RA and throat issues

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 4/8/2007 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Looking for some help again :)
I have had a throat discomfort while swallowing for the last 4 weeks. I am wondering if this could be related to RA.  
It all started the day before I got my prednisone. I felt a slight discomfort while swallowing in the left side of my throat. When I took the presnisone it helped with the discomfort but I would still wake up with discomfort. I just thought it was a basic sore throat problem. Then two weeks later when I still had it, I went to urgent care because my primary was out on vacation. The urgent care doc said it was just an infection and gave me arethromicyn (sp) antibiotic and it helped for two days then the pain came back. Some days the discomfort is pretty bad, some days I can barely feel it. So, I went to see my primary a week after I went to urgent care and he said the antibiotic is still working and it is probably nothing as I did not have pain from touch or any lumps in my neck. It still was discomforting while swallowing though. So, I let it go another week and a half until I saw my primary doc on thursday morning. He again examined me and found nothing unusual. No pain in my throat from touching it and no lumps but still hurts when swallowing. He said it could possibly be a localized infection and he set up an appointment with a ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor so I can find out for sure.
My worst fear is Cancer but something tells me it is not cancer because I would probably have intense pain. I think it could be the RA affecting me. After I take the Pred, the pain is eased considerably when swallowing. I also understand that taking these meds make it very hard to fight off infections. I am wondering if anyone here has had a infection last longer than 4 weeks.
Has anyone here ever heard of having RA affecting their throat?
I am scared more than anything. I hope it is nothing too serious. :(

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 30
   Posted 4/9/2007 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   

You are the first person I have found that has the same throat problem. I found out that yes in some cases our esophagus can swell. I always have to keep something nearby when taking meds to push them on down and cut my food up very small. My esophagus feels sore on one side or another most of the time.

Hope this helps.
Cheyenne,  WY
Meds: Enbrel/ MTX/ FA/ Klonopin/ Flexeril/ Lyrica/ Hydrocodone
RA Dx Sept05/ FMS Dx Jul05/ OA Dx Apr00
"Fear not for I am with thee"

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 4/9/2007 4:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I also have had a scratchy/sore throat since starting Prednisone. It comes and goes, sometimes I lose my voice. Its not bad enough of a side effect to make me quit the Prednisone. This drug had made me be able to functiion. Right now I don't any joint pain or swelling. My bloodwork came back and my SED rate is now normal! I have increased drinking tea and suck on a hard candy when my throat is bothering me. I am concerned about catch a virus as I work with children. Hope it nothing serious.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/3/2007 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm also having throat issues. Recently diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis a few weeks back & noticed I'm having a sore throat on & off now since then. I thought it was allergies but reading this makes me think otherwise. Perhaps it's our immune system running amuck because thats what happens with arthritis, right?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 6/4/2007 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
just a side note here:
it is possible to have arthritis of the vocal chords & larynx/pharynx...just another inflammatory issue.
but Zeek...do keep your appt. better to have it checked. it could be nothing, or could be something treatable.
did ya start any new meds for RA...many leave a person susceptable to "everything"....in the beginning when i started immunosuppression therapy, swollen glands and sore throat was a constant.

please take good care. it was really nice to hear from you again!
do keep us posted on how your ENT appt goes.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 6/4/2007 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   

Really? How can they dx arthritis of the larynex and such?  I thought maybe I was having sinus issues as (aside from my recent strep incident) I've been having persistant and consistant throat to ear pain since my severe (literally deafening) ear infection 1 1/2 years ago. I wonder if it's just swelling of the throat.....



Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 6/5/2007 12:23 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a horrible time with cryptic tonsilitis. I literally begged the ENT to take out my tonsils and all I got was a script for antibiotics. I was scheduled to return in three weeks. Instead, I was back again complaining of severe pain in 4 days. Finally, the ENT agreed that I had a problem and scheduled surgery to remove my tonsils. Little did we know that the increase in pain was due to a cold coming on. We had to postpone surgery for a week while I recovered.

I still have some recurring throat pain, but it's not nearly as bad as while I still had those tonsils.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/9/2012 2:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been having throat problems since last Oct I was seeing my doctor almost every mth he gave me meds and shots finally I just told him to get me to a ent specialist turned out I have reflux of the throat but I'm still having trouble so I might have to go back. I'm scared as well I got j.r.a when I was little I'm going to be 28 soon been wheelchair bound all my life and I have a 5 yr old little girl so things like this worry me :(

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 7/10/2012 12:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Interesting subject Zeekman.  Thanks for posting it.  Now I know that I'm not the only one.
Yes, I have had infections last more than 4 weeks.  Sometimes if the antibiotic doesn't do it's job, I then need another 10-14 day treatment.
I have had a sore spot on the left side of my throat also for a few months now.  My GP checked my throat and ears but found nothing wrong.  This sore spot comes and goes.  It also feels like I have a swollen gland on my left side of the throat occasionally.  I've been on Pred for 6 years.
I found this on Drugs.com.  Take note in the Severe side effects column:
Some causes of sore throats:
I hadn't mentioned my sore throat to my Rheumy since it comes and goes.  I did mention it to my Nurse since the side of my throat was sore at the time but she didn't say it could be from RA.
Type 1 Diabetes - Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA) - Asthma - Raynauds - other stuff

Folic Acid - Fosavance - Tramadol - Pantoloc(as irritation preventative) - Levemir - Indomethacin - Salbutamol - Actemra - Prednisone - Humalog - Fluconazole - Systane Ultra - Aspirin(81 mgs.) - depo Medrol injection - One A Day Multi Vit. - Cod Liver Oil Capsules - other otcs

Post Edited (msOuchie) : 7/9/2012 11:48:54 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 12/14/2013 2:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I have sore throat for more than 2 months. I have also rhomatoid arthritis.I think there is a close relationship between sore throat and arthritis. At first I felt a discomfort in the left side of my throat.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/21/2014 3:26 AM (GMT -6)   
I have also had a sore throat for the past 5 weeks. Been diagnosed with RA for a year now. Quick onset of severe joint pain. Cant complete my work requirements anymore. What next?

