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Newly Diagnosed/3 weeks in on methotrexate

Hello, I was just diagnosed with Seronegative RA at 54. Some of the issues I have been experiencing over the last few years may be directly related to the RA but there is so much info out there. If it is due to the RA it would make a lot of sense and be a bit of a relief in a way. I don't sleep well at all and very little some nights. I am warm at times but no fever, stiff joints (hands, wrists for the most part). Within the last year continuous eye pain and I have seen my eye doctor three times and she says all is well, but she did not clear me for Plaquenil. Within the last three months I have developed a headache with a lot of pressure that does not seem to fully go away and makes it difficult to lay my head down and comes with neck pain. I have seen a few specialists and the MRI was clear. I follow up with my rheumatologist in two weeks and she is aware of the symptoms but does not elaborate at all. She did however rule out another issue when I shared the headache but told me to see a neurologist after that.

I realize this is a lot, trust me I know. Just curious if anyone else has had similar symptoms ? Also, I am on my third dose of methotrexate once a week and the symptoms in my hands became worse after starting and I have developed pain/cramps in my calves? Just wanted to know if any of this sounds familiar to anyone, thank you.

  1. , hi! While I wish you didn't have need of a community like this one, I am glad you found us! All of your questions and concerns are valid. While some could be related to RA, I would definitely talk to your physician, as you already have been doing. Definitely keep that conversation going. And, it's not unusual for a person with one autoimmune disease to be diagnosed with another autoimmune condition. It sounds like you have already been thinking along those lines and have been going through a battery of tests. I think it's great how proactive you have been about advocating for yourself and your health! I know it can be exhausting, but keep doing what you're doing.


    As far as the specific symptoms you are experiencing, they *could be* related to your RA. You can read a bit about nerve damage and RA here -- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/symptoms/nerve-symptoms. Also, here's a compilation of community member RA symptoms that are a little less common -- https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/ra-symptoms-unusual-frustrating.


    I hope this helps and I hope you hear from other community members that may have experienced the specific symptoms you mentioned.


    And I hope you and the neurologist are able to get to the bottom of those headaches and eye issues!


    Best, Erin, RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I will give the info a read, thanks again!

  2. After thirty plus years of RA, I'm not surprised any more by the side-effects (or what the medical community calls co-morbidities) that crop up. Heart attacks, cancer, pneumonia - I've had it all plus more. At this point I just assume that anything that goes wrong on my body is somehow related to my RA or the meds I take for my RA. I'm also sero-negative, so I know how difficult it can be to get doctors to listen to you when your blood tests don't show anything definitive. Either way, just know that you are not alone, we totally get it because many of us have been or are currently going through it. Keep on keepin' on, DPM

    1. thank you !

  3. Hi . On top of the excellent information from Erin and Daniel, I want to share with you this article from our contributor Andrew on RA and headaches: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/ra-can-be-a-real-headache-literally and also share that we have a sister-site for migraine at https://migraine.com/. In addition, this article from our editorial team looks at RA related eye issues: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/symptoms/eye-problems. Concerning the methotrexate, if you feel you might be having any sort of negative reaction you should bring this to the attention of your doctor. It can often take 6 to 8 weeks for the people to feel the benefits of methotrexate. Hoping you start noticing some improvement soon. Best, Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

    1. I follow up in another week or so. I have made a short list of a few follow up questions that I want to ask my doctor. Thank you for the links , very helpful.

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