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post treatment complications
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post treatment complications

sucesfully cleared hepc type 1a...?rebetol peginterferon aprox 2 years ago,now I've developed what appears to be rheumatoid arthritis . saw a rheumatologist who said diagnosis is complicated by chronic hep-c status. Been doing some research and it looks like I really need to get some more info before proceeding with any treatment. I'm wondering has a .anyone else completed treatment program and thought they were done with this disease , only to be hit over the head with something later, B. do i need to have another hep-c titer check done?
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Avatar_m_tn
Are you clear of the virus now? I was confussed. I completed tx 2 months ago and I have had the worse pain in my knee joints you can imagine. I didn't have that before. Now on my last bld test I was checked for RA factor and it was negative. Have you been diagnosised with RA?
    Red
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217229_tn?1192766004
If you were UND for several years - then you are at SVR status --- you will ALWAYS have antibodies to the HEP C virus.

However - you will have no VIRAL activity - or damage being done.

FYI - a lot of people have joint pain after HCV --- and AFTER INF treatment.

When your liver isn't functioning properly a lot of BAD things can happen within your body.

Please check with your Rheumatologist/Internist - about Neuropathy issues.

Meki
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254544_tn?1310779332
I was diagnosed with RA post treatment.  That was after my first round of treatment which was 48 weeks long.  I'm on my second round of treatment now which will be 72 weeks long.

Anyway, you were correctly informed when you were told diagnosing RA in heppers is not an exact science.  Heppers are notorious for having positive RA factors so the entire picture has to be looked at, especially direct family history (mom, dad, brother, sister).  Not only did I have a positive RA factor, but my mother also had severe RA that had left her in a wheelchair.  I had a positive RA factor 5 years prior to treating my Hep C and did not know it until recently.  I was never RA symptomatic until about 2 months before I finished my first round of treatment.  All of my doctors are under the impression that I probably would have wound up with RA eventually but the Interferon just insulted  and hastended the situation.  If you read the drug insert for Interferon it states that there is a less than 1% chance of contracting an auto immune disorder such as lupus or RA.

It's sooooo important that you get a good rheumatologist that will discuss your treatment with your GI/hepatologist.  I have been on medication for my RA since May, 2007 and have tolerated it well.  I take a VERY low dose of methotrexate (low dose because it's hard on the liver) and I take injections of a TNF Blocker/biologic medication called Humira every 2 weeks.  Before I was put back on treatment I was also put on Prednisone "as needed" to get my swelling under control.  Since I cannot take Prednisone or any other steroid while on treatment, they started me on Celebrex when I started this round of treatment.  As soon as I'm done treating I will stop the Celebrex as well.

Good doctors and communcation between the doctors is soooooo important.  My rheumatologist, local GI and my hepatologist at Shands at the University of Florida all made sure they communicated with each other before any of this medication was prescribed.

Mouse
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476246_tn?1310999221
This might sound really stupid, but how does one find out if one has a RA factor?

Thanks,

Marcai
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254544_tn?1310779332
The test for the RA factor is a blood test.  They will usually run the RA factor, ANA (anti-nuclear anti-body test) and SED rate (sedimentation rate) at the same time.

Mouse
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476246_tn?1310999221
Thanks. I wonder, if they did them. They took 9 vials. I will have the results sometime next week.

Marcia
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217229_tn?1192766004
Marcia - almost EVERYONE who has Hep C will test positive for RA factor.

It's a typical blood draw - and sent off to the labs.

They will test for swelling - ANA tests and other tests as well. Some of these tests are used to discover other immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis --- althought all HCV patients will probably come up high in those numbers.

Mine numbers were so high that even the doctors were puzzled.

Interesting - but really inconclusive.

Just another marker in the dianosis rack.

Meki
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476246_tn?1310999221
Thanks. Interesting and again...hmm... scary... I think that once hep c positive... one gotta be prepared for anything... Is that why we are experiencing joint pain???

Marcia
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217229_tn?1192766004
I think that the liver is supposed to be cleaning the blood so that it will not allow certain types of things to happen.

When the liver is compromised or busy fighting off things - things that would normally not build up --- or things that would normally get cleaned through the liver - became/become more "absued" or susceptible to damage or disease.

I think the join pain is a symptom of that issue. To me it is all my connective tissues. Like my rib cage, cartilage, tendons, muscles -- not necessarily just joint bones... Those too - but all added up together.

For me it continuously moves - making it hard to pin point.

Like having a stiff neck - that moves to a stiff hand - then to a foot - then to a leg - then the hip - then upper back - then back to the neck again.

Very interesting.

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Avatar_n_tn
thanx for sharing, I should probably clarify that when I said cleared virus ,I meant that by current standards I was no longer in an active stage of hep-c. I did have a blood test done a year after therapy finished and was told treatment appeared to put me in remission.I quite happily decided I was done with hep-c and decided to put my life back together, I also want to share I did not find treatment a horror story . 8 weeks in I was walking on average 2 miles a day no matter what the weather coping with 4 horses 3 german shepards and a run down farm house in Maine.I felt the best I had in years all the nasty little side effects could not take away my joy at having energy an active libido again after 8 years of feeling like a nun and really what can I say a lot of energy. Unfortunately last fall the creeping inertia has come back in complete with body aches.ra test was  positive, I'm getting a bone scan done plus more bloodwork,If your interested I'll keep posting. I wiil definitely let you know if it does have a hep-c component. I should also mention my gi  had only ginven me a 40% chance when I started treatment of getting a remission, so of course I felt extremely fortunate with my out come and i still do .I will say from what I have read and experienced whether it is ra or hep-c  the fatigue for me is the worst.
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