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Living with palindromic rheumatism

You can help your family and friends to understand your condition by discussing it with them and by showing them this information.

Any long-term condition can affect your moods, emotions and confidence, and it can have an impact on your work, social life and relationships. Talk things over with a friend, relative or your doctor if you find your condition is getting you down. Some charities, such as Arthritis Care, also run helplines and online discussion groups which you may find useful.

Work

If you have mild palindromic rheumatism, you're unlikely to have big problems with work. However, if you have attacks more often or have worse attacks, you may experience some difficulties. You may be able to adapt your work, for example by working shorter hours or moving to a less physically demanding role. If this isn't possible, you may need a work assessment and retraining, which can be arranged through your local Jobcentre Plus.

If you're unable to work or have mobility problems, benefits are available. A health or social worker or your local Citizens Advice Bureau will be able to advise you on benefits you can claim.

Sex and pregnancy

You may not feel like having sex during attacks because of fatigue and pain, but in between them you should be able to have a normal sex life.

There's no evidence that palindromic rheumatism itself affects your chances of having a family, but medication, especially sulfasalazine or methotrexate, may have an important impact. NSAIDs aren't generally recommended during pregnancy and some recent studies suggest that the risk of miscarriage may be increased if you take NSAIDs around the time of conception. If you're thinking about starting a family, you should discuss your drug treatment with your doctor well in advance so that your medications can be changed if necessary.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
Arthritis Research UK fund research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis. You can support Arthritis Research UK by volunteering, donating or visiting our shops.