[Member Discussions and Questions] RA Onset After Illness or Injury?

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January 1, 2013

One Chick wrote this message to you all:

There are some theories that RA and other autoimmune disorders may be “activated” by a serious sickness (even a bad flu) or a long term injury. I had a really bad back injury before I tested positive for RA, but I had no symptoms, until 3 years later when I was injured again, and then I was very sick the very next month after my injury. I am just curious, are there chicks here who can remember having a bad sickness or injury before your symptoms began?

Thoughts? Input or your experiences? They are all greatly appreciated. (((pain-free internet hugs)))

What our members have said so far:

Christine – I had the flu a couple of weeks prior to my first flare.

Nicola – Sorry but no I didn’t. X

Fiona – Hi :0) happy new year … My daughter gets sick ( cold flu throat infections ) kicks off her stills disease … Again … Pain free hugs to u all xxxx

Diane – I had sepsis and then got sick did not find out what i had til a year later, first thought it was ms, then checked me for ra. my Dr. said people can go years without knowing they have it til something triggers it.

Amanda – I am also interested as to whether anyone had a vaccination of some kind prior to symptoms. Or a period of extreme stress… Anyone?

Christina – I had Mono the year before I was diagnosed.

Courtney – I had mono also before I was diagnosed.

Marie – I had to have a hysterectomy and my RA showed up shortly afterward.

Lynsey – I wasn’t ill but had given birth 3 weeks previously.

Penny – I believe RA can be triggered by a bacterial infection. I did not have a serious illness though. I was diagnosed after menopause. I also believe hormones play a part in it too.

Kristie – I was 4 when diagnosed so my mother says that I had an ear infection after ear infection for 2 yrs before my arthritis showed its evil head.

Leslie – YES! I got CMV & EB. Cytomegalovirus & Epstein Barr right before I was dx’d with sero+ RA.

Carolyn – I was playing a game of touch football with some friends, except someone decided to tackle me hard, I went down on my arm, about 2 days later I couldn’t move it about a week later it traveled to my other arm, and that was the onset of RA

Lynn – Broke my right wrist and was never the same again in my arm,shoulders ,neck etc now diagnosed RA. Also just had an awful cold and really flaring badly. Happy New Year everyone ((gentle hugs)) x x

Stephanie – I didn’t have a trigger. Which is odd. I didn’t have an illness before hand. I just took ‘ill’ and we thought I had the flu. I hurt all over. never threw up , none of that. It got worse and my fee swelled awful and I could not walk on my feet or use my hands. 3 days in bed unable to move and getting worse my husband said this is not the flu and you are going to the doc. The doc took an hour to examine me and never said a word. Took extensive bloodwork and 3 days later went back in and got the news of RA. That’s when all the fun began. my RA journey began with a flare that didn’t have a trigger which is really rare from what I have been told.

Helen – My RA arrived shortly after having my gall bladder removed.

Barbara – I was diagnosed six months after taking the Texas Bar Exam. it was very stressful event and I think it triggered my RA and Fibro. I think I was having some symptoms during my last year in law school but it did not fully manifest itself until after the three months of intense studying and the three day exam….

Leslie – In addition to Penny, my RA got much worse when I had a hysterectomy at age 32.

Bridget – Yes! I was diagnosed at age 17, not long after a bad bout of mononucleosis!

Anjee – Mine started around the time of having a wound infection (untreated), I’ve always sworn that it was the reason for my immune system started over reacting but has never been confirmed, I feel well at the minute for the first time in three years, I have bearable pain and am not suffering from stiffness. I’ve been on Sulfasalazine for 3 years x

Cheryl – I think mine was brought on by extreme stress…my husband had a quad bypass with valve replacement, I was struggling with keeping lights on at home, getting chewed at work for taking too much time off to be with my husband, and trying to keep up with my job as a Sgt. at a max prison…two weeks after he came home I had a severe flare that made me look like the Michelin man for weeks. My rheumy said I was lucky it had only slightly affected my heart. She also said I most likely had had other flares, but being so active I hadn’t noticed it as much.

Heather – I had suspected RA was coming, but it wasn’t until a VERY stressful month that it roared into my life.

Waynette – I’ve read many stories where it hit after some form of surgery!

Pat – I had a huge amount of stress before and also worked in a factory and got sliced across my arm with a dirty knife. ( I worked in a pig factory )

Sarah – I had problems with my IUD and them had it taken out just before RA started rearing its ugly head. The inflammation was most likely the cause of the onset of symptoms.

Danielle – I was extremely stressed out and just up 24/7 …prior I had tore a ligament in my shoulder also.

Anne – Mine started when I was 13, triggers may have been growing up with parents who hated each other… Used to walk home and feel our house had a black cloud over stress from that , periods started about same time ..hormonal? …and suspected German measles shortly after? No serious injury or dramatic illness before symptoms at all.. So maybe stress?

Shawna – Extreme stress

Teresa – All I can say is VERY INDIVIDUAL! That’s why it baffles doctors and everything else. What “caused” it to come on isn’t how it happened for everyone. I know that mine has to be hereditary as my mom had it and several aunts and cousins have it plus I believe my granddaughter and grandson have it. Also what medications that work on one person may not work on another. It’s actually very irritating and probably (in my opinion) one of the reasons why there isn’t a “cut and dry” cure of it.

Tania – I had mono too!

Tree – My roommate at college had Mono a few weeks before I was diagnosed. I wrote to the “ask a doctor” column at Arthritis today and was told exposure to Epstein Barr virus could have triggered it as it is one of the suspected trigger illnesses.

Andrea – I fell on Aug 18, 2011. I twisted my ankle and sprained the muscles in my left arm. I couldn’t straighten my arm for a few weeks and had to do OT. My hands began to swell the end of September the same year and was dx with RA in January 2012.

Margie – I was diagnosed with Graves, Pernicious Anaemia & Sjogrens within a year of having a large ovarian cyst removed, my GP made the connection between the stress of this op as a factor. I was diagnosed with RA at the beginning of last year following a bad escalation in Sjogrens symptoms & chronic fatigue

Dee – Curiously mine came forward during a nasty divorce.

Abbie – I had surgery which took some time to recover from… My symptoms developed soon after, then diagnosed 4 months later…

Barb – I cant remember bein ill or havin an injury before i was diagnosed but i was diagnosed when i was 12 which is when my body started to change, it flared up for a few months then went dormant till after i had my son at the age of 22 but this time it stayed x

Cathy – I had a 104.2 fever and was really sick. Doc put me in the hospital. I was in and out of the hospital for 3 months. Went to specialist and they couldn’t figure out what was going one. The last time I was put in the hospital was by my family doctor and he figured out I had RA and Lupus. They say the fever brought it out.

Denise – I had a knee injury from tumbling off a balance beam. Once the knee started feeling better two months later, I got some illness that kept me in bed for a two weeks. That’s when I started showing signs. they kept attributing it to growing pains and the injury to my knee throwing my entire body off. I wasn’t diagnosed for 14 years after that.

