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Fitness Professional Newly Diagnosed


I am a 51 year-old female recently diagnosed with RA and I work in fitness. I'm a group exercise instructor and a personal trainer. As I'm sure it is for everyone here, this has been very difficult news, especially as I'm concerned about my ability to continue to work in my field. My primary symptoms have been muscle pain after exercise and fatigue. When it started I had done some heavy workouts and thought I was coming down with the flu. I appreciate advice from anyone that also works in the fitness industry or that would like to offer some wisdom.
I'm looking forward to reading the posts on this forum and learning more about RA and just connecting with others here. A big thank you to the moderators and those that keep this site going. It is very much appreciated!

  1. Welcome natpt,
    Thanks so much for your comment and for sharing your story with us. I do hope others in your industry will be able to connect with you.
    Sounds like your determination to push through your symptoms (pain and fatigue) through exercise is pretty incredible and insipiring.

    Feel free to reach out to us anytime. Glad to have you here!
    Best, Lauren ( Team)

    1. I just joined the group. I see your post from 2017. I was just diagnosed and I am a 52 y.o. Pilates Instructor for 10 years. I work 5-6 days a week and also wonder how I will do my job. How have you been since you have posted? I have it in my fingers and I’m guessing my big toe joints as they have bothered me for years but I wear comfortable shoes to compensate. I’m stressed over this too; as well as everyone else I’m sure that gets this diagnosis. I started eating super clean and taking supplements to assist until my Rheumatologist appt. I don’t want the heavy meds. I feel mine was brought on by menopause. Wondering how you have progressed.

      1. Welcome aspenraleigh, and thank you for sharing your story and reaching out.
        We hear you on the stress of your new RA diagnosis, along with all the unknowns that diagnosis brings for your job future. I do hope that natpt will be able to get back to you, but if not, perhaps others within your industry can let you know how they are doing.
        Have you noticed if the change in diet has alleviated any of your symptoms?
        Please let us know how it goes at your Rheumatologist appointment. We are glad to have you here and feel free to reach out anytime.
        Wishing you a gentle evening, Christine ( Team Member)

      2. Hello aspenraleigh,

        I see I'm about a month late on this reply! Have you had your rheumatologist appointment yet?

        Since my initial diagnosis, I have been on quite a few different meds due to either the meds losing effectiveness (plaquenil), intolerance (methotrexate), or allergic reaction (Enbrel).

        I currently use Remicade administered via IV infusion once every eight weeks and so far it is working. As you mentioned, I have also noticed that going through menopause has made my symptoms worse and you will find that is common with many of the members on this forum. My gynecologist came up with a great solution and my rheumatologist has been happy with the results. Gyno put me on a constant low dose progestin birth control pill to stop my cycles. This has really helped with the flares and they aren't as bad as they would be when having a period.

        I'm still able to work and continue to train and teach classes but have had to back off a bit on how much weight I lift in strength classes and have had to modify some things. I've also gained a little weight but - oh well - I'm functioning and that is the most important thing!

        Good luck and I hope that you are doing well!

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