New Here; Type 1 Diabetic w/Seronegative

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 2/1/2010 3:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Anyone else have Type 1 Diabetes and RA issues?
I've had diabetes for 31 years. Started having joint/synovitis/tendonitis problems about 6 or 7 years ago. I always went to a orthopedic doctor-- slways tried numerous treatments only to finally result in a surgery. I've had 3 trigger fingers, carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve entrapment (2x), de Quervains tendintitis, and AC joint decompression and clavicle resection on my right shoulder. When my left shoulder started bothering me (both AC and SC; essentially both ends of the collarbones) joints and the right began having problems again, I started to suspect that there had to be something systemic going on. I was told it was probably tendonitis or osteoarthritis but I'm not overusing anything and it seemed I was too young to be in that much pain from osteo.

Anyway, the shoulder pain was awful. I had neck spasms, back spasms -- all kinds of muscular stiffness as a result of the painful joints in my shoudlers. This went on for a year or so. Then in October, my hands started bothering me --just a few fingers -- they felt swollen, although only one of my thumbs actually appears swollen. In a matter of weeks, all my fingers were affected. Then, my left wrist started. And strangely enough, my ribs hurt.

I was amazed at how fast I lost strength in my hands - more on the left than the right. In fact, all the symptoms seem to be worse on my left side.

Finally went to a Rheumatologist and she suspected RA - although blood tests were normal -- except for very low Vitamin D. We tried Prednisone as a diagnostic tool. If I saw results, then we would treat is as seronegative and go from there. I went on Prednisone for 2 weeks and all the pain vanished (except for some achiness in the shoulders). As soon as I tapered to 5mg/day all the symptoms came back.

Saw my rheumy today and I'll be starting Plaquenil. Although prednisone really helped since I'm diabetic the steroidal meds make my blood sugars uncontrollable, so long term pred. is not possible.

The retina issues associated with Plaquenil concern me as a diabetic who's had retinopathy. My doctor said the dosage I will be taking should not cause damage. I'll be monitoring my eyes closely.
Anyway, looks like there's alot of helpful info on this site. Thanks!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1670
   Posted 2/1/2010 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Capri and welcome to HW. Yup a few of us started out with sero negative arthritis. In the end it all seems to be semantics because the treatment is the same no matter what form of arthritis you have!

I hope you get some positive results from the plaquenil. I found it didn't help me but others swear by it. We all have a very individual response to these arthritis meds, what works for one doesn't for another plus some meds work fast for some and take months to work for others. It is the most frustrating disease! So I sincerely hope you are one of the lucky ones and have some good news before too long. Keep us informed. It lifts my spirits when I hear others are getting well on their meds. Sort of gives me hope that one day we will find a magic cure for me!

Prednisone I love and hate. Brilliant for symptom relief but horrendous for side effects. Its good if your rheumy can get you onto something else that works.

Make sure you get your eyes checked every 6 months.

Welcome again, post anytime, golitho

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7056
   Posted 2/1/2010 7:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Vitamin D deficiency could be the reason for some of your pain. Lack of sufficient Vitamin D can cause bone pain, bone deformity, and muscle weakness.

I took Plaquenil for medication induced lupus. The plaquenil helped alot with my joint pain. I saw a ophthamologist every six months for eye exams. I have several eye problems and the Plaquenil did not cause any of them to worsen. It is important though to get those eye exams.
Moderator Crohn's Disease  & Osteoarthritis Forums
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, asthma, severe allergy and a host of other medical problems.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1354
   Posted 2/2/2010 3:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Capri.

Welcome to HW and the RA forumsmilewinkgrin

Dont you just love the pred - its a shame that its side-effects are so horrible long term - otherwise I would be happy to take it forever.

I hope the Plaquenil helps with your pain.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.


Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Current meds: Methotrexate, Prednisone, Humira
Bowel Resection Sept. 07
Forum Moderator - Rheumatoid Arthritis

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