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Old 07 March 2013, 06:49 PM
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MegansMom MegansMom is offline
Join Date: 13 January 2006
Location: Waldorf, MD
Posts: 1,009
Ambulance Which is worse, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus?

Short back story, I've been having debilitating pain in my hands for the last 4 months or so. My primary care ruled out osteoarthritis and sent me to an orthopedist. Had the ortho appt today and she said my x-rays showed darkening of the bone ends in the joints indicative of RA or lupus. While waiting on the results of more blood work, I figured I'd tap the collective knowledge here. Anyone have experience with either RA or lupus? How anxious should I be? I'm already dealing with 2 chronic illnesses (diabetes and glaucoma) so I was really hoping for something easily fixable, but it doesn't look like that going to be the case.
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Old 07 March 2013, 08:20 PM
Nana M Nana M is offline
Join Date: 28 December 2006
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 645

They are both autoimmune diseases and they both can lead to chronic pain and fatigue, but I prefer my RA to having lupus. At least with the RA I have been able to keep it under control (well, until now. The chemo I had last year supressed my immune system somewhat and it's punishing me by rebounding, a LOT). There are medications now, for both, that should allow you to keep the disease under control, no matter which one you have.
With the RA that I have, psoriatic based, the worst symptom is the fatigue I esperience when I'm having a rheumatoid attack. It feels like gravity is trying to force my body into the ground and I just have to give in and rest. I've managed to keep the joint damage to a minimum by jumping on the attacks immediately and not allowing it to get a hold on me, mostly. At 62, I am still pretty active and able to do almost anything I did when I was younger, so it is something you can deal with. Just be careful with infections. Your immune system will suppress, but not kill infections so you have to be aware of what is going on in your body.
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