Once you are diagnosed with R.A., what are the next steps. My wife followed the recommendations of her doctor and started taking two medications. The first was a steroid, prednisone. Reading the possible side effects of this and her other medication was enough to scare you to death. Everyone has read about the horrors of steroids, but when you are hurting as badly as she was hurting you are willing to try anything. The second medication was methotrexate. It was initially developed to treat cancer, but now is one of the gold standards for rheumatoid arthritis. There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Some patients go into remission when the damage to joints stops and the pain goes away using traditional medical therapy. It is interesting that trauma may cause a relapse of the disease. Another patient in the waiting room with my wife shared that her symptoms reappeared after she caught her hand in a recliner resulting in a broken finger. But many people have gastrointestinal trouble taking the drug. It can also be given as shots. Taken orally, most patients take the entire dosage once a week, usually on Saturday, when stomach trouble will not interfere with work. Many patients have to go to stronger, more expensive drugs as the disease progresses. In fact, one of the first things my wife's doctor told her was she would not be able to afford the treatment since we didn't have medical insurance and he would not accept Medicare or Medicaid. He said the usual progression of treatments would run from forty-five to sixty thousand dollars a year, but he might be able to get her on a trial program. This was even a bigger incentive for us to find a better solution.
I might add that some, including the author you are about to discover, says that taking these drugs can slow up the recovery using the diets described. She specifically mentioned the two drugs my wife started taking. I specifically asked her doctor if we could try the diet first. He wanted to start her on the drugs immediately to give her relief from the pain. We decided to work with Nell's doctor and take the medications. As I have said several times, I am telling our story and what we have done. I encourage you to do what you feel is best for you. Most traditional doctors will want you to take the drugs. You might want to try the fasting for five to six days and see if it offers some relief, and then make your decision, maybe before seeing the doctor. But don't put off getting a correct diagnosis too long.