Rheumatoid arthritis? - Mothering Forums
Women's Health > Rheumatoid arthritis?
McGucks's Avatar McGucks 09:16 AM 02-11-2011

I am 40 and have a new 10 m.o. baby.  Since the pregnancy, the knuckles on my right hand are so sore in the mornings for several hours.  The left ones might be a little sore, but the right is much more so...there's no comparison.  There is some swelling and redness.  My dr. said it might be RA.  I have no other symptoms.  RA is an auto-immune disorder, as is lupus, which my mother had (don't know if she had RA or other issues...I only know that she had lupus).  My questions are:  1) does this sound like RA? and 2) why would a pregnancy seem to get this rolling?  I am healthy otherwise.  I did have insulin-dependent diabetes during the pregnancy.

WildKingdom's Avatar WildKingdom 06:08 PM 02-13-2011

It could be RA.  A blood test to check for rheumatoid factor would help, as would x-rays of your hand.  It's not uncommon for auto-immune issues to flare up after a pregnancy.

McGucks's Avatar McGucks 03:00 PM 02-14-2011

Thank you for this information.  Any idea why a.i. stuff kicks up after pregnancy?  I appreciate your response.  Before you responded, I told DH I was bummed to not hear back, and he pointed out that perhaps most of the folks on this site might be younger viewers (at 40, I am not a younger mom :) and not experiencing stuff like RA or other a.i. things that older women might.  So thanks, especially!

WildKingdom's Avatar WildKingdom 07:01 PM 02-14-2011

I don't know if anyone really knows for sure, but pregnancy is an immune-suppressed state, and it's possible that the immune system kicks back up into high gear after pregnancy.


Multiple sclerosis flares and auto-immune thyroiditis are very common after pregnancy.


Even if you do have RA, the prognosis these days is so much better than it used to be.  The most important this is to treat flares promptly before any permanent joint destruction occurs.  Make sure that you are referred to see a good rheumatologist.  Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

acupuncturemomma's Avatar acupuncturemomma 08:10 PM 02-14-2011

Just wanted to chime in and say that I also had joint inflammation after pregnancy, though mine was more widespread: hands & feet. My knuckles and other joints would get sore, swollen, and warm. I tested negative for RA and lupus, and was going to see a rheumatologist eventually, but waited it out long enough that it subsided. I was 34 when I gave birth to my DD.


I was 37 when I had DS, and no inflammation at all after that pregnancy! Who knows.


Hope you find some relief and some answers.

californiajenn's Avatar californiajenn 11:37 PM 02-14-2011
Yes, unfortunately auto-immune disorders show up after pregnancy. I would highly recommend you read The Auto Immune Epidemic and the blogs http://perfecthealthdiet.com/, http://coolinginflammation.blogspot.com/, http://www.marksdailyapple.com/.

You will likely find relief by removing toxins from your diet like grains and industrial seed oils. Check out the paleo/grain free thread in the traditional food forum for support and ideas.
Treece's Avatar Treece 07:46 AM 02-15-2011

Well, I am 29 and was about 25 when a doctor first suspected RA. I couldn't afford the test then, but I am now waiting the results.


From my research, it seems that RA affects both sides of your body. For example, if your hand hurts, it's both hands, and so on. For me, it's my hands and rarely my feet. I really think it is RA b/c of my googling. Also, RA seems to strike younger people, 20's to 40's or so.


I believe that mine is due to my mother's making sure I was fully vaxed. The MMR never took, and I had my last one after the birth of my 1st ds. I'm still unimmune.

yummus's Avatar yummus 09:09 PM 02-17-2011

I have RA and it does sound like it; I got mine when I was much younger though, 18 I think, and what broke the camel's back so to speak, I believe, is stress... 

Treece's Avatar Treece 09:31 AM 02-18-2011

I think mine was triggered by stress, but I think that the vaxes predisposed me. I was in a very stressful women's shelter when the first attack happened, and it was my feet. I thought I had broken a bone somewhere, it hurt THAT bad. Now, though mostly my hands. Oh, my fingers are slightly crocked. I wish my doc would call me and tell me SOMETHING.

rio grande's Avatar rio grande 12:28 AM 05-17-2011

I am 37 years old. Have a terrible attack of hand pain - also thought that it is Arthritis. My granny who is 78 years old smile.gif  advised me to try smth on natural herbs/oils so I found   Nature Medic Arthritis Mitten and in a month pain gone. Do not know that helped me: either these stuff or I have just calmed down as pain's begun after I lost job.