Penny – They also say trauma to the body can cause it too.

Lucy – Halfway through investigations for abdominal pain and repeated bowel perforations, I was diagnosed with sudden onset RA. I’ve had joint pain for years, but it was suddenly severe. It also turned out I had stage 4 bowel cancer with two secondary sites. I don’t know if there was a link. I was 28 when diagnosed with RA and 29 when diagnosed with cancer .

Barbara – I had strep going into rheumatic fever when my daughter was 5 months old and I was 25 at the time.

Penny – sorry Lynn, hope your flares ease up soon, gentle hugs to you.

Barbra – I had major abdominal surgery 2 1/2 months prior to my onset. My rheumy even said that my surgery is probably what brought it out so drastically.
Barbara – Stress. Going through divorce at time RA struck. Also auto immune runs in family

Marina – I know he’s not a chick but my husbands RA was diagnosed after a hugely stressful time at work and terrible family stuff. His consultant said stress of different types is a huge common trigger. X

Judy – during my pregnancy, I stayed sick a lot. I n and out of the hospital and i was dealing with a load of stress. I  went undiagnosed for several years, doctors trying to say it was just my nerves from the stress. I  knew it had to be more and when i changed drs, she sent me to a rheumy and I  was immediately diagnosed with RA.


Elyse – I had a bad case of Mono. The following year i was diagnosed with JRA (i was 11). It was manageable for many years with the old method (Advil /Motrin) until my cancer diagnosis at 33. Then the R A was vengeful . Now I take biologics and I feel great!

Lindsay – Interesting theory… I was 10 and I had a bad case of pneumonia. A few days later, I woke up one morning and couldn’t move at all – I had to be hospitalized until they figured it out and started me on arthritis meds. My fibro came in my 20s, as a direct result of a traumatic jaw surgery. I had a baby a few years ago and both were mostly in remission during my pregnancy – and both came back with a vengeance after I gave birth. Not really a coincidence that my daughter is an only child (or that I try to live with as little stress as I possibly can).

Rana – I had a really bad cold that lasted for 3 months. It was caused by streptococcus and had to get my tonsils out but not before a lot of damage had already been done

Lena – Yes. Strep…rheumatic fever…then not long after diagnosed with RA.

Onnette – YES!!! According 2 a doctor friend, everyone is born w/the gene that causes auto-immune. Some sit dormant & r never effected, some r effected very early n life & some not until later. 4 some it takes another illness 2 trigger the symptoms. I was an all around athlete until my late 30’s when I feel head first down a flight of concrete stairs @ work. That was in 2006. I haven’t been that same since. It took me 3 yrs 2 recover, but the trauma triggered my mixed connective tissue disease.

Bert – I had a hysterectomy then an infection. Not long after that my dad got sick and stress and the infection triggered my fibro and RA. My mom also has an auto immune disease so feel a family tie included.

Angel – Mine was after having pulmonary emboli…was super sick, never got better, chalked it up to all the meds I was on for the clots, came off all those meds, never for better, RA diagnosed. The stress of that maybe? Also had a baby during the time of my PE

Nicole – I got diagnosed with lymes disease then 2 months later diagnosed with RA

Tanya – Diagnosed after giving birth became rele ill with stomach pains and flu like symptoms and went in from there, apparantley it is linked to change in hormones or sudden shock to you immune system like stress, illness etc xxx

Patricia – My first bed-ridden flare happened during a very stressful time, my son was on drugs, life threatening situations and my husband and I were building a house trying to make money stretch by doing a lot Of work ourselves. The only sickness I had ever experienced was was a bout with colitis a few years ago. I was Close to 50 when I got diagnosed.

Jennifer – I had a very bad sinus infection even had to go to the emergency room. I had to take multiple antibiotics to treat it because they wouldn’t clear it up … A month later my RA symptoms started.

Katrina – I accidentally drank black mold on the inside of one of my aluminum water bottles about a month or two before I started getting bad pain everywhere. However, I also had next pain for an entire year before that that was really bad, so I dunno. I guess it’s possible. I mean, I think it is. I think that sickness’ can make you MORE sick. I have a friend that got West Nile and has had pain issues since she was seven. Since the West Nile Virus she got much worse.

Mia – I was diagnosed after 3 or 4 recurrences of strep throat. I had been treated the first time with a penicillin shot and the subsequent times with oral antibiotics, and my newborn was 3 or 4 months old when symptoms of RA began.

Conni – Strep throat that was untreated for several weeks.

Susanita – I started with juvenile arthritis…15 years old-had 7 knees operation-no imusystem with 5…isolation for 5 months in hospital…then artrosis in both knees….this year i’m 44 diagnosis RA……………AMEN

Kelly – For me, I had to have a surgery on my spine and that is when we discovered the RA. I tested negative for a so long but had ALL symptoms of RA! Then one day it showed up in the blood work.

Lynne – Yep. Strep. Thought the joint pain was a side effect, but Strep healed – joint pain stayed. Diagnosed with RA 2 long years later.

Joe – I am a guy…I had open-heart surgery and developed RA about 6-8 months later….hope you don’t mind a guy comment

Jackie – Very shortly after being treated for meningitis I was diagnosed with RA. My doctor has said he truly believes that they coincide with one another.

Donna – I had strep throat, which led to scarlatina rash, which led to joint pain. Diagnosed a year after that.

Diane – Yes. Swine flu.

Mandy – Step then rheumatic fever when I was 2.

Peggy – No injury or illness, but the death of my father.

Susanita – maybe i became all this of heavy childhood

Nikki – I had baby # 2 misdiagnosed until baby # 3 10 years later.

Shannon – I developed thyroid problems after my second daughter. Had severe hashimotis and emergency surgery. Then developed symptoms around 6 months later. But diagnosed after 5 years of suffering.

Mary – I had a serious back injury and then less then a year later diagnosed ….I had the same theory

Becky – Mine came on after I had mono(aka mononucleosis, kissing disease, et al). It took me a long time to get over it & it was about a year later that symptoms started.

Heidi – I came into contact with the parvovirus. Had a lacy rash on my hands and feet. The rest is RA history.

Deborah – Severe Glandular Fever (nearly in hosp) when I was 15

Suzanne – Really bad flu

Sherri – Ely High fever and had to have my spleen removed…

Cyndi – I tore my quad muscle on my leg and was on crutches for a long time. I noticed my index finger had a swan neck and orthopedic surgeon thought it was weird and then called me to say I should see a rheumatologist. Sure enough, I have been downhill ever since.

Theresa – I was in a bad car accident.. in 2008 and in 2010 I tested positive for RA

Susanita – I think its becouse of all the violence

Holly – I had mono right before my RA began to affect me.

Jill – mine came full on about 1 week after having my 3rd baby and second C.Section in 18 months.