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 479
   Posted 3/21/2014 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lochner,

You should start a new thread and introduce yourself. This one is really old, any questions you have or if you just need someone to listen you know?

I also had sore throats that lasted for weeks as well. This was mostly when I was newly diagnosed about 20 years ago. I worried because at the time I not only smoked but also chewed tobacco on a regular basis. You know, as far as what next I can tell you from my experience that one day at a time is the only way I can manage to hang in there with this disease. If there is any way you can continue to work or have modified duties I would encourage you to do it. Working has helped keep me sane all these years but I had to abandon my profession to manage to work this long and take up much more sedentary work. Not to mention, the insurance coverage has been a blessing with the costs of treatments for RA.

At any rate I hope that you feel better soon and get things sorted out with your Doctor and begin some kind of treatment regime. There are many people who also use natural methods in addition to medication to manage their RA and I have had good results with this myself personally. Welcome aboard, this is a good resource and the people here are great. -Don

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 57
   Posted 3/22/2014 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Cricoarytenoid arthritis (RA in the larynx) is actually quite a common finding and has been mentioned in medical literature since the late 1800s. It is a common post portem finding and estimated that up to 80% of RA patients may have this.

Cricoarytenoid arthritis can present as a sore throat, dysphagia (trouble swallowing), dry cough (persistent), dysphagia (choking on food or water), dysphonia (change in voice--think weakness
or aphonia (loss of voice). Shortness of breath may occur as well.

This was one of my first symptoms, appearing about two years prior to dx with dysphagia, dysphonia and aphonia. I nearly had to leave my job as a critical care RN due to this symptom, as I lost my voice about half way through my 13 hour shift at least 2 times a week. I was choking on food and water as well, but had no pain. I had pretty significant shortness of breath as well. No pattern to it...at rest...with activity...just happened alot. Sometimes it woke me up at night. I had a full MS work up because of this symptom (my mom has MS). I was actually pretty relieved to discover that it was RA rather than MS.

Generally cricoarytenoid arthritis gets somewhat better with treatment of your RA. Mine is still present despite multiple medications, albeit slightly better now. (For reference I take high dose Mtx, Prednisone, Sulfasalazine, Plaquenil, and Rituxan infusion).

You can see an ENT (ear nose throat) doctor to have this evaulated with a fiberoptic scope. It's not a pleasant test, but usually will the doctor can see if this is your problem. Some people with RA end up having steroids injected into their vocal chords for this symptom, which can be helpful. There is a slight risk with this symptom of vocal parallyzed chords, which could require tracheostomy temporarily.

This is a symptom that you should mention to your anethiosologist any time you have surgery. Some RA patients develop stridor post op (after they are extubated--breathing tube out) and require tracheostomy. This can be temporary or permanent, but usually only the case in long standing cases of severe RA. Again, in a case like this, steroid injection would be helpful.

For minor sore throat...I wouldn't worry too much. It's just good to know what to watch for.

New Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/4/2016 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
So. I just got a positive ANA and RA is one of the options they are thinking, I have yet to see a rheumatologist. I've had tonilitis, or strep 7 times in one year!! Now I'm going back to ENT as they want my tonsils out. Not going to be fun as a 35 year old, single mom of 2 active boys and a Life in care giver for my mother. They said that biggest risk as an adult is the fact that we do not have the time to rest for 10 days. So I am really really scared. I too am wondering if it's related.

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 1510
   Posted 5/5/2016 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to the healing well forum. So sorry that you may have RA on top of your throat issues. Are you also having a lot of joint issues? Are you taking any medications yet?
When my kids were young I also had recurring strep throat. The ENT was reluctant to take out my tonsils because it is so hard on adults and some real dangers involved. Eventually I built up an immunity and haven't had strep for many years, despite working at a school and being around grandkids.
Keep us posted about your ent appt and RA dx. You.might want to start your own thread so members will see that you have joined us.
Best wishes!

New Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 5/6/2016 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes the joint pain is bad and muscle pain. Also, sciatica pain. I will do that. I have so many questions and so many symptoms. Now I am going to have this large lump in my armpit breast area checked. Possible lymph node? I hope so. I think...

celebrate life
Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2014
Total Posts : 1510
   Posted 5/6/2016 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
WOW Crystal, that is a scary thing! Please let us know. We are here to support you!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 227
   Posted 5/25/2016 2:57 PM (GMT -6)   
My mother says she feels pain in her throat as well and you are the second person who talked about throat problem with arthritis. I'm not really sure but it might be side-effect of some of the medicines. Hope you feel better soon.

New Member

Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/1/2016 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. So I had my tonsils out last Friday (I'm on day 6 recovery) They said strep tonsillitis 3 times in a year is cause to take them out and I had 7. So They did another round of antibiotics before the surgery for 7 days and the surgery was scheduled for 10 days after my first appointment but of course the antibiotics didn't work and they were still infected. Anyways my question is to any adult that has had their tonsils out I have heard some say you should start eating more solid foods by day six or seven to help the scabs come off and I still haven't been eating even soft foods much (not much appetite)maybe one time a day a little bit of oatmeal. I have been staying extremely hydrated. I would like to know opinions if it is best to eat a little bit more solid food at this time or if I'm okay just keeping hydrated. They weren't very informative at the hospital before I was released and what they said did contradict what my doctor said the form didn't really say much at all and he hasn't replied to my emails. I really need to know the best plan. Thank you!!
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