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Ingrid’s Story

Hello! My name is Ingrid. I am a 25 year old who’s a senior at a University (paying my way through college, it’s tough). I was diagnosed with RA in September of this year, but I can remember that my first flare up came in April. I disregarded the pain and told myself I probably carried something really heavy. Fast forward to September I have another flare up, and this time it caused me to wake up every night in tears caused by the pain on my hips, knees, and shoulders. I knew then, that something was wrong, but I had no idea it would be RA. I thought I was too young. When I was diagnosed, it left me in shock and I immediately felt hopeless. September was not so kind to me. I always thought I was as healthy as a horse, I was always physically active but my diet was not the greatest, I admit that. On top of all that, I’ve always been a super stressed person. Any little thing worries me, and leaves me stressed out. I’m not sure what the root of my RA is, what triggered it, but I do know that I will not let it consume me. I have way too many goals that I WILL accomplish. I’ve done so much research on diets, medicines, symptoms and I’m trying to always stay informed about RA. I was recently started on Enbrel and small dosage of Prednisone but I had to quit Prednisone. It was giving me stomachaches and horrible migraines. Enbrel has seemed to work but for the past week and half, I haven’t felt the best. I had another flare up, but I’m not sure if I caused it myself with the way I was eating. Anyway, I’m here to read everyone’s story, and to stay informed about RA and ways I can help others. It can get very lonely sometimes, so we all need each other.

Much love,


This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • goey
    4 months ago

    Hi stay strong i had this disease 2012 I fell 95% better now due to aronia berry diet. read up on this berry. I have been of the med for three years with no problem now except for the 5 %.

  • Richard Faust moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Ingrid. Sorry to hear about the diagnosis, but it is good that you are educating yourself and have sought out a place you can get information and support. Concerning what may have triggered the RA, let me just suggest that it is useful to remember that RA is an autoimmune condition. No one knows what triggers it in any given individual and it is no one’s fault.

    If you have concerns over whether the Enbrel is adequately controlling your RA you should raise the issue with your doctor. In this article one of our contributors writes about a doctor who would not let him settle for the occasional flare and the damage that could ensue:

    Finally, yes, stress can be a major problem for those with RA. Sometimes the emotional aspects of a chronic condition like RA can take a backseat to the physical, but they are very real and important. They are all intertwined. This article from our editorial team looks at managing the these aspects, with some thoughts on management:

    As Monica said, this community understands and is here for you. Wishing you the best and please feel free to keep us updated on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator
    5 months ago

    Hi Ingrid @ingridp! Thank you so much for sharing your story. Welcome to the community!

    I am a fellow young RA spoonie. I was diagnosed at 20 and am now 28. I admire your strength and will power. I myself understand not wanting to give up on your dreams.

    I can only speak from experience but the first few years were tough, medicine wise. I took a while to find a cocktail that worked for me. Unfortunately, with biologics it can take a few months to see the full effect which eats away a lot of time. I would strongly suggest you work with your doctor and tell him or about your symptoms and concerns. It will help your healthcare team figure out the right meds for you!

    It’s quite possible a certain food could trigger a flare. I found out through some trial and error that sugar and potatoes are the main culprits. It might be worth starting a journal just noting down the foods you’re eating and what you’re feeling afterwards.

    This entire disease is trial and error but if you keep strong and working with your healthcare team and continuing your own research I am sure you will get through this.

    A new diagnosis is very overwhelming so please reach out if you have any questions or just need to talk. We’re here to support you!

    All the best, Monica

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