Amy – Got a horrible cold while visiting London, and was walking miles a day. Came home and BAM there it was. Ugh.

Amy – Horrible case of Mono around 20…symptoms started around 23 but for sure 24 Dx at 28. My daughter had a Strep in 1st grade OVER AND OVER AND OVER…she begin having symptoms in 3rd grade but it wasn’t until 5th grade she was DX with Graves disease.

Patty – I was 55 slipped and fell on ice tore my knee..had surgery then 6 months later ra started..was def from the fall!

Shawn – I had ankle surgery and then the arthritis and fibromyalgia went in to full on flare ups.

Kristen – Onset after having my first child

Andrea – Strep and diagnosed 8 months later.

Mary – I can almost pin it down to the day. I had never had any problems until February of 2008, when I got the worst case of the Flu ever in my life. It felt different too – every muscle and joint hurt, and I never really recovered from it. It was also a stressful time in my life (marriage problems that led to divorce), and I was diagnosed with RA that August.

Melissa – I had just had a baby and ended up in the hospital with a horrible kidney infection with several bladder infections to follow … then RA pain hit.

Becky – I had major neck surgery in the months before my first diagnosis. But, the injury was not a sudden one.

Liz – Mine came on right when my father passed away.

Carolyn – I was somewhat a sickly kid. I was diagnosed with anemia at a young age. Had strep many times. Had walking pneumonia & mono when i was 15. i remember the aching i would have in bouts after. i was always spraining my ankles & wrists. Didnt think about anything like arthritis back then. Looking back, i think i had it as a child.

Jacqui – Mine came after having my 3rd child .

Trudy – I hurt my back also and had surgery the next year after that a couple years later i got the diagnoses of RA, Fibro and Lupus.

Mandy – Minor laproscopic surgery that I had a horrible time recovering from. I was sick for weeks, not diagnosed with RA until a year later.

Susanita – omg all these stories—have a nice evening

Dana – 2007 celiac disease, breast cancer,then 2010 RA

Tammy – Extreme stress with bouts of bronchitis and sinus infections.

Kennan – It’s hereditary in my family. Mine showed up after rheumatic fever. My son, who is ten is struggling with high strep levels right now hasn’t been diagnosed yet. It can be strep related arthritis or JRA.

Augusta – I had a hysterectomy 7 years ago and 7 months later i developed RA
Kelly – I started having RA symptoms around the age of 6. Had a bad bout of chicken pox when I was 5.

Lucy – I had a bad flu in Nov. 1986. I was diagnosed with RA in Jan. 1987. It ravaged my body in such a short time. I went from a active 16 year old to bed ridden. It’s been a rough road but I’m still hanging in. Orencia has been a god send!

Regina – My mom died a year ago, and was sick and need around the clock care for over 5 years; I was diagnosed 9 months later

Amanda – Ok — WOW! I will add that I was the one who asked the question — Here is my quick medical history — Neck injury in 2008. NO pain, except in my neck, but PA did a RA test anyway 4 months after the injury. The RA test came back pos, but no other symptoms except from the neck injury. In 2010 I went to a military school, my husband left, I deployed, I was under extreme stress while deployed, then I fell down a flight of stairs and re-injured my neck, shoulder, knee, and ankle, in MAY 2011, then I had to cases of NEWARK flu in May and June, and then in July I started going downhill quick. By September, while deployed, I was missing meals just to get more sleep, and taking pain meds like crazy. BY November I was a mess. By the time we came back in Jan, I was dead on my feet. THE RA DR I saw specifically told me most people experience some type of trauma or illness before the RA hits hard. He described it as a light bulb — The immune system turns on to go to a big battle and does not know when to turn off (imagine one of those soldiers they used to find in the jungles of Japan or Hawaii who were still fighting WW2 years after the war or a Soldier with PTSD who still looks out the window all the time, for many years after the war. – He said that is just like our RA)

Shelley – I tested positive for Lyme Disease
Iris – Also is caused by a trauma and childbirth is considered trauma. That’s when mine started.

Chelsea – I had a pretty bad case of bronchitis before my symptoms started. Hrm, this is an interesting concept.

Cindy – Mine came on after an extremely stressful time in my life. I have always contributed it back to that

Mary – My dad was dying and had family stress and decided to diet. I lost 70 lbs in 7 months. One year later symptoms started.

Leala – After I had my son.. 2 years later.. Have 2 bakers cyst, anemia and being tested for RA!

Caitlin – I had a seizure when I was 15 months old, due to a high fever ,my mom says I complained about my legs over the next few years…I was diagnosed with RA at 4 years old! So…..its possible!

Suzanne – I was under tons of stress at work, was a sponsor on a 4-day high school band trip, (no sleep for 4 days) had a little fever for a couple of days and then three weeks later, my dad died.

Kathleen – I suffered for 7 years as a child with Kidney and bladder infections..on Antibiotics most of that 7 years….then In 2010 had a complete Hysterectomy and felt wonderful for about 4 months..then all of a sudden I had this horrible fatigue..I could barely make it home from work (7 min drive) without falling asleep at the wheel..then other symptoms hit in Jan of 2011 and diagnosed in March with RA very bad has never stopped flaring inspite of multiple therapys

Michelle – I feel playing volley ball and tore the ligaments completely off. I had to have surgery to repair it. Then after the surgery RA hit me like a brick wall.

Beatrice – I started after i gave birth to my daughter and a back injury

Shelly – Onset right after giving birth to my first & only child (son), 18.5 yrs ago. Came home from hospital with back pain, lost some hearing right ear… eventually loosing all my hearing. Had surgery for baha implant, almost 3 yrs ago.

Heidi – Had a really bad case of flu

Michelle – STRESS + Genetics= Onset @ 36. Mom had Lupus, then was Dx’d with Breast CA same time I was pregnant with 2nd child. My mom had 1st surgery, shortly before I had to return to work from maternity leave, a lot of stress @ work & commute, pumping/ breastfeeding, my son developed RSV from infant day care @ only 6mos. old, he was hospitalized for 2 weeks & thankfully survived. Following all of that, I developed RA symptoms. My symptoms worsened after my mom passed away. I’ll be 40 this year.

Fran – I had a sinus infection that just wouldn’t go away and was dx about 4 months later.

Michele – I was first one in family with it and no I hadn’t been sick or anything….I was actually the first kid diagnosed with it many years ago….I’m actually in the medical books…was diagnosed at 18 months old

Angie – Took care of two very ill loved ones for about four months. They both passed away within a month of each other. Shortly thereafter RA symptoms started. It took over a year to be diagnosed but do think it was the trauma of losing both of them so suddenly.

Becky – Well, when thinking about stress, I had been under extreme stress in the 10-12 years before my diagnosis as well.

Amanda – @michele – OK I don’t know what to say….. That is terrible and cool at the same time. You are famous.

Mandy – Stress

Sarah – Had a bad knee at 34 wks pregnant then 2 wks after birth all my joints started aching. Was diagnosed sero positive r.a 4 weeks later.

