Arthritis From UC?

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/23/2009 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I had an incident back in Feb where all of my joints were on fire and I couldn't move, at all. I got tested for RA and Gout, but it was neither. I looked up online if there's any relation to UC and it turns out there is. Anyone else having this problem? It said online that it usually follows a flare up, but I've been good for a long time now (knock on wood). It's starting to come back in my hands, knees and ankles now. Just curious

Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30986
   Posted 6/23/2009 1:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi...curious who did your tests for you? Your GI or GP or rheumatologist?

I would think there would be specific blood tests that could link them...

I don't have UC-related arthritis...

What medications are you on at this time....and were you on the same meds when you had the last bout of inflammation?

Have you had liver enzyme testing done?

Welcome to the forum!
*Heather* Status: maintenance Asacol 6 daily + Salofalk enemas every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~UC meds: Asacol (3 @ 2x daily); Salofalk enemas nightly for flares & taper to maintenance 
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed; Ranitidine (reflux);  Effexor XR 75mg(depression);  Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma) 
~vitamins/minerals/supplementsProbiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care + Primadophilus Reuteri). @ bedtime
~various digestive enzymes as needed
~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 955
   Posted 6/23/2009 2:26 AM (GMT -6)   
i had UC induced arthritis a while ago.
during my wedding of all things.  couldnt wear my shoes for more than 4 minutes.
for about 4 months my ankles and knees were so sore and painful it was insane. i felt like an 80 year old when i went down stairs.
very hard.  couldnt kneel at all.
swollen ankles like way bigger than cankles.
it went away on its own.
do NOT take ibuprofen for it even if its prescribed. that makes UC worse.
i dont know why it went away,but it just did.
uc does cause arthritis during flares.  it causes some other side issues too that some people get.
you can do a search on it in google.
steph - 33 - female - gold coast australia - UC since 2000
was in remission until i quit smoking 5 weeks ago  o.O  now im flaring like a solar flare!
waiting for blood test to see if i can start imuran
mesalazine granules 3g x1 a day (much nicer than a million tablets a day)
just finished 3 months of prednisolone (worked) and now back on 40mg a day (ick)
quercertin tablets, tumeric capsules, vitamin d3, enteric coated fish oil
pre-conception vitamins and minerals (cuz we trying to make a baby)
oxycontin for pain every 4 hours.  plastic bags in the loo from the involuntary puking.
i still eat what i want, when i want, if i feel like eating at all ... diet doesn't affect my UC.

Jen O
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 6/23/2009 6:09 AM (GMT -6)   
I started the flare that I am technically still in about 8 weeks ago. At the same time that my UC symptoms were at their worst, I had a great deal of knee pain (both sides), hip pain (surprisingly only on the left), low back pain, and neck pain.

I know that I did nothing to injure those painful body parts! Since I had my first consult with my new GI, I mentioned this pain to him. He had me bend forward to look at my back range of motion, move my neck around, and he felt my knees. He said my knees felt "boggy" whatever that means.

He said if my pain didn't go away as the flare went away I should see a rheumatologist. "There is a link between UC and arthritis" he said.

Thankfully the pain did go away when I started the lovely prednisone! Who can have inflammation while taking that stuff! smilewinkgrin

Anyway, as I am tapering, I am not getting a return of the symptoms so hopefully all is well. I have gotten back to working out and doing well.

I took some Ultram (Tramadol) for pain. It is not a NSAID so it doesn't supposedly affect the UC symptoms.

Good Luck!

Jen O
Age 34, Diagnosed with UC September 2008
Current Meds:
Prednisone currently on 20 mgs, tapering down 5 mgs every Wednesday
Will start Azathioprine 100 mgs 6/22/2009
Just started taking Apriso 4 tabs daily 6/11/2009 (SIGN UP FOR THE LOYALTY PROGRAM FROM SALIX!)
Biotin 5 mg
Vitamin D 2,000 IU per day
Calcium 1500 mg per day
Flaxseed Oil 2000 mg per day
Also tried: Remicade, Asacol, Rowasa, Cantasa

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:22 AM (GMT -6)   
I had really bad joint pain too. The theory I've heard, and that worked for me, is that when you have a UC flare you are getting larger particles of your food in your blood stream, and then if your body is allergic to something it attacks it where it slows down -- the joints. I have heard this from two separate MD's, both are integrative Drs. I did an AlCat test with one of them which tested me for 150 (i think) foods and found several problems, but one big one -- dairy. I quit dairy and haven't had a sore joint since even though I'm flaring. Also, something that seemed to help immediately was Omega 3/6/9. Might help lubricate the joints or something.

Hope this helps everyone.
36 yr old Female. Diagnosed UC Sept 2008.

