Discussions that mention prednisone

Arthritis board

So I saw my rheumatologist and she is testing me for RA and lupus right now. Also I am on what she calls her "prednisone challenge" I have been on prednisone for 4 days now and most of my joint pain has gone away ,although I still get easily fatigued. I don't have another appt with her untill the 18th. So my question is . Is anyone on here taking prednisone and is it helping? Do you think this means I do have RA? I'm just curious and I'm having a hard time waiting for my next appt. I mean I really do feel SO much better. I have been living with this pain for 2yrs. My regular DR. did some some tests that can back neg for RA ,so I've just been dealing with it on my own ,and was thinking I may have FMS. Finally couldn't stand it anymore and went to a rheumatologist. (another reason for procrastinating was it's not covered by my insurance and her office is an hour away. ) At this point I just want to find out what is going on so I can get on with my life and deal with it. Any insight into prednisone and RA would be appreciated....Thanks, Kat
hi Kathryn,
prednisone can help a lot with the symtems of RA, it can knock out the swelling and give you a great energy boost, but it also has a lot of downsides.
I feel it is ok for short treatments but nothing long term, It can make your appetite huge and also make you retain water( causing moonface - your face looking puffy and a bit round) I didn't care about all of these as i felt so much better than i had in a long time but unfortunately there is more....
If you are on a high dose of steroids( i was on 30mg per day) for a long period( 5 months in my case) it can affect your bone strength. they gave me calcium tablets and a bone scan and everything was fine but.....
Then my hip started really hurting and they are worried that the steroids have affected the bloodflow to my hip joint poss causing an avascular necrosis. i won't know till i get results of an MRI scan.

This is a worst case senario and i don't mean to scare you but nobody really told me about these problems and i wish they had.
I feel the steroids are a great short term solution, especially when you are waiting for a diagnosis, after you get that you can get proper treatment if it is RA there is a lot of options out there and there is one that will help you. I have had RA since i was a baby and have been through many treatment over the past 28 years, very few involving steriods. I know it is hard waiting for appointments and living in the UK i can't imagine not being able to go to the doc due to insurance. Please stay possitive no matter what the results, it does not mean the that your life is going to end if you are diagnosed with RA with the right treatment you can live a "normal" life, what ever that is.Keep in touch and and ask any questions, i hope things go well for you.

Dear Thistle...

Thank you so much for the info and encouragement. Yes ..I am a bit scared about the diagnosis of RA,and I do realize that prednisone should be only used short term ..which is a bummer because I feel pretty good on it. And I totally agree that our health care system is totally messed up. Don't get me started..I've probably lived with this for 2 years because my insurance won't cover my Dr. visits or tests etc. So sorry you've had this all your life. I hope that your tests come back with some good news . Take care ...you are an inspiration to me. Kathryn