8 Things You Need to Know About Menopause When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Midlife changes may be linked to functional decline in women with RA, research suggests.

RA symptoms may escalate around midlife.

“Menopause just kicked me over the edge,” says Christine Byrnes, 57, of Potsdam, New York.  She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) about 11 years ago. For nine years, the medication Enbrel (etanercept) kept her symptoms at bay. But as menopause revved into high gear, her body went “haywire,” she says.

Hormone Shifts, Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Create a Perfect Storm

“I had a lot more flare-ups and was generally feeling really unwell. I had fatigue, sleepless nights, dizziness, and difficulty with stress and focusing.

“My joints got progressively worse to the point that I had to take medical leave from work. The Enbrel stopped being effective, and I just couldn’t control my symptoms.”

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