Is it realistic to continue manual labor with RA?

Can I expect to feel very sore every time I do limited amounts of physically demanding work?
I am a forester, and spend a lot of time walking in the woods. It has gotten very difficult. I used to work all day, now I am good for about 3 hours. My doctor said my RA is under control, but it is my job that is effecting me. But if the RA is under control, then why are my abilities getting less and less? Is it my job? Do I need to find an easier job?


Community Answers
  • davmo
    8 months ago

    I don’t know if this is covered in any of the articles posted previously, but RA is an autoimmune disease. When one suffers from one autoimmune disease, it is quite normal to suffer from multiple autoimmune diseases. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome would probably be high on the list. I don’t know what your doctor calls “under control,” but unless he is a Functional Medicine doctor, I would assume that means that he has you on the highest dose of pharmaceuticals he dares. Your answer would be to adopt the AIP diet, Whole 30, Ketogenic, GAPS or other clean diet that eliminates processed foods to address leaky gut.

    Also, autoimmune sufferers are recommended to get 9 – 11 hours of quality sleep per night. Eliminate stress and environmental toxins.

    If any of this interests you, I’d be glad to pass along articles that address all the issues.

  • Mike Long author
    8 months ago

    Thank you for the info. You are correct about my Dr. I am taking the maximum methotrexate allowed per week. He says I need to quit my job, but I am self employed. It’s not an option but the only advice I get. Any alternative treatment other than prescriptions are scoffed at.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    8 months ago

    Hi mlong37. Sorry to hear you are struggling with your work. Everyone’s RA is different, so it is extremely difficult to know what kind of effect yours will have on your job. Fatigue is probably the least understood symptom. One of our contributors discusses this fact here: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/ra-fatigue-complex-poorly-understood/.

    You mention that your doctor feels your RA is under control. However, if you feel it is not you are always entitled to a second opinion. While it deals with flares, thought you might be interested in this article from one of our other contributors about a doctor who would not let him settle for having the the occasional flare: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/the-good-doctor/.

    Unfortunately, only you will know over time if you are able to continue in your strenuous job or will need to move to a less physical position. If you do have to switch, you do have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and this article discusses some of this: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/ada-know-employee-rights/.

    Hope this information is helpful and wishing you the best. Richard (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team)

  • Share Your Answer

    Poll