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Can Managing Stress Keep RA Symptoms in Check?

Can Managing Stress Keep RA Symptoms in Check?

A link between stress and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is commonly acknowledged. However, scientists continue to explore the connection between the nervous and immune systems and the effect on RA onset and progression.  People with RA commonly report experiencing physical or emotional stress when first diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder like RA. However in a 2010 editorial in Arthritis Research & Therapy, Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan (who has expertise in rheumatology and pain), commented on a review of 16 studies on the stress-arthritis link. In his editorial, Dr. Clauw highlighted the verified link ...more
A Big Win For Arthritis Foundation Advocates: FDA Proposal Would Require Unique Names for Biosimilars

A Big Win For Arthritis Foundation Advocates: FDA Proposal Would Require Unique Names for Biosimilars

Today, we celebrate our tremendous Advocates and a fantastic victory! The FDA has issued proposed guidance to require unique names for biosimilar products that have submitted applications to the FDA. The Arthritis Foundation and our team of 125,000 advocates have advocated for distinguishable names to ensure patient safety is given the highest priority. Unlike generic medications, biosimilars are not necessarily exact copies of brand name biologics. The change will lessen confusion among prescribers, allow for transparency in notification and drug substitution, strengthen patient adverse reaction tracking and make data collection easier. In the last year alone, the Arthritis Foundation and our advocates have ...more
Hands On: Massage Helps Keep Laurie Active with her Grandchildren

Hands On: Massage Helps Keep Laurie Active with her Grandchildren

Diagnosed with fibromyalgia in her 30s and then osteoarthritis (OA) in her 50s, pain has been a pretty consistent factor in Laurie Steiner’s adult life. But, as an active grandmother and frequent caretaker of seven grandchildren, Laurie doesn’t have the time to let the pain keep her down. “I have a busy life, like most women,” says Laurie. “I watch several of my grandkids, which involves a lot of lifting, as well as getting down and dirty with them when we play together. I may have fibromyalgia and arthritis, but I can't let it keep me from the things I love.” In ...more
How Exercise Helps Your Joints

How Exercise Helps Your Joints

Physical activity helps people with arthritis reduce pain and increase range of motion. But how does movement work in your body to help your joints? Synovial fluid lubricates the joint. The joint is surrounded by soft tissue called the synovial membrane, which produces a fluid that acts like oil in an engine, allowing your bones to move past one another more smoothly. Physical activity encourages circulation of the fluid, says Susan Sterling, an instructor at the Cooper Institute, a preventive medicine research and education nonprofit in Dallas. Blood flow increases. Exercise gets the heart pumping, which increases blood circulation throughout your body – including ...more
5 Ways to Build an Arthritis-friendly Salad

5 Ways to Build an Arthritis-friendly Salad

Crafting an arthritis-friendly diet? Not all salads are created equal. What starts as a healthy foundation of vegetables often winds up suffocated in condiments and high-fat toppings. Be picky about what you put on your salad, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor and Guthrie chair in nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. "When you cut down on calorie-dense ingredients, you can ultimately eat more salad," she says. Build a healthier salad with these tips: Load up on greens: Dark green, leafy vegetables like romaine lettuce and field greens are high in fiber and nutrients. Baby spinach is a great choice. One cup ...more
5 Ways People With Arthritis Sabotage Weight Loss 

5 Ways People With Arthritis Sabotage Weight Loss 

Maintaining a healthy weight is especially important for people with arthritis. It helps keep inflammation in check, reduces excess pressure on joints, makes exercise easier and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, which is of particular concern if you have an inflammatory form of arthritis. Yet every day we deal with diet distractions that can cause us to overeat or make unhealthy food choices. That’s why it’s important to understand your eating triggers and learn strategies to deal with them, says Courtney Burtscher, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Advocate Illinois Medical Center in Chicago. Here are five common diet downfalls – ...more
Antioxidant-loaded Veggies Help Fight Inflammation

Antioxidant-loaded Veggies Help Fight Inflammation

If you’re looking for inflammation-fighting foods to bolster your health and help your arthritis symptoms, hit the produce section of the grocery store. “Vegetables have the most potent antioxidants and more nutrients than any other food,” says Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, medical director of the Center for Lifestyle Medicine at The Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “Each antioxidant works slightly differently but they all work in synergy to give you the best bang for your buck,” says registered dietitian Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. “Eating a variety of vegetables ...more
Running Toward Yes: Arthritis Foundation Marathon Team Takes on TCS New York City Marathon

Running Toward Yes: Arthritis Foundation Marathon Team Takes on TCS New York City Marathon

To look at her now, you’d never know that just a few years ago, Jill Konopka struggled just to open a jar of peanut butter. “Literally, being able to twist open a jar by myself seemed like the biggest accomplishment,” recalls Jill. “I couldn’t even turn the shower head. It was humbling.” A former Division III college athlete and current local news reporter, Jill was sidelined by a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her late 20s. “I was shocked,” says Jill. “Here I was this young, active woman. Then one day I woke up and couldn’t get out of bed.” Fast forward to 2015, and ...more
Arthritis and Bad Breath

Arthritis and Bad Breath

Do you have less than minty-fresh breath? Bad breath (or halitosis) can be a sign of health problems such as gum disease or dry mouth – two conditions that affect people with arthritis. The dry mouth could be caused by having Sjogren’s syndrome or from taking common over-the-counter medicines for arthritis pain, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen. “Halitosis is very common – and fortunately, very curable,” says Connie White, DDS, general dentist and spokesperson for the Academy of General Dentistry. Use these smart solutions to keep bad breath at bay: See your doctor. Tell your doctor about your breath. If you haven’t ...more
Pick a Safer Supplement for Arthritis

Pick a Safer Supplement for Arthritis

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees supplements, so any vitamins and herbs you buy for arthritis symptoms, whether at the store, online or even at your doctor’s office must be safe – right? Not necessarily. Although every over-the-counter (OTC) drug must have been proven safe and effective before it’s released, FDA regulations only require that supplements must not be “adulterated” or “misbranded,” and asking manufacturers and distributors to follow safety requirements of the FDA and the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. If the FDA uncovers violations, it issues a warning or may recall the product. “But the process ...more