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Author Topic: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?  (Read 6632 times)

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Offline Angelica

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« on: February 07, 2018, 03:11:11 am »
some people have mentioned in various posts that hep C can cause RA. From the abstract that I have read just now it seems that these are similar but different conditions. It also seems that the hep C virus-related condition is much less aggressive and non joint deforming. Is this so?

My symptoms developed after treatment, I know that, so I cannot help seeing a correlation which in my mind translates as causation. I was told that these new treatments would not mess with the immune system like the old one, I am sure my doctor believed it. Nobody more than me hopes to be wrong, I can assure you.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11580301
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 07:57:38 am by Angelica »

Offline gnatcatcher

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  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 09:52:48 am »
The arthritis that I began experiencing more than a decade after receiving HCV-laced transfusions and decades before I took Harvoni hasn't deformed my joints. Every time I was tested for RA, I had a very low value, so HCV seems to have been the cause. Various joints would flare up at unpredictable times, then go back to normal. Getting rid of the HCV has definitely helped me have much less joint pain.

Note that the article is dated 2001. It mentions hydroxychloroquine (generic Plaquenil) as a possible treatment. Soon after that article came out, I had such severe joint pain (just lifting my arms or doing anything with my hands was excruciating) that I was prescribed, and greatly helped by, hydroxychloroquine. I'm not on any pain meds now.

Angelica, I hope that as more time passes after your cure, you'll experience less pain. In the mean time, one or another of the meds used today may make your life easier.

Best wishes,

Gnatty
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 03:54:08 am by gnatcatcher »
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Angelica

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 12:46:18 pm »
Thank you, for sharing and your kind words Gnatty.

I really hope I can avoid immunosuppressants. Methotrexate is the gold standard for RA, a chemo drug which aims to disable your immune system. That alone is bad enough and people take it because they have no other choice. However, suppose that, on top of it, SVR = undetectable and not cured, in that some tiny cluster of virus goes to hide somewhere for some people. Could methotrexate then reactivate hep C?

I have come across the Coimbra protocol and I intend to give it a go (under a doctor's supervision) and so I am staying positive.   

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2018, 01:21:16 pm »
Angelica, I assume you've taken a Rheumatoid Factor test. If your doctor wants to treat you for RA, does that mean your RF result is high? Did your doctor also do the CCP antibody test? Here's an interesting page about those tests:
https://labtestsonline.org/tests/rheumatoid-factor-rf

Good that your doctor will work with you to explore mild alternatives. When a rheumatologist wanted to put me on methotrexate, my M.D. father-in-law convinced me to stay away from it (not that I needed convincing).
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Angelica

  • Member
  • Posts: 29
Re: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 03:36:55 am »
Yes Gnatty, my blood tests returned a positive RA factor and raised CRP. I have seen a rheumatologist who is very good and thorough. I have already had further blood tests and I am also having ultrasounds. But they are very hot on methotrexate. 

There are no doctors in the UK which follow the Coimbra protocol, so I have made contact with one in Italy. The monitoring is done with blood tests. I do not know how much they charge for doing those privately here, I suspect a lot more than in Italy. Now I need to work out the details.  If I can have the blood test done here at a reasonable price, I could email the results and have some of the consultations via skype and that would be cheaper than even Ryanair. Otherwise my family will see me more often than they have.

I will mention my plan at my next rheumatologist appointment and see what reaction I get. Wish me luck.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2018, 03:38:45 am by Angelica »

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Hep C virus-related arthritis or post Harvoni RA?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 07:29:59 am »
Yes, Angelica, good luck! Most doctors on this side of the pond remain wedded to the protocol they were taught. But it sounds like you have a way to do the Coimbra protocol whatever the UK doctors say.
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

 


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