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When to Ignore and When to Abide the “Best By” Date on Your Food

When to Ignore and When to Abide the “Best By” Date on Your Food

Two-week old yogurt? Milk that expired four days ago? Sardines past their “sell by” date? Is a food that has outlived its expiration date OK to eat? Chances are, it is. The dates on your groceries