Anyone Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
I'm 45 and I've recently been diagnosed with RA. OUr band gigs 2 to 3 time a month. So many issues to think about. The swelling wrists and hands, the extreme fatigue, burning red eyes, etc. I've pushed thru a handfull of gigs already. I've started the Methotrexate 3 weeks ago, but they say that takes a few months to kick in. I'm past denial and pretty much in the anger/depression stage I suppose.
Wondering how many bassists/guitarists are coping and still able to gig out. Handling the hand dexterity issues as well as the fatigue. We've booked weddings and stuff a year out, so I'm concerned about those abligations, let alone a lifetime of guitaring. Heck, my retirement plans included being in a patio lounge band in a warm place my wife dragged me to.
Any encouragement out there?
PS - wedding gig tmrw night- We'll see how this one goes.
While I don't have RA, have you considered using a 124 fingering with a thumb pivot? It could be worth a try.
You need to email me ... I came down with severe RA at your age ... and now I am 59 and I have reduced my symptoms 95% ... I am not crippled, I don't have destroyed joints, and most days I am symptom free.
I am not talking about coping ... coping sucks ... Getting better is what it is all about ...
14 years ago this Nov.. .... I changed my diet, stopped as much processed foods as possible.. makes a HUGE difference.. get sun, fresh air, try to de stress... Smoke on club gigs kill me for weeks afterwards.
Ive been off my regimen and im feeling it.. but back to juicing, raw veggies, rotate any meats of no meats really helps..
I refused meds, but thats me..
detoxing, no dairy at all. if i have even a teaspoon of dairy im screwed...
Scullcap works wonders ...
Find a good naturopathic doctor.
Google natural cures for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
You have to be sure that supplements are bio available.. Not like some calcium supplements that are basically chalk or crushed wall board.. Your body cant use that.. PLUS Calcium needs magnesium and Vit D in order to be used.. ALSO it needs an Acidic environment to be absorbed..
Any medical or chemistry journal will tell you that... And many people with RA are Vitamin D deficient.
As are most americans... VIT D deficiency will manifest in many different ways.
One of the best sources of VIT D is the sun. Full body exposure between 11 Am and 1 pm.. It will also convert body cholesterol into Vit D through the skin..
The best to get are plant based supplements.. they are the most easily ones to assimilate.. And people with RA have a harder time assimilating .. Less stomach acid etc. in some cases.
EXCLUSION is a very good way to go until you know what sets off the inflammation.. Many try a rotation diet which works for some.
People with RA ( which is an auto immune) dis-ease ,, , will get a protein ( steak or chicken) and once it hits teh bowel the body sees it as a foreign invaded so it sets out to get the protein... Problem is the Immune system can not distinguish between the Food protein and the patients own body protein. So it also attacks the patients body protein causing in some cases inflammation. Which then causes degeneration etc etc.
I have studied this for 15 years or so... and i traveled the country speaking with many doctors.. and many in the ALTERNATIVE treatments. from NY to Michigan state university to California , Texas and Arizona.
Real important is a clean bowel.. Many with RA have leaky gut.. And may not even know it... And many regular tests dont show it . Worse off, many doctors dont know how to test for it. Its basically Auto intoxication. Which will cause inflammation.
Clean and healthy bowel system is a good start.
My tipping point was heavy Metal toxicity.. I have written a few papers about years ago. Went through 2 years of metal chelation via IV.. No party at all.
One doctor that i met, Dr Day is in California.. She once said,( and this makes sense) is the only good foods for us are foods WITHOUT A LABEL..
So its not all the stuff that comes in boxes, bags and cans with bright colors on the label etc...
That was the key thing that got me back to playing. Natural, organic, clean foods.. Non fluoridated clean water. I was in bed for nearly 1- 1/2 years... gave up playing bass becasue i couldn't do it. Had No Energy, so i made the choice to either brush my teeth or brush my hair.. Since i only had the energy to One of those two each day. So i cut off my hair and brushed my teeth daily.. That was it
I followed that DR Day protocol... And im back to doing arena gigs and my local home gigs..
I fall off the wagon from time to time.. And i know it when i do .But once i get back to eliminating all the non nutritious foods ( fast foods , and mac and cheese and all that crap ) and eating more nutrition dense packed foods of fruits , veggies, nuts, some lean meats, do the best to avoid GMO type stuff.. I feel great again.. not 100% as i was before it all started but maybe 90%.. and thats pretty good.. No meds that screw up everything else down the line...
Each person has their own journey,,, Its up to them what they wish to do and where they wish to go..
My worst nightmare. My mom had severe RA. Been super busy at work lately (construction) and a couple days ago in had weird finger joint pain, like I need to crack my knuckles but they won't.
We practiced tonight and I was fine but its always in the back of my mind.
Good luck to you.
Hmmm. Interesting stuff. I do think what you all are saying is true, that this is somehow food related. My wedding gig last night went well. No alcohol for me this time. Feel better today than I have all week especially my hands.. I find that odd after using them rather intensely last night playing and moving all that equipment.
I deal with arthritis. 21 years of Pain, fatigue, migraines. Also atrophy of the ulner nerve in the left arm. it's a daily nightmare.
As far as gigging I have gone the pain med route. Not fun but it gets me by.
Drink lots of fluids on gigs, consider a bass stand, yes they have them for bass.
A chronic condition is a heavy burden in life.
I was diagnosed in 2001 (early 20s) and couldn't play at all for about 8 months. Medicated heavily at first, but have tapered to just an NSAID twice a day. The biggest factor for me has been finding a routine. Sleep schedule, caffeine intake, alcohol, exercise, etc.: all moderated and all as regular as possible. Significant changes in my lifestyle tend to result in worse symptoms.
I still have mild symptoms, but they've been so well-controlled for the past few years that I was discharged by my rheumatologist last month! Took 12 years, but here I am.
RA has something like 192 sub categories... many auto immune related issues.. Where the body turns on itself..
The trend with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and eczema is that they are all auto-immune diseases and are best treated with a lifestyle and diet that minimize inflammation.
My dad suffers from psoriatic arthritis (which is very similar to RA) and was heavily medicated for a while. The medication helped for a while but ultimately led his body into a worse-off condition than before he started with them. Those corticosteroids and many of those types of medications have plenty of side effects.
Similar to what svtb15 said, many of these autoimmune diseases get a whole lot better with natural treatments and lifestyle changes. If you do your research you'll find that most diets tend to focus on the following similarities:
Because there is both a propensity to have RA and PA in my family, I have been starting early by ensuring I do all the above to prevent early onset. There are plenty of websites out there that focus on natural treatments, e.g. www.naturalpsoriasiscures.net.
My advice is to look into leaky gut syndrome and find a naturopath that can help you help your body heal itself and reduce inflammation.
Hope that helps!
I don't have RA, but I will say +1000 on eating natually. My family cut out processed foods a few years ago, and I don't have any major problems with acid reflux anymore, unless I cheat and eat cake after eating tomato sauce. I used to keep bottles of antacid tablets everywhere, but since cutting out white sugar, white flour, processed food, I don't need them anymore. Our rule is that if it is something that God gave us to eat, we eat it. If it is man made or heavily processed we avoid it. I even lost some weight in the process. Now, I just need to work on qty. :help: I wish you success.
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