Med matching is like dating. You’ve got to plan and prepare (research and discuss with a doc) and go on a couple dates before you know if it’s a match (most medications require three to six months to see any results or lack there of). Sometimes it’s a screaming NO (allergic reactions that land you in a hospital or end with a rather horrendous rash) and others are oh so close but not “The One”. Some just fade away after years for no apparent reason. Then there are always those lucky few that find their soul mate early and it last a lifetime.
The common medication regimen for a Spondy starts out with an NSAID this is an anti-inflammatory that should help reduce the inflammation in your body. It’s most commonly the first step. When that is not enough you’re generally started on DMARDS. These are disease modifying medications that are suppose to boost the effects of your other meds. Then finally when all else fails you move towards TNF-Blockers. For more information on these medications head over to SAA where they have loads of material for each medication.
“I read the pamphlets but thought those don’t happen that often and it’s probably just because I’m tired. I was wrong! I won’t ignore my body again.”
When starting any medication discussion with your doctor be sure to talk about interactions. Side effects may be uncommon but I promise you when you are the one that ends up with it you’ll be glad you knew the warning signs. Read those scary pamphlets that come with your medications….they matter! Talking to other Spondy patients can be a good way to hear things the doctors and pamphlets don’t say. Also talk to your pharmacist about interactions since some meds come from different doctors in different specialties and they don’t always talk to each other. Surprisingly they have caught things that could have caused issues multiple times now for me. Honestly I have had more accounts of being given the wrong medication than I care to mention. Most of the time it’s from the doctors not communicating with each other and one prescribes medication that contradicts with what the other doctor has prescribed. You can help limit this by using this medication interaction checker where you can search all your medications for interactions. It doesn’t take long and it’s free! I check this site now before starting any new medication and I talk to my pharmacist about every new medication. I also research the new disease I’m being diagnosed with to ensure one medicine won’t exasperate the other disease….yes this has happened to me and it wasn’t pretty!
When medication fails what do you do?
I’ve not been very lucky when it comes to finding my medication regimen that really helps and with each new diagnosis my options dwindle due to interactions. I hear so many refer to their meds as this magical relief and wonder if I’ll have it someday. Maybe the fact that I didn’t find “the one” is a good thing since I wouldn’t be allowed to take it now anyways. I feel that we all are given what we can handle and no matter how backwards it all seems it’s for a reason. I will hang on to hope that something new will come along…until then I’ve found ways to handle the pain that can’t be treated by traditional means any longer!
Alternative treatments can sound odd to someone who’s never tried them. I approached them at first with the mind set that if they can’t make it worse I might as well try. I started exercising after my diagnosis because I quickly became aware keeping my muscles strong will be required to do the job that my spine is growing unable to do. It wasn’t easy or pretty at first but it did help! I am taking exercise to a whole new level now and you can join me as I go over here. I also began meditation which is something you must try at least once! I promise you will find more relief in it than you can imagine! I’ll share more on that soon.
I also know many try different diets to manage their diets. I have not gone on any strict diet per say but I do eat as healthy as possible. Here are some of the diets commonly associated with A.S.
The main one being the No Starch Diet (NSD)
Links To Love
Medication information; over the counter, herbal, and prescribed.