Nicole – I fell off a trampoline and shortly after I had acute septic arthritis of the hip then juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I was seven years old.

Elaine – I was diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid after a period of extreme stress,treated with carbimazole but doctors failed to keep a close enough eye on things and and had a severe reaction causing my joints to become swollen and painful, affected my liver and was jaundiced,recovered quickly after changes to dosage,however 3 months later had my first ra flare in hands,things just went from bad to worse until all joints were affected. 20 years later i”m still fighting ra ,it,s a daily struggle.

Stephanie – I had a sinus infection that lasted over a month and after that went away I had my first flare.

Samantha – Mine started as soon as I had my 3rd child birth and also had serious virus for months then RA symptoms began and now I am positive by blood test for RA

Jackie – I was diagnosed when I was 10 when I started complaining my right ankle hurt, they found some inflammation in my right eye at the time. the doctors believe I was born with it. It has progressed and I have it pretty much everywhere. I didn’t have any major sicknesses to cause it.

Doreen – Had foot surgery then proceeded to have most work related stress I’ve ever experienced. Was diagnosed shortly afterwards. Major pain in hands and feet.

Sarah – Was diagnosed after 4 c sections, 2 bouts of endometriosis and onset of Graves disease

Cindy – Yes had about a year of extreme stress beforehand. One thing was finding my Mom dead  from heart attack at home….had the worst flu that yr that I ever remember having too plus surgery. Daughter got married soon after. Lots of other things happened too. Yep. I heard that too .


Therese – Yes mine triggered after I got swine flu 3 years ago now – still suffering bad flares now

Terri – I was almost 4 months pregnant with my son.

Cathy – Developed mrsa that took 10 months of treatment. Had first (Undiagnosed) RA flare during that n

Sharna – I heard also possible after trauma to the body?? I had not a single symptom until after my first c-section at around 7 m PP. 1 round of prednisolone worked and then I fell pregnant again and had another c-section. This time only took 7 weeks to come back full on. Still struggling now and he’s 16 months Wish I could just permanently be about 12 weeks pregnant. I also had a brain tumor removed in 2007, so you would of thought that would of been more trauma than a c-section?

Jeanne – Oh yeah. Food poisoning in Dec 08. Symptomatic within 6 weeks. Finally diagnosed with Reactive RA or Reiters Syndrome. Developed into RA in less than a year.

Patricia – I had a really bad labor and delivery in 1991 with my Son. 38 hrs of labor then a c-section and then had seizures after. was in the hospital for 9 days. in 1994 i started having symptoms of RA and was put on meds. was really sick for a couple yrs. during my second pregnancy my RA flared and then the Fibro started.

Jody – I had mono when I was 28 for about 6 months. I never did feel like I recovered. I was diagnosed with RA on my 31st birthday.

Amanda – @sharna — Both are major stressors on the body.

Michelle – my dr. said having epstein virus,mono and some other illnesses as a child can make ppl more succeptible to activating ra if it is in your genes.which i had and had ja as a child but when i was young my parents didn’t know it was anything except regular arthritis.which i was in gymnastics at the time so i think since my dr. back then must not of explained it andi was functioning but my ankles would get black and blue and went to physical therapy alot. i had always been more sick then average and tired and achey and now it upsets me for being put down my whole life having it.i worked my butt off too til 8 years ago i slowed down more and more and got dx with ra with a form that affects my immune system more in the 2% range. i have had that dx since 28 but border other connective tissue diseases too. it has totally flipped my life upside down theses past years.i take humira inj.weekly and plaquenil at present but probably gott try a new medicine bc i’m notgetting much better. xx to all

Cheryl – Thinking about this, after my first post… I had my knees replaced 3 years ago, and this last April both knees suddenly swelled, and I became stiff everywhere. The dr. replaced all the plastic parts in both my knees at the same time, then after surgery decided it was an RA flare, so surgery was not needed. The RA had attacked the synovial fluid in my knees and elbows. The only injury I had was months early after being charged by a ram, and knocked down.

Nina – Yes, when I was 15 I was in a sledding accident, shattering my left arm and a compression fracture of my back, after I “healed” I kept having knee pain that the Doc said was growing pains, years later the knee pain re occurred and I was diagnosed with RA….. curious.

Carolyn – I had a very severe case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever about 10 years before I was diagnosed. We went through a horrendous ice storm that left us without power for 10 days and a lot of broken limbs and downed trees that had to be cleared from my pasture fence. Which I did all the clearing by myself. Shortly after that the signs of RA started, denial kept me from seeing a rheumatologist for a year after my PCP diagnosed my RA.

Monica – Showed general symptoms for awhile, but wasn’t until my grandmother passed away that I had a major flare up from stress of her passing that I was tested…very sad but glad she was not here to see it because she lived with RA for years…

Trisha – I had really bad strep throat infection in December (got strep often my whole life but this was a doosie), some bad stress for a couple months and that May is when my joint symptoms started. But i had eye issues for about a year before that that I believe is associated with the sjogrens.

Sharna – Yeah it was probably just building up.. Tumor was removed in 2007, c-section in 2009 then another in 2011. I’ve had 5 or more surgeries before my tumor being removed in 2007 for just random things like tonsils, grommets etc.

Becky – I didn’t make the connection until years later but my problems all started after I had my daughter….a friend also was diagnosed after she had her son.

Amanda – WOW — I just keep reading and reading… and except for a few who know they have had since a child, the majority of stories can pin-point exactly when it was activated. Amazing to me. I am sure researchers have done the research, but I think if they were to read this blog, I think even some Drs would be amazed.

Dana – I developed RA about 3 weeks after having my son. I had a difficult pregnancy and he was born 6 weeks early. My daughter developed alopecia at age 10 after being sick with a weird virus.

Tanya – Mine became active after a firefighter training in which I pulled a hefty firefighter out of a building. I thought I injured myself during training but it was just my RA flaring up

Elizabeth – Five+ years ago I’d broken my ankle—badly in 3 places! This was after an extremely heartbreaking experience that will go unmentioned here that affected our family. It was about a year later that I began to have symptoms of RA that went undiagnosed for 3 years despite several flares. It was thought I had a pinched nerve in my neck plus osteoarthritis. I’ve now had diagnosis for a bit over a year. Was told it’s an aggressive form but thankfully I haven’t had another flare in this time. I also have secondary fibromyalgia and Sjogrens. I suffer pain from the fibro quite frequently!

Janice – Can come on after hepatitis, flu etc. Mine was triggered by Engerix B – the vaccine for Hepatitis B.

Vickie – My husband has a very serious accident where his fire truck collided with a train, leaving him brain injured and leaving me as his caregiver along with our four small boys. Before that, I did not have fibro or psoriatic arthritis. So yes! It can leave a door open!

