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A new “wrinkle” to my journey with RA….vertigo

For over a year I’ve been flaring off and on then about a month ago I ‘got to’ experience 2 ambulance rides to the ER (with the last culminating into a 2-day stay) because my BP was all over the map. I’ve never had BP issues before. In the hospital, I had every test to make sure it wasn’t my heart of a circulatory issue. I tested out “fine”. Docs were stymied but decided it might be a toxicity to a drug I was on. (?????) That is actually inconclusive. Once I was home and thinking I was feeling better some of the symptoms returned then it dawned on me that I was experiencing vertigo (BPPV…google it) which I’ve had 2 or 3X in the past. I’m currently going to O.T. due to pain in my shoulders so the P.T. did the bppv manipulation which gives temporary relief. In the meantime, I take OTC motion sickness medication. I’m so sick and tired of feeling this way. Weeks of it!!! Has anyone else had vertigo-related to RA?? My current rheumy isn’t sympathetic to most of my issues so I’m plugging into a new one on 8/3 and hoping with his ‘new eyes’ we can figure some things out. I’m on Medicare so I don’t qualify for biologics…well I do but our co-pay is way extremely high for our budget so that’s out of the question. Before ALL of this started I had trouble relating to posts of other RA sufferers…. that’s no longer the case. My 5 yrs. since diagnosis, it would seem, was a blessing—a lull before the storm!!! My life before was limited and now it seems to be more so as being dizzy and loopy-feeling doesn’t encourage me to activities.

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  • warriorwoman
    1 year ago

    Thanks for this post, old as it is! I am going through blood tests to confirm RA, and have been experiencing dizzy moments for about six months. About three weeks ago, though, I had a major vertigo episode while walking. It was scary. I reported it to my family doctor, and also asked that she do a blood test for RA because of unrelenting pain I was experiencing in shoulders and my left hand. Turns out I have a marker for RA, and am now seeing a rheumatologist for further tests. I’ll mention the dizziness/vertigo when I next see him. I travel for my job, and hope it won’t interfere with that.

  • LibbyRa author
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the information! As I read and reach out more, I’m learning SO much more from others with RA. I woke for the 2nd day w/out the dizziness and shakiness that comes with it. You know, weak in the knees kind of thing??!! We went to a birthday party last evening (large group of about 60 folks) and we left earlier than some because the noise was affecting me. I’d say sensory over-load. In reading a couple of the threads in this site…I “might” be one of the 1 % of folks where RA affects the inner ear and hopefully it won’t cause hearing deficite.

  • Kelly Dabel moderator
    3 years ago

    Thank you for reaching out LibbyRa, So sorry you are going through this. Glad you are feeling some improvement today and that you are finding others dealing with this. Thanks for chiming in LifenowwithRD! In addition to speaking with your doctor, this article on how RA can affect the ears may be helpful to you: Also, this article with some great comments from readers, about vertigo: Please let us know your questions. Sending positive thoughts your way that you will feel heard by your new doctor and be on your way to feeling some relief soon. Thank you for being part of our community. Kelly Dabel, RD – Team

  • LifenowwithRD
    3 years ago

    I have been researching this disease a lot since my diagnosis and there is a lot of documentation about how it can affect the inner ear. It sounds like this could be the issue with you as vertigo is a common issue when you have an inner ear issue. Just a thought. Hopefully you will find relief soon. This is such a mysterious disease to figure out, both for us and our drs.

  • LibbyRa author
    3 years ago

    Yes! I’m on support links on FB and it seems there are several of us with the issue. I used to have nearly chronic sinus issues (on that side of my head) but they disappeared when I changed my way of eating. Exchanged one thing for yet another, I’d say! I’m feeling a bit better today though my sleep last night was fragmented. My p.t. told me to sleep with my head at a 45-degree angle for 3 nights but it’s not comfortable. One more night!!!

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