Arthritis Pain and Suggestions

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 8/7/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 26 years old and have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease for nearly 3 years. I have been taking Asacol, Prednisone, Remicaide, 6-mp, and bentyl. The past year or so my stomach has gotten a lot better and bowel movements are even normal. I gained weight (a lot nearly 80lbs from prednisone) and was diagnosed with possibly having cushings syndrome.
In January I was feeling a lot better and slowly came off the pred. I still take the Asacol, Remicaide and 6-mp. I noticed that I started to get pain in my joints along with inflamation. One day it would be my wrist, next day my knee and everyday I would wake up with something different. The pain has gotten so severe that I have had to go to hospital because I couldn't stand up straight or do anything. The ER dr.'s put me back on steroids and they seemed to work. I then decided to see a Rheumatologist (who is wonderful) and diagnosed me with arthritis from Crohn's (fairly common). The dr. reccomended uping my remicaide and taking it monthly. I have since been following these orders but the pain is still there. After the remicaide the pain is gone for like 3 weeks but then BAM! it comes back. I have tried Ultrum, Vicodin, and Diladid pills but nothing takes the pain away excepting steroids. The Dr. put me on solemedrol (sp) and it seems to work but once I get off it the pain comes back. I am just so confused because my stomach is FINE! no blood, pain, inflamation or anything... why is my arthritis acting up? and I need to get off steroids because I feel like a hippo. I am averaging one hospital visit a month and that is a strain on me, my boyfriend, and my insurance.
If anyone has this or has been through this can you please give me some suggestions, advice, or moral support. I am so depressed over this (combination of steroids and pain meds dosn't help). I feel like I am always sick and I can't sleep at night b.c I'm afraid of how much pain I will be in the next day or I am in too much pain to sleep. I just don't think I can deal with this for much longer.
Thanks and sorry if I sound whiney but I am confused
Diagnosed with CD in October 2005. Currently taking:
Just when the catterpillar thought life was over, it turned into a butterfly.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 511
   Posted 8/7/2008 1:19 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry you are having so much pain. 6mp can cause joint pain so maybe that is something to look at?
I took it for several years and loved it but it did cause me joint pain. I dealt with the pain because it helped
with everything else. I want to go back on it now with this flare but my doctor won't do it.
Living with Crohn's Disease since Jan./2000 but had a few years prior
I'm a true Crohnie with IBS and Arthrities too
Meds I have tried:  Too many to list- LOL
Meds currently on:  Prednisone 15mg tapering
                           Methotrexate injections once a week 25mg
                           Folic Acid 5mg once a week
                           Wellbutrin twice a day
No Surgeries

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/7/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Maybe you could see if you could take your Remicade more often? I wish I had advice for the joint pain, but my Rheumy suggestions are just what you are doing. Either Pred, Remicade, Humira or Methotrexate. I am not quite ready to go to the big guns yet. I just take pain meds fr it. Sorry I couldnt be of more help.
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/7/2008 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Lissy! My 18 year old son was diagnosed two years ago with Crohns. He started Remicade about a year and a half ago. about 4 months ago he started having terrible joint pain near the time he was supposed to get his next infusion. He had never had joint pain prior to this. The Remicade had helped his gut a great deal but he was slowly needing it more frequently and the joint pain would always come about a week before the next treatment and would disapate about two or three days after he was infused. You say that your gut is doing well but it sounds like the Remicade may be wearing off. I wonder if when your joints are inflamed your gut may be also even thought you are not experiencing any pain. I only say this because that is what has happened in my sons case. He is now waiting to start Humira and will be starting problably next week. He got a lot of help from the Remicade but his need for infusions became too frequent maily because of the joint pain. The doc maintains that if there is so much joint inflamation it can be a sign that your gut may be inflamed as a result of the Remicade wearing off. I hope this helps. Your story sounded so similar to my sons that I needed to see if our info might be of some help.

Julia Hill
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 543
   Posted 8/7/2008 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Lissy,

It might be a good idea to ask your rheumy about remicade induced lupus.  The severe joint pain that jumps around (from wrist to somewhere else and you never know where it will hit) describes it to a tee.  There a few of us on this site that went through this.  Mine to improved with pred. but I also had to stop the remicade.  Please keep us posted!

Take Care,



Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 884
   Posted 8/8/2008 11:26 AM (GMT -6)   
lissy, I have Crohn's that is in remission but the arthritis related to it is definitely not in remission.  I eventually had to stop Remicade due to allergic reactions and loss of response.  I've tried Cimzia and am now on Humira and I can tell you that both helped a little with the joint pain, but not enough.  I've tried several arthritis meds and they either didn't work or they gave me ulcers (or both).  I had the joint pain before I started the 6mp, so I don't think that's the culprit.  My rheumy said the best results she's seen for the arthritis is Remicade.  She told me she doesn't think Humira will ever help enough that I don't also have to take pain meds.  I take Tramadol (Ultracet), which helps some, but not enough.  Steroids did nothing for the joints but killed my stomach.  So, I completely understand...I'm in the same boat as you and, unfortunately, we have yet to find a solution for me.  If you find something else that works, please let us all know! 

Crohn's Disease, Acid Reflux/Gastritis, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Endometriosis, Arthritis, Depression/Anxiety.  Too many meds to list them all.  =) 

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 8/8/2008 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
  Just wanted you to know I've had the arthritis from Crohn's for about 8 years. I was diagnosed with Crohn's at 19 and now I'm 49. I've had the surgery and have had an ostomy for 17 years. The surgery put me into remission 15 years ago and just recently flaired back up again. I know it's depressing to deal with this disease and all it's friends like the arthritis amd so forth but you will have easy times too. My arthritis goes from joint to joint. Wrists, feet, knees, name it, it's flaired up there at some point and many times several places all at once. I try to be tough and get through it and I usually can but when it's real bad I get depressed too. I don't have any miracles for you but I hope I can raise your spirits alittle. Try not to fret about tomorrow. The fear and blues are worse than the disease itself. Have a little talk with God tonight when your alone and cry on his shoulder. It won't cure your disease but he can do wonders for your spirit. Love, Tony

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1034
   Posted 8/8/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
a side effect of prednisone is a (hopefully) a temporary induced cushing's disease. cushings disease is due to an abnormal level of cortisol in the body, which is what happens when you are on prednisone, especially high doses and for a long period of time. hence the classic symptoms - moon face, weight gain, sweating, acne, mood swing, hair loss/growth. this all because of the cortisol. in most cases (and i stress most) things go away once you are off the medicine and the body has ample time to adjust and get back "normal".

crohn's is an odd disease in that it can also initiate arthritis. this happened to me like 8 months after being diagnosed. i was 60 mg/d of prednisone. that was some of the most pain i've ever experienced. i had to get my knees drained (luckily they held off on the ankles hoping that draining the knees would take of them - and it did). i dont know if there is any connection to the arthritis and prednisone dose. remicade is used for arthritis, so perhaps that could help???
Crazy Harry

Crohn's since 1993 (17 yrs old then)
surgery in July '05 - removal of 2 inches at ileum and 8 inches of sigmoid colon (had fistula into bladder)
Nov '05 developed colonic inertia; July '06 told i needed ostomy surgery
began maker's diet in August '06 - now feeling the best ever with no symptoms of colonic inertia and i kept my colon
med free as of 10/31/07

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