Laura – Childhood trauma and an unknown virus did me in– ra at 14; mono 4 x, monthly upper respiratory infections led to iga deficiency– don’t really make antibodies– now 48

Crystal – I was hospitalized at 13 with a very bad GI infection, really high fever, etc. After that the Dr found a large bone tumor on my skull. They waited 3 years to remove because of it being so traumatic but since these incidents my health has been in rapid decline. Before 13, I was never sick. Now at 39 & too many surgeries to count I know that it all started with the GI infection & stress from it all.

Feathers – RA symptoms started during recovery from turbinate reduction and septoplasty. What was expected to take six weeks to heal took in fact 12 weeks, although there was no infection.

Linda – In 2007 I had a period of ten weeks where I had two or more sicknesses at the same time. Whether it was a virus and the flu, or flu and gastro, or virus and gastro, or two different viruses etc. I had NEVER been so sick before and it was awful. I literally carried a zip lock bag full if meds with me everywhere. I had to have leave from work and wen I finally got better, my muscles ached so bad. After two months of going to work then crashing on the sofa till work the next day and falling asleep from exhaustion and pain in my joints I was asked to resign. Finally, 6 months later they diagnosed me with Lupus presenting as RA and fibro. Had it ever since. One thing I noticed in this thread that sooo many had the onset after birth of a child. Interesting.

Denise – I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism and approximately 6 months after I had surgery to remove the parathyroid gland my symptoms started

Krista – I developed JA right after I had a childhood illness called in 1966 echo something. Echo 6 maybe?

Debbie – I  was diagnosed after death of both parents..gastric bypass..developing anemia and vit def. from the weight loss..then RA and fibro.

Catrina – I believe my RA was brought on by being sick constantly as a child. I had a mom, that like a lot of others in those days, exposed me to others that were sick with childhood diseases thinking that it was best to get them over with. In combination with that I have abnormally large tonsils and was sick with tonsillitis or strep constantly. My pediatrician for some reason thought it best not to have them removed. With my immune system being called on so often as a child I’m not surprised at all that it decided to go haywire.

Alice – A few months before I first had RA symptoms I had a very bad chest cold. Probably the worst I had ever had.

Kim – Yep broke my leg and shattered my ankle. Went undiagnosed for 2 months, then a cast for 8 weeks. Six months later I could barely walk, so went to a different doc and had to have major ankle surgery to fix it. The initial break made me walk funny so it damaged both knees. During that time I was diagnosed, but at first the docs I saw said I just needed to lose weight and see a shrink!!!! I’m finally having my really bad knee replaced this upcoming week. My precious doc said that my hereditary pointed to it but that bad break I walked on pretty much sealed my fate.

Becky – I had a bug bite on my leg that resembled a Lyme disease tick bite. Was tested 3 x over and it wasn’t Lyme. After that bite, I started getting the joint pain and achiness. I then caught mono. It was all down hill from there.

Katie – I had strep throat. Two weeks later the stiffness started.

Pam – I had a virus then pneumonia which led to RA.

Marie – Yep – mine came on after a period of prolonged emotional stress with no outlet. Long story, but it all has to go somewhere. You can’t stay on flight/fight indefinitely. Other RA folks I know have also suffered from depression/depressive tendencies before developing RA – all anecdotal, of course, but then the person who knows you best is you. I don’t think we can safely say that illness, trauma or injury predicts RA, but if you’re predisposed to it, there is an awful lot of anecdotal evidence of sufferers who can locate a significant event before developing it. Wonder why there aren’t any real studies on this?xxx

Marie – I was bit twice by ticks. Tested several times for lymes always negative results. Two years later I was diagnosed with ra

Sarah – Mine started straight after I fell off a horse, while I was still in the spinal ward… Six years later and I’m still getting worse

Ruth – Good luck Kim on your upcoming surgery. Just had one 7 weeks ago.

Nancy – pregnancy…

Judith – Moved house 14.10.1985 (aged 14) to a house i didnt want to go to, within 4 weeks i could barely walk and my hands were like goalies gloves!! Id heard among the many theories that while childbirth is a common factor to bring on RA it may also be traumatic enough to flick the switch to off – theory of course!!!

Charlena – The death of two brother in laws within 3 weeks and a hysterectomy…shortly after was diagnosed with RA !

Becky – Good question. I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand and while I was bandaged up, my left hand started swelling but I knew it was totally different pain. The swelling and pain started traveling around and ended up in my right shoulder which became unbearable. When I went to doctor, they did the blood test for RA and I was very positive. I always wonder if the trauma from the surgery brought on the RA.

Jessica – This is very interesting! I really appreciate this discussion. Though I’ve had a “bad back” since my late teens, my RA symptoms didn’t start until I broke my back during childbirth.
Sue – Broke my wrist about 2 months before RA hit. Really was not so bad then as meds controlled it. Then 5 years later had a back fusion, and have lived with a horrible flare since. Not sure the back surgery was worth it!

Elaine – Marie, I too went thru a very stressful time over a 3 year period. Hospitalized with MRSA 2 years ago, never fully recovered, diagnosed with RA last year. Had strep a lot as a kid. I feel there has to be a connection.

Pat – I had the worst case of the flu two months before my first symptoms of RA. It was the sickest I have ever been with a virus and came very close to being hospitalized. I have often wondered if that triggered my RA. But then, I went through chemotherapy for breast cancer three years before my RA started. I wondered if the chemo didn’t trigger something. I will probably never know. And really, doesn’t matter. I have RA and need to do all I can to live with and get the best treatment for it.

Kim – Yep.. I gave birth to my daughter then got a bad cold within 6 months I was in full blown RA and fibro Flare.. Took two years after that to get a DX…. and another 3 to get everything under control now try doing all that with a new born and now a 6 year old

Brenda – This is very interesting mine kicked in about 3 months after the doc took me off hrt. It’s been building up ever since x

Gina – Stress stress stress then RA.

Sherry – I had a bad car accident. My face slammed in to my steering wheel (no airbags) and the top of my head hit the windshield (automatic seat belt was defective and disengaged). Few months later, symptoms started. Took a year before they figured out it was RA.

Debra – I had really bad pneumonia right before I got sarcoidosis, and RA, so bad that they had tried other meds before giving me penicillin. I was allergic, when a child.

Kira – Viral infection in December then injured my shoulder on a hike in June. Symptoms started and never went away from there.

Melanie – Yes. My 1st instance of JA was at age 14 after a summer which included a surgery and a physically demanding trip as youth camp counselor in the mountains with extreme temps-hot days/cold nights. My doc says there’s emerging data suggesting that immediate climate change and stress, alone or combined, can trigger onset or an event. JA turned to inherited RA for me. Daily migraine meds control my joint pain, exercise & a non-inflammatory diet has made a drastic difference in RA symptoms and the quality of my life.

Linda – Severe infection in my abdominal cavity and insurance took 3 weeks to approve a ct scan. By that time 2 Z pacts had knocked out the infection and I never had the cut scan. Three months later RA….

