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Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

Squash Your Risk of Tick- and Mosquito-borne Infections

More than 30,000 cases of Lyme occur each year across the country, the CDC estimates. To the summer hazards of too much sun and heat, add the perils of tiny pests carrying infections, such as Lyme disease and chikungunya, that cause joint pain.   The number of people sickened by tick and mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. has risen to record levels recently, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Tick Risks By far the most common tick-borne illness is Lyme disease – transmitted by the deer tick, which grows to about the size of a sesame seed. In up to 80 percent of those infected, Lyme causes a round, red skin lesion that can grow as large as 12 inches wide ...more
It’s Not in Your Head

It’s Not in Your Head

“The pain is just in your head.”  That’s what doctors and family members told Renee Cafaro most of her life. “No one understood how I could be involved in so many activities one day and unable to walk the next. I was accused of making up my pain. I didn’t even feel my parents supported me.” Renee, 35 — a fashion magazine editor now living in New York City — has been in chronic pain since she was 11. Her mom would take her to the pediatrician where everyone agreed she was experiencing growing pains. Renee recalls struggling to walk and experiencing searing ...more
Our Rheumatology Learning Health System Is Starting to Attract Attention!

Our Rheumatology Learning Health System Is Starting to Attract Attention!

A big part of our Collaborating With Patients for Better Health scientific initiative has been development of the Rheumatology Learning Health System (RLHS) in collaboration with some of our major partners. The goal of RLHS is to improve quality of care for pediatric and adult arthritis patients. Suz Schrandt, the Arthritis Foundation’s patient engagement director, was one of the coauthors of an award-winning abstract poster presentation at the recent Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) annual scientific meeting. The poster presentation, entitled “Partnering With Patients and Families to Coproduce Better Care and Outcomes,” won the Patient Engagement Award, competing with ...more
Pets Can Boost Your Mood and Ease Your Pain

Pets Can Boost Your Mood and Ease Your Pain

If you’re a pet lover, you know that spending time with a beloved cat, dog, rabbit or other pet can lift your mood, but science shows it has real physical and mental health benefits, too. Studies show that spending as little as five or 10 minutes with a pet can help lower stress and anxiety, relieve loneliness and reduce pain and depression. “It can be a very powerful interaction,” says Sandra Barker, PhD, psychiatry professor and director of the Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, noting that pets also provide a form of social support.   In a small, pilot study at VCU, Barker found physiological evidence of the benefits: Lower blood pressure and heart rate, less cortisol ...more
Come Clean To Your Doctor

Come Clean To Your Doctor

If you’ve ever told a white lie to your doctor – or just didn’t tell the whole truth – you’re not alone. A recent study in JAMA Network Open found that the majority of the 4,500 patients studied withheld information from their physicians. Those with more health problems were even less likely to be completely open; for example, by not admitting they didn’t understand instructions, they disagreed with their doctors’ advice or they didn’t take medication as prescribed. That’s a problem.    Without adequate or accurate information, your doctor may not be able to reach the right diagnosis or establish an appropriate treatment plan, says study author Andrea Gurmankin Levy, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Middlesex Community College in ...more
Registration Now Open for Our 2019 Live Yes! Conference of Champions

Registration Now Open for Our 2019 Live Yes! Conference of Champions

We’ve waived registration fees and are offering limited travel awards this month only! Registration is now open for this year’s Live Yes! Conference of Champions, which will happen in Atlanta, Sept. 13-15, 2019.  This exciting event will inspire and educate Arthritis Foundation volunteer leaders, partners and other supporters, as well as our most engaged Arthritis Warriors from across the country. Together, we’ll highlight the progress and impact of the Live Yes! Arthritis Network, which launched last fall, particularly in the areas arthritis patients care about most: improved physical, emotional and social health and better experiences in health care. Combining our two conferences, Arthritis ...more
It Doesn’t Have to Be Visible to Be Real

It Doesn’t Have to Be Visible to Be Real

“I don’t know anyone with arthritis.” This is the most common answer we heard when we recently asked Americans: How many people do you know who are living with arthritis ? Ten years ago, Raquel Masco didn’t think she knew anyone with arthritis either. That’s when she began experiencing unusual symptoms. Searching for Answers “First, something happened to my skin. Then, my hair fell out. I had trouble swallowing. I thought maybe it was allergies, maybe it was just from being active. Then I started feeling tingling in the bottoms of my feet, my hands and pain in my back and legs. “I come from ...more
FDA Approves New Bone-Building Drug for Osteoporosis

FDA Approves New Bone-Building Drug for Osteoporosis

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved romosozumab (Evenity), a new drug for osteoporosis. Unlike osteoporosis medicines called bisphosphonates, romosozumab doesn’t just stop bone loss; it also helps build new bone. It’s approved for postmenopausal women who have fractures, are at very high risk for fractures or haven’t responded to other treatments. The drug comes with an FDA warning for an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death. Osteoporosis causes bones to become increasingly fragile and prone to break, especially in the spine and hip. The risk for women is higher after menopause, when estrogen levels go down. It’s ...more
5 Global Grains to Add Healthy Variety to Your Plate

5 Global Grains to Add Healthy Variety to Your Plate

Eating fewer refined grains and more whole grains has many potential benefits, like helping lower inflammatory markers in the blood and promote weight loss. But if you’re tired of brown rice and whole wheat bread, diversify your wholegrain portfolio. These varieties from around the world pack a nutritious, flavorful punch.  Farro Popular among Italian cooks, this member of the wheat family has a texture similar to brown rice but with a nuttier flavor, and it contains three times as much fiber. It contains gluten, so people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should leave this one on the shelf, but some say they find farro easier to digest than other forms of wheat.   IN THE KITCHEN: Use farro in soups, ...more
Rose Family: Stronger Together

Rose Family: Stronger Together

Early, aggressive treatment and support from the arthritis community have helped the Rose family take back control. Carson Rose was only a few months old and learning to crawl when his parents, Chrissy and Jason Rose, noticed something off in his movements. Carson avoided putting weight on his wrist and instead “army crawled” on his elbow on one side, but not the other. In hindsight, they said, this was one of the earliest signs of the polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) their son, now 7, would soon be diagnosed with. “Looking back, this was a red flag that we missed because we ...more