many women experience RA flares during PMS and while they have their periods. There definitely seems to be a link between hormones and RA - more women than men have the disease and many women go into remission during pregnancy. These facts point to a hormonal connection, although exactly what's happening requires further study.
The best thing you can do to control your symptoms is to find a medication that suppresses your disease. If your disease is still active, talk to your doctor about medication options to see if you can find something that works for you. However, many people have problems getting the disease under control, and if that is you, these symptoms will likely continue to affect you during your periods. Check out our Pain Management section for information and tips on getting on top of your pain. Knowing that you will flare and when (if your periods are fairly regular) can help you feel less helpless - so much of the trouble with RA is the unpredictable nature of the beast. Much as I've always not been fond of my PMS-related flares, at least I knew they were coming and could act accordingly. It usually meant that I'd plan for less active days and know that I should be on top of taking my pain meds.
Hang in there. There's always menopause to look forward to.
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