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Muscle weakness

Up until recently, my symptoms have primarily been joint pain/swelling/stiffness and fatigue in what I would describe as intermittent flares. Today my pain has been about the worst it’s ever been with the new addition of muscle weakness. I always assumed that came with long term reduced activity in RA, but this came on suddenly this morning and is particularly bad in my upper legs, to the point of trembling if standing too long.

Is it common to have significant generalized muscle weakness with sudden onset like this? Is this something that will improve with the right meds? Is it any indicator as to the severity and/or the long term prognosis of the disease? I’m not liking how quickly this has gone south. TIA!

  1. , I am so sorry you are experiencing a noticeable increase in your pain and muscle weakness. I can't offer you any specific advice, for your safety.


    But, I will say that each person's RA is unique. And having a sudden onset of new or worsening symptoms can be kind of scary and make you think, "Wait. Is this how it's going to be now?" Keep in mind (and you may already know this) that weather/barometric changes, stress, etc, can cause a sudden flare in symptoms. Even if those things have a never triggered an uptick in symptoms before, it can happen.


    I would definitely get in touch with your rheumatologist, if you haven't already. It's also important to rule out other conditions, just in case it's not your RA causing this issues. The right medications can definitely help with many RA symptoms, so that's something to keep in mind. And sometimes, it can take awhile to find the right medication for you. Living with RA can be a balancing act of being optimistic, while maintaining a healthy dose of pragmatism as well. And it's totally ok (and normal) to think about the 'what ifs' and wonder/worry about the future.


    I can't remember if I shared this article with you previously (apologies if I did!), but I find it one of the most helpful pieces for the newly diagnosed or those going through a rough patch with their RA -- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/back-to-the-future. Nan (the author) shares some great suggestions for living well with RA, despite what it may throw your way.


    All this to say, I *hope* what you are experiencing is just a blip that will clear up quickly, but in case it's not, please know we're here for you and this community is available 24/7 if you have more questions or need a place to share some thoughts.


    Keep us posted, if you feel comfortable doing so!


    Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

    1. Thank you! I am at the very beginning of trying to get a diagnosis (most days I’m convinced it’sRA but do have my denial days). I just established with a new GP and am trying to get in for an appointment regarding RA., so no rheum yet. I have let my GP know of this recent change so hopefully will have a referral very soon.


      I love the article you linked. I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks but have probably read that one three or four times now. It’s a great reminder of perspective!


      One of my life philosophies is living beyond regret. Regret is something that can serve as a catalyst to find the positive meaning/impact of events in our lives. Applying that to my worsening symptoms, I realize this is helping me combat denial and prioritize my health and with in that context, helping develop and offer support!

  2. Have you started any new medications? Perhaps a statin? Some people have a cytochrome P-450 reaction that often shows up as myositis. [The condition usually reverses itself once you've been off the drug for a week.]

    1. No new meds but I appreciate the information! I would not have even considered that. Thank you!

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