Monday, January 23, 2012

Enbrel Week 3

I am completely over my (3 month) upper resp infection, and my pain has also decreased quite a bit. I read that the Enbrel can work in as little as 2 weeks with RA patients who are currently taking Methotrexate also. I am seeing the Rheumatologist in two days, hard to get anything extra out of him. I wonder if the RA flare, was related to my picking up the URI (upper respiratory infection), when the bug went away, the flare improved. Or was the decrease from starting the Enbrel. In the end, I am not upset at starting Enbrel, that and the cortisone injection into my Left middle finger stopped the contracture. I can now move all my fingers, although some days the morning stiffness continues through out the day. I hope that my progress can allow me to shift over to the Enbrel, and then decrease/stop the Lefunomide (Arava), they are both TNF meds, if I can drop the Arava, maybe I can have a beer someday. Here is the Wikipedia description of a TNF med: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) is the best-known member of this class, and sometimes referred to when the term "tumor necrosis factor" is used. TNF-α is a monocyte-derived cytotoxin that has been implicated in tumour regression, septic shock and cachexia.[2][3] The protein is synthesized as a prohormone with an unusually long and atypical signal sequence, which is absent from the mature secreted cytokine.[4] A short hydrophobic stretch of amino acids serves to anchor the prohormone in lipid bilayers.[5] Both the mature protein and a partially processed form of the hormone can be secreted after cleavage of the propeptide. Unfortunately, you note the mention of hormones/prohormone, I have been concerned about my Estrogen level for some time,(based on symptoms)and am concerned I have Estrogen dominance. Could be age related, my weight (I could lose 15 pounds), or related to my RA drugs. I have an appointment tomorrow with an Endocrinologist, will see if he is willing to test and treat me.

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