Pauline – Having to work all hours while i was poorly, because the government taxed me to hell, i also had to feed my child, doctors at the time were doing a campaign to stop over prescribing antibiotics, months later RA reared its ugly head!

Melody – I injured my left elbow twice when I fell from mountain biking. Both times I did not break any bones but there was swelling and a long recuperation. After the 2nd injury, I started waking up with a stiff elbow and limited movement. My Rheumatoid Factor was off the charts in my blood test and my Doctor, also a biker was sure it was OA but suggested I see a Rheumy. I was then diagnosed with RA and have been on meds since but only have pain on my left elbow so far. It has been 4 years.

Paulette – I think I got it when I decided to get a flu shot the first time ever in my life a few years ago.

Su – AS fell on my back on concrete, age 15. Couldn’t sit up from laying flat and stiff knees straight after. Down hill from there.

Veronica – The birth of my last child is what the DR said brought mine on.

Melinda – Someone ran into me and I broke my wrist while a freshman in college. Almost exactly one year later symptoms appeared and wad diagnosed two months later. That was 14 years ago and I still have a hard time. I did a lot off research while in college and something must “trigger” it. Sounds like that point was true! Praying for all of us to be pain free one day!

Melinda – When I say “ran” they hit me in a car and I hit the horn and the airbag broke my wrist… just to clarify. Lol

Stephanie – Yes. I had a bacterial infection….started having RA symptoms about 6 months later.

Carly – I had an extremely stressful 2 years right before I was diagnosed.

Lisa – I had my gall bladder out right before I got RA.

Kendra – I crashed into concrete ice speed skating – I was a high level competitor, and within 6 months I was on the couch with painkillers :o(

Jojo – i had a very stressful 11 years as a caregiver for my bed fast mother..24/7 and still am and right before the r.a. diagnosis i also had anaphalactic shock from azythromycin and almost croaked…

Lisa – Same as Janice, after hep B vaccine. I also had a virus/ throat infection for about 6 weeks that seemed to trigger it off x

Stacy – I blew a knee playing soccer, and ended up in a full body flare after surgery to explore the knee.

Melanie – I have Endometriosis (since I was 13) and Interstitial Cystitis then was diagnosed two years ago with RA. I have always felt everything else that I get is from these diseases.

Donna – I damaged my shoulder in 2006 stil have major problems with it exackly 12 months later got RA its in most joints now aswell as OA i live off morphine

Kim – ruptured a disc in my back, the RA developed at the same time

Elaine – I had to have surgery to remove a large non-cancerous abdominal cyst and within a couple of years of that was my first major flare-up. I had always wondered if that was the activation of my RA.

Susan – I had severe pneumonia and was hospitalized right before I had my first flare. That was 31 years ago

Stacy – I had a bad fall & broke my ankle in august & by October i was getting so tired & fatigue & hurting everywhere. By thanksgiving I thought I was going to die, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Saw my pcp who sent me to my rheumy, i was diagnosed in February with ra, sjogrens & fibro.

Christina – I had my gallbladder removed 3 mo prior to my first symptoms.

Janet – Adult onset mononucleosis that lasted 8 months.

Kami – I had mono a year before I was diagnosed. When I was diagnosed I was running track and stressing my joints. Weird thing was before the tested me for ra I was diagnosed with hemolitic anemia.

Bonnie – I had Shingles 6 months before, had a colonoscopy 2 weeks before, and had a very bad blister on the same heel where the RA showed up first a month before.

Alison – I got chicken pox then diagnosed with JRA 3 months later.

Tiffany – I had rheumatic fever 3 years prior. That’s how I knew I had RA. With rheumatic fever you have transient joint pain. When the pain started in my hands I knew I didn’t have rheumatic fever again and that it must be RA.

Kami – I was diag’ed 22 years ago…man long time. I was 16. Life sucked for the first 7 years. I was in denial. Now dealing well. On remicade mtx prednisone along with vitamins

Maggie – I had adult onset fifth disease (parvovirus b19) and a few years later, I had the same symptoms with more joint pain. RA was the diagnosis.

Shannon – No illness for me…. I fell pregnant. I believe the hormonal changes triggered my RA.

Melisa – I found out that I had mono after months of not knowing why i was so tired. They did some additional tests then within 6 months of hearing that I had it I was diagnosed with RA.

Kim – I’m so tired that I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to work full-time again. We need the money, I’m in too much pain. Is everyone so tired they could sleep all day if your life allowed it?

Kathleen – Went into a severe flare of RA, I even had a rash, immediately after childbirth.

Becky – @ 7yrs of age I was a very active (climbing, falls, playn softball etc) tomboy who had MANY bouts of strap throat, my parent were divorcen (stress) & was told I had JRA @ age 8 yrs old. That has been 44yrs ago.

Chris – as i look back on my childhood, i believe i have had this since i can remember, just didn’t know it back then, also my daughter has RA and i think the same for her.

Mary – Yes, on two counts. I had a severe dental problem flare up prior to the onset of my RA symptoms, which came on very strongly in a progressive manner over a 3 to 4 month period of time. I also had developed gall stones and gastritis concurrent to the RA symptoms.
Emily – I had a very bad case of strep throat. I’ve often wondered if there was a connection.

Kay – I gave birth to my son (my 8th child) delivered via c-section in the next few weeks we had every imaginable illness in the household – gastro, flu, conjunctivitis, we were all so ill – by the time my son was 5 weeks old I couldn’t lift him out of the cradle or change his nappy due to the pain, by 9 weeks I could barely walk. I had also been diagnosed with CMV a few years before that. We also live next door to a factory/workshop that emits paint fumes and I wonder about that sometimes. So interesting reading everyone’s experiences.

Mary – I was prescribed a medication to which I was allergic, and I went from not having RA to having an extremely serious case of RA in four days.

Jaquita – My knee surgery began it all! Just now getting the pain under control but worried about side effects from the medicine. It’s been hell!

Jeanne – All I can say is Ditto… I could have written this myself. I have not one more thing I can add. Except it has been a nightmare. I have 3 auto immune disease. Ra. Psa and Oa oh yea. Raynauds

Juliette – I had a c-section and a hard pregnancy.

Julie – I had mono when I was 2 and later when I was 16 (I know that’s supposed to be impossible, but…). I’ve been someone who’s been sick a lot over my lifetime. I got a bad case of cat scratch fever when I was 32 (temp of 106, in ICU for four days and hospital for another week and two blood transfusions), and was diagnosed with RA when I was 34.
Rosa – December 2011 I fell on my knees, I immediately started with pain and fever especially my knees…I was diagnosed in late February 2012 with OA and RA!!!! Grrrrrr!!!!! I don’t like the new me with so many limitations…..

Lisa – I had my gallbladder removed and never felt well since. I was dx with fibromyalgia within a year of the surgery and RA six months after that.

