I was diagnosed with RA when I turned 19 (I am now 31) and I think my sister, who will be 24 next month, might have it, too. Three weeks ago, she began showing all the classic signs fo RA, as well as hives.
Thanks for responding, Andrew! The hives were the only symptom that didn't seem to fit with RA. I never had hives so I wasn't sure if they could be a symptom or not. Unfortunately, it's looking more and more like my sister has RA.
Anecdotally, I've noticed that since taking Enbrel, my hives symptoms have almost disappeared. That's a strong case for the connection. I also found this (along with other references) relating hives (called chronic urticaria) and RA. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/762917-overview
Chronic urticaria can be related to all of the above as well as to the following:
There is also a genetic/family connection with autoimmune diseases. I do hope that your sister doesn't have RA. If she does, I hope she gets diagnosed and treated quickly because that can make a huge difference in the long term.
Andrew, just food for thought. My Dad had RA and after gold and methotrexate treatments lost it's effectiveness, he was put on Enbrel. After a few years on Enbrel, his WBC started to increase, they thought it might be leukemia but were not positive. So they switched him Humira, another TNF Inhibitor. Long story short, he ended up eventually in a full blown acute leukemia crisis. His platelets were out of wack, his WBC was out of wack and the diagnosis was AML. He went to MD Anderson for aggressive treatment and eventually passed away during treatment. I am absolutely convinced Enbrel and Humira caused his leukemia. Both these drugs are TNF inhibitors and TNF is actually a cancer preventer scientists believe. They are actually doing studies that use TNF to fight certain cancers. It only stands to reason that if you inhibit TNF as does Enbrel , Humira and Remicade, you are increasing the chance for the patient to get cancer. If we had known better, we would have just managed the pain with somethnig else and forget about being a guinea pig to these drug companies that push this crap on us. I wish you health, but please talk to your doctor about the risks of these drugs and see if there are any alternatives. If I ever get RA, I can say without a doubt I will never ever take a TNF Inhibitor such as Enbrel or Humira. The benefits do not outweigh the risks.
Hives are frequently a symptom/sign of Sjogren's. I have chronic hives that cannot always be tied to an allergic reaction and my rheumatologist believes they are caused by Sjogren's.