Just started Corazal 3x/day. Rowasa 1x/day. Various supplements.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1766
   Posted 6/23/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I saw a rheumy and she said that UC-related arthritis only happens during a flare. My joint pain started after I was in remission, so she said that it wasn't UC-related. She said my symptoms sounded like inflammation, which in that case Remicade should help. And my ANA came back normal, so the joint pain shouldn't be from Remicade. The rheumy said she didn't have any answers at the moment and just to keep track of the pain. It's the worst in my fingers and wrist, and I'm just kinda dealing with it.

Female, Age 20
Remicade, Colazal, VSL #3 DS, Forvia, Vitamin D, Calcium, Prozac, Turmeric

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/23/2009 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
For me I had a really painful right leg nearly a full year before the first sign of UC showed up. I don't know if this is because I was flaring up and not having bowel movement issues or what but it was some pretty intense pain causing several visits to the emergency room and the loss of several jobs. I personally believe that it is UC related due to the fact that often when I am in a minor/moderate flare up my leg hurts even more than normal.

Diagnosed in November of 2006 with UC (ileitis) though I had symptoms ,which were misdiagnosed as IBS and hemorrhoids, nearly 6 months before I finally went to a GI. Also have a bad arthritic right leg that hurts in my hip least I think it is arthritis though it could be directly tied to IBD.
Colonoscopy in November of 2006 and took part in a Prednisone and Asacol taper program.
No serious flare ups just moderate ones for nearly 3 years. It was nice....
May 2009 experienced first serious flare up and now on prednisone 30mg daily and waiting for my next colonoscopy....yay.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 3231
   Posted 6/23/2009 12:35 PM (GMT -6)   
The joints in my hands hurt when I was tapering off of Prednisone. I had tapered too quickly--so quickly that the joints in my hands hurt.
Joy - 47 yrs and counting; Colitis Dec 06 (also have IBS); Currently in remission

Figuring out how to reduce a flare or get into remission is a trial and error experience. Don't expect your GI to have all the answers. He was trained in making diagnoses, prescribing medications, and surgically removing the colon. He was not trained in alternative treatments. That's why they are called alternative treatments.

Lexapro (for stress), Probiotics and Vitamins, Anti-inflammatory foods, No pro-inflammatory foods when flaring, No HFCS, No foods high in fructose, No artificial sweeteners -- Fecal transplantation worked, Prednisone stopped working, Colazal stopped working, Asacol stopped working

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1916
   Posted 6/23/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I had knee pain that preceded my diagnosis by about 2-3 years. I was having stomach trouble at the time but had not been diagnosed yet. Not long after starting the meds and my inflammation getting under control, the knee pain went away and has not come back!!! It was a nagging thing too and I am so happy to have it gone. Good luck, I hope yours goes away too.
diagnosed 1/09 with "diverticular colitis" ??
 50?  female
 colazal, fish oil, synthroid, zoloft, VSL#3 probiotic.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 6/23/2009 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh yes UC can have arthritis with it. It usually doesn't involve actual joint swelling, from what I've heard and experienced, and that is how you can tell it is with the UC and not rheumatoid. But still very painful! My suggestion is to buy a mini-van with all power features (doors, tailgate, etc.)--We bought that for my arthritis and I've never had it since. I'm totally joking, of course, but we always laugh that all we had to do to cure my terrible arthritis was buy a nice minivan. If only my UC could be cured so easily! Good luck.
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 6/24/2009 12:40 PM (GMT -6)   
supersaw said...
my UC comes with arthritis and involves great joint swelling

Huh! I stand corrected on the no joint swelling. Thanks supersaw.
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.

Asacol, Azathioprine, Prednisone, Rowasa
First Remicade 6/22/09

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2012
   Posted 6/24/2009 9:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I have incidents about once a month where I can't walk. It gets bad sometimes. My knees get stiff quickly. It hasn't gone away and I don't think it will. It can get bad before it rains or storms too. My rheumatologist prescribed Sulindac. Not good, made my stomach bleed, and it's not quite enough anyways.
19yr old female
Diagnosed with UC (pancolitis) in 2005 at age 15, on 2.5 tabs of Azathioprine daily
Arthritis in both knees (thanks UC)
Also: asthma, acid reflux, and Reynaud's Syndrome

uc/diabetes girl
New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/25/2009 7:45 AM (GMT -6)   

I too have UC induced arthritis. It occurs with or without a flare. My understanding is that since uc is an inflammatory disease anything that can get inflamed does. In any event, I've been told that it is called transitory arthritis because it comes and goes and moves around your body. My worst zones are my knees. I am on azulfidine, which I don't need for the uc, 'cause I also take asachol so says my doc. He believes that the azulfidine helps with the arthritis.
uc/diabetes girl
Insulin pump/cgm, 6 mp, asachol, asulfidine, folic acid, lipitor, remicade, lexapro

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