Brooke – Just 3 months after I got mono

Deanna – My Aunt was diagnosed @ 80, Me @ 42 and now my sister @ 42 For us I believe genetics predisposed us. What actually triggered is the question.

Eileen – I do not remember any injury or illness prior to RA .

Rebecca – I had untreated Lyme disease 6 months before i started having RA symptoms.

Susan – Mine started 3 months after a severe lung infection.

Heidi – Oh yes. Had a bladder: infection Minor Med Clinic doc prescribed Ciprofloxacin since I am allergic to Penicillin and Sulfa. After telling him of a reaction I had years earlier, he told me I had no choice. After the second pill I had a severe reaction. Everything went down hill from there. Pain, pain, pain. After three months of fever, rashes and misery I was diagnosed with RA. When the immune system is down RA can set in.

Estrella – I did not have any illnesses or injuries immediately before the RA started rearing it’s ugly head. Lots of injuries and illnesses before that throughout my life but nothing I’ve decided is related.

Megan – I had two really nasty flu-like viruses within about 6 months of getting RA. The second one was really bad. I had a 104 degree fever and actually even fainted at one point.

Cathy – I had a serve cold followed by bronchitis – was diagnosed with RA about 2 months later, that was in 2006. My pain is under control but I still struggle with the fatigue.

Melanie – I remember going to a Christmas party on Dec.12,2004 and ate something called muscle soup. I woke up that night and could hardly move. Sore all over. The next day i couldn’t raise my arm. My fingers were swollen, each day the pain moved to my feet, legs knees. I suffered until March when i was practically crawling down the stairs. My Med. Dr. tested my blood. My RA count was 90. He said he suspected severe RA. Sent me to the best rheumatologist at Methodist hospital. It took me until May getting in to see him. He wanted me to start prednisone and MTX immediately. I got some relief but still not under control. Started Humira monthly inj. in Oct. still not much relief, he upped the humira to every 2 weeks. after 6 mo’s he upped it to once a week. That worked. I also worked in an environment with a lot of toner dust in the air printing tickets at a distribution center for 17 yrs. Sometimes my nose would bleed and black stuff would come out of my nose. Just wondered if either the muscle I ate or the toner toxin could of contributed to me getting RA.

Christina – I’d had surgery to remove a tumor growing in my medial nerve sheath in my left forearm… it was about a month before the surgery and then definitely after the surgery that my RA activated.

Helen – Interesting indeed. I had pneumonia so bad in one lung, it caused my lung to bleed. I coughed up so much blood, I thought I was going to drown in it. That was 3 years before onset of my symptoms. One year after the symptoms began, I was officially diagnosed with RA.

Amber – I was diagnose a year after I had hip replacement surgery.

Diane – oh and yes i was Stressed to the max too..

Kimberly – Looking back I had symptoms as a child but a few years back (I’m 38 now) I had a severe case of strep throat then a bad tooth infection. Within a year I could barely get out of bed. Diagnosed with mod to severe RA. Prednisone has been my lifesaver!! Hate the side effects but I can move! Good luck to you!

Karyn – I was put into the hospital in October 2002 for an “acute” bout of Ulcerative Colitis, ended up getting pneumonia at the hospital and a few months later had my gall bladder out and a few months after that was diagnosed with RA…Could never prove it but it all makes sense looking back that something attacked my body then my immune system went haywire…

Debi – I was injured in a car accident about two and a half years before I was diagnosed.

Deb – I severely injured my back before I got diagnosed with RA. I’m amazed to hear so many others have had some thing similar before their diagnosis. Does anyone know of any research that has been done???

Rose – I had about 6 months of tremendous stress right before mine went crazy, had tested positive on and off over the years before with no symptoms of RA.

Amanda – I had Giuliani barre syndrome 22 years ago which is an autoimmune , that opened the floodgates

Allie – Yes! I had a severe allergic reaction after handling wheat! Almost died from shock and was sick for months! It was about a month later I was diagnosed with MCTD an Lupus

Gayle – I had a couple sore joints once in a while. No signs of RA. After a car accident all my Ra let loose 6 months later. I have had 15 surgeries because of my RA.( The past 20 years )

Jessica – I had mono for the third time..I have not been the same since the last escalated from there instantly..I was diagnosed with sero-negative rheumatoid arthritis after a few years with no answers until a local rheumy did x-rays on all of my joints..had my diagnoses immediately..would hate to see what would happen if I had mono in addition to RA I have Ankylosing Spondylitis ..

Katie – Horrible case of mono when I was 17 plus genetics (Grandma has RA too)…symptoms started about a year after, but I wasn’t diagnosed until 22. I think there is a legitimate connection between mono & various autoimmune diseases.

Amanda – oops I accidentally deleted my post while editing it. I am just in AWE of these stories… so close to my own. This is so incredible. Mono, pregnancy, surgeries, injuries, allergies, stress, — this is so incredible to read all these stories. — most pinpoint moments in time that the pain started. I wish I was a researcher.

Jan – I had a chronic sinus infection right after 9/11…was on antibiotics for a year (higher level abx) & then had surgery that August. Within 8 weeks of coming off antibiotics, I went from doing everything for myself to being a 35 yr old who needed help getting dressed, etc. was diagnosed with RA that December. I was the first person in my family to be diagnosed & have never achieved remission.

Carrie – They also say it can be “activated” by environmental issues which I think happened in my case. I was diagnosed with RA four months after I started working in a high school which the roof leaked directly beside my desk among many other places and the custodians would just tell me to turn a fan on the puddle in the carpet and it would dry up. Lazy SOB’s. I think the extreme mold exposure “activated” mine because I still work there and I have also lost hearing in one of my ears, have a terrible time with my balance and start feeling ill shortly after I get there and start to feel better after I leave. I’ve made my case to everyone who can do something about it but they just disregard my pleas. They just don’t give a flip!

Cheryl – I had a complicated pregnancy and went into premature labor and was diagnosed three months later. That was 24 years ago.

Shannon – I actually only has a sprained thumb right before my RA popped up! Had no symptoms prior to that!

Judy – Severe sinus infections, sinus surgery, lots of stress at home, within a year my symptoms flared and another six months till I was diagnosed.

Jacci – I had the worst flu ever for a week, a week later I woke up so swollen and sore. It hurt to inhale, my knees looked like basket balls, my feet were so swollen they didn’t fit into my shoes. Really I looked like the Pillsbury dough person. After five months of testing at Cleveland Clinic and not finding anything out, I finally found a great rheumatologist at University hospital. Who took one week to diagnose my RA, that was twenty two years ago.

Briana – car wreck. knocked my kneecap out of its to fix it triggered RA.

Mary – 2 and a half yrs ago I got a bad case of Pneumonia and never felt right after it the doctor kept telling me I was fine and then I go a Vitamin D deficiency and then the pain began and you know where Im at now RA

Lori – Breast Implants and quit smoking 6 months before, and abscessed at the same time onset of severe RA.

