I have IBD and the arthritis symptoms in my hands are what got me to the dr. to get dx. At it's worst, I couldn't even move my fingers enough to squeeze shampoo out of the bottle or brush my hair (thank God for my roommate and boyfriend). I was sure I had RA. My rheumy had dx'ed my mom with RA the week before. Mine wasn't symmetrical and he sent me to the GI. Luckily for me, the Sulphasalazine that I'm on for my IBD is used for arthritis too. My GI wants me to taper down the Sulphasalazine, but every time I do my joint pain is back (which is odd since I am on 4000 mg and 1000 mg is what is usually rx'ed for arthritis). My rheumy has tried to put me on Prednisone a couple of times now when my pain seems to flare (no more heavy lifting for me), but I have refused at least for now. I have been on Pred for my asthma/bronchitis/pneumonia and HATE the side effects. Nail down everything cause I'm so hungry I will likely eat the wallpaper off the wall and I'm moody!!!
Thank you for the response. It's helpful to know that someone else has had severe hand pain with IBD. I can't take Sulphasalazine due to severe headaches, but I'm glad it has been so helpful to you. The Colazol I started Sat. seems to be working really well so far for UC, so I may need to just wait and see if the joint pain goes away, as the UC leaves, comes back, etc. to try to figure out if it's related. The symmetrical thing worries me, but it is bearable for now with the Prednisone-not a long term solution though. Maybe the Pred. will hold me over until the new Colazol gets UC under control, and I'll try going off of it.
Fingers are worst, but it's weird how some days both knees hurt, others it's both toes, etc.
I wonder if RA pain moves around while being symmetrical??? Still, fingers are the main thing.
Thank you very much for sharing your hand pain experience!
38 yr. female-not enough time to list all meds I take right now for various things.
My father has both UC and RA. It's not that uncommon from what I understand. In addition to the RA, the has the IBD-related arthritis as well (which I think includes heel pain?). His UC pretty much remains in remission, although it rears its ugly head every once a while. My father keeps a stash of prednisone available for just such an occasion. He takes methotexate for his RA (as do I). I would recommend that your rheumy and/or GI doctor put you on a dmard (sulfasalazine, mtx, biologics, etc...) while taking the prednisone. Then you can eventually taper off the prednisone while the dmard starts kicking in (most of the dmards take quite a while to start working). My rheumy only uses prednisone as a bridge drug, from one drug to the next, mostly because all of the dmards do take time to start working. Don't get me wrong--prednisone is a wonderful drug, works great! The long-term side effects are not pleasant, though.
I believe they determined that my father has RA in addition to UC because of an elevated rf. Plus, his affected joint distribution is not always typical of IBD-related arthritis. My mother had RA as well, as part of MCTD, and I have a slightly elevated rf and also carry a dx of RA. None of us have typical RA--it is a symmetrical arthritis, but doesn't hit just the small joints of our hands and feet. With me, it includes my shoulders, hips, ankles, and wrists in addition to hands and feet. It started in my hips and shoulders, which I understand is not traditional RA. But it was the same for my mother. My father had more unusual things, like the excruciating heel pain that goes along with IBD-related arthritis.