain. However, even the sleeping pills did little to provide me with a good nights sleep.
I had to wait for an appointment to see the Rheumatologist, but when I did I immediately burst into tears and begged for her to help stop the pain.
SO WHAT IS THIS WELL-RESEARCHED TREATMENT AND HOW WILL IT HELP YOU?
The first step in my treatment was to be given a cortisone injection and go on Coxflam anti-inflammatory tablets that I would take daily. The reason for the injection was to provide immediate relief from the pain.
I will mention that my mother also suffered from severe pain due to RA and she eventually passed away as a result of damage to her circulatory system caused by too many cortisone injections, so you can imagine that I didn't want to find myself in the same situation. I did, however, have immediate relief from the cortisone injection and would recommend this to anyone who suffers from severe RA pain.
Before taking any medication of this kind, do discuss with your doctor or specialist.
NOTE THAT I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL - THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THAT I HOPE WILL HELP SOMEONE ELSE.
During the first consultation, the specialist discussed various treatment options that are available to RA sufferers. There are quite a few options and tests need to be done beforehand to determine certain factors, such as existing lung or liver disease, HIV / Aids and so on. You must be tested for these before starting the treatment that I will discuss in a moment. You also have to bear in mind that almost all of these treatments have side effects. This is a time in your life when you will need to decide if you want to live with the pain or if you are prepared to set aside the side effects and stop the pain and progress of Rheumatoid Arthritis in its tracks.
During this time I also looked at many homoeopathic and natural treatments that were said to be ways to treat RA and the related pain. I had already tried CBD oil, which had zero effect and also MORINGA, which I simply could not stand the taste of, even though I tried for just over 2 months.
After a lot of thought, it occurred to me that I was only pain-free because of the cortisone injection and anti-inflammatory pills. Did I want to continue with the injections and possibly risk cutting my life short as my mother did or was I prepared to take the risk?
As the initial injection started to wear off and the pain started to re-occur, I realised that my life would never be pain-free if I didn't at least give the treatment a chance, so I agreed to go ahead. Believe me, it was a hard decision and it was only my hubby that helped me through the decision-making process.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT THAT STOP RA IN ITS TRACKS?
Once all the necessary tests were done, the specialist discussed treatment I would begin immediately. The drug used to treat and slow down the painful progress of RA is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) called Methotrexate. If you want more information on this treatment, visit arthritis.org where they provide a lot of information about living with RA and the treatments available.
The treatment started on the lowest dose of Methotrexate taken on a single day each week. This dose is steadily increased until you reach the stage where you know longer feel the extreme pain in your joints. Today, I take a total of 8 pills once a week and I am living my life without pain and deformity. Many of the swollen joints and nodules that accompanied the spread of the disease throughout my body have gone. There is no swelling in all my fingers and the nodules on my elbows and ankles have disappeared almost overnight.
While you are taking Methotrexate, you also need to take Folic Acid daily due to the fact that Methotrexate has the effect of reducing your body of folic acid and it needs to be supplemented.
IS IT WORTH TAKING METHOTREXATE?
It has been 4 years on the medication and, while I do have a few days here and there where I need to take an anti-inflammatory, I enjoy my life free of pain. I still have RA, but it is not debilitating to the extent that I can do nothing. I still battle to open tight jars, battle a bit sometimes with a can opener and sometimes get annoyed when I can't open taps but I'm still doing DIY and refuse to admit that I am useless. My family moan at me because I try to do everything I did before, but anyone who has RA knows that it will affect what you can do - as does age.
This article outlines my personal experience and if I could decide to take the treatment again, I would. My reason for posting this article is to pass the word around that there is a treatment out there; it doesn't cure Rheumatoid Arthritis but it does let you live your life.
My mother suffered for many years and to my knowledge was never offered Methotrexate as a treatment protocol. That could be because she lived away from the city and wasn't given the option, or opted against it. Knowing what she went through, I would urge anyone who has started seeing symptoms of RA to visit a Rheumatologist or Specialist.