Emma – I got rheumatic fever (diagnosed by blood test) which developed into RA. UTI’s will make it worse for me.

Catriona – I had a bad sinus infection that was hard to shift, so that plus it being hereditary triggered mine off

Lindi – Walked for 9 years with a very sore shoulder. Finally in 2009 they operated and a week after that I got pneumonia. That year before in 2008 we had lot’s of stress with my brother in law who was sick and died. Five month’s later my father died in 2009 of cancer and in 2010 my mother in law in a car accident. Then in 2011 I got really sick with bronchitis and was in hospital for 4 days. After that I was never the same, had pain in my feet my elbows my fingers and so on. Then finally last year August I was diagnosed with RA.

Cherie – In 1996 health had been fine, was fit and healthy, just under a lot of severe stress that year plus knee injury which resulted in surgery. Very soon after the orthoscopy the RA symptoms hit. Was lucky enough to experience remission for almost 10 years until 2011 when stress played a part again and the RA returned. This time it was diagnosed as seronegative RA.

Charming – Yes i fell down of stairs and that pain kept bothering for 2 or more years, my symptoms of RA. Pain started exactly at the same back area it became difficult to walk then these docs and tests process started which confirmed that I am RA 9

Michelle – I had a total hysterectomy about a year before my RA was triggered/diagnosed.

Lorraine – I have strep throat the week before i started having symptoms.

Jane – Mine started with a bad, bad bout with “Fifth’s disease” also known as Human Parvo Virus, and I had been with my daughter in ICU, she had been in a car wreck, had a head injury. So I had a double whammy, but I had the infectious disease doc. over the University of Texas in Tyler confirm that is what triggered my RA. Hope this info helps.

Jan – Mine started after I had a heavy cold, woke up with pain in right wrist and within 3 months unable to work and 5 years later still not working, although now on treatment which means I can function, without it I would be unable to get out of bed let alone dress myself without help. Very thankful that I have been lucky enough to get the right treatment and care from the RA clinic at my local hospital. How people coped before some treatments were available I don’t know

Linda – I started having symptoms of RA after my daughter was born. But of course it took 8-9 years for it to be diagnosed.

Fiona – Same here – I was very ill with what the Dr said was a virus 3 months later RA kicked off

Deborah – I was very ill with pneumonia and within 2 months ra symptoms started…

Lorraine – i had endometriosis & severe gingivitis 2 years before any other symptoms. What finally triggered the RA? i quit smoking after 18 years.

Debbi – Mine started with a bee sting. Absolutely no symptoms until that point. At first they thought it was an allergic reaction to the sting. Then the shoulder started acting up. Two months after the sting, I was diagnosed with RA.

Sharryn – Went to bed midnight awoke at paralyzed! From a car accident 20 years prior! Had major neck surgery 3 months later! Then no improvement after first 4 weeks, then fast decline, R A diagnosed raging 7 months later! Then uncontrolled for over 2 years. Now still on Methotrexate permanently but also on infusions of Rhutaximab which seems to be helping to get my life back. My R A Specialist says if it isn’t inherited it then gets up by extreme stress or trauma

Laurie – Had three shoulders surgeries for a torn rotator cuff in 2007,2008,2009, tested ,me in 2010 for ra negative, then starting feeling really bad in 2011 after having a toenail removed, did have bronchitis, and then joints starting hurting , first rheumy said it was inactive, then another starting treating me for ra , was finally dx, this last Oct when couldn’t use my left hand for about a year, now can’t use either hand without sever pain, but my workers comp from my injuries on my shoulders are saying it was ra all long…of course they are…I was in housekeeping at a hospital…

Bobbie– My oldest son had fell on concrete at a church and had a serious head injury he had a grand mal seizure they took him to the best hospital he recovered and I got rheumatoid arthritis…

Sara – I got bitten by a cat – deep infected puncture wound right in my knuckle. My body has never been the same since. All-over joint pain started within a few months but was very mild for years, so it took a long time to get a correct diagnosis.

Connie – I had heard major trauma could bring it out and two weeks before I had the first major flare that led to my diagnosis, I had major dental surgery with sedation.

Pamela – I had a very severe viral infection in my liver 3 yes before I got RA my doctors think this may have set off my RA

Kemberly – ND CR Trauma or stress appear to be the “triggers” that turn RA on. Mine was caused by massive stress from caring/tending/burying my Mom with lung cancer. 5 months after the heart wrenching ordeal…I came down with RA.

Amanda – This is AMAZING! Someone needs to do a scientific study! Obviously, there is an overwhelming anecdotal response that either stress or physical trauma/illness triggers the onset of RA. I think mine was triggered by a month of non-stop severe stress and then five months later, RA…

Amber – Yes. Very high fever 105 mastitis from breast feeding. I’ve mentioned it to every doctor I’ve seen and they all look at me like I’m crazy.

Juven – Strep B infection during pregnancy. Changed my life forever.

Karen – Hi Pauline and Happy New Year to you cuz! x My pal fae Dundee now in Newcastle has suffered from a similar type RA she is pretty much on the ball with knowledge re this subject. Msge me privately and I will give you her details for chat okay xx

Sarah – My rheumy’s says for me it was the birth of my first son. She said my immune system kicked into high gear to heal me from the trauma of birth and then didn’t know how to switch off. I was diagnosed with RA within 3 months of his birth.

Jen – I had step throat that wouldn’t go away before the diagnosis.

Nadine – Amanda there has been some scientific research into this phenomenon. I will check my journals and share the references. I had the flu pretty much the whole year before diagnosis. However I had a severe allergy to cold about 5 years before which my gp said was an autoimmune anomaly and in hindsight an indication something was wrong

Heather – I had strep throat for months. It wouldn’t go away and I ended up having my tonsils removed to get the infection out of my body. Then I got pregnant, then I got RA.

Ellen – I went to Nepal in Oct. 1997 and got really sick after a meal. I was sick for three days and only ate 7up and Naan. I went to India next. I got back to CA in Dec. 97 and started to get symptoms. At first I got really bad back pain, then knee pain, then jaw pain. By January 99 I was diagnosed with very serious RA. The doctor said I would have died without treatment. Not to scare you, it just happens to be my story.

Stephanie – 6 Months after my first baby was born I got swine flu in less than a month all the pain, swelling and fatigue started along with a low fever that took over a year to go away. Also I buried my dad the day before I was diagnosed. RA runs in both sieds of my family and I had other AI’s before RA.

Chronic Curve – absolutely. I had a sinus infection turned pneumonia and was sick for two months. Brought on the first flare. The moldy dorm room I was living in was the culprit.

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The above is a discussion created by a member and with member generated responses from our Facebook community ( put into a format so that the discussion can be archived for future answers needed by others in a searchable format while keeping member anonymity. Member provided information, statements and opinions do not reflect on or all individuals with Autoimmune Arthritis. We encourage all members to seek professional medical advice for any specific questions and concerns as this does not substitute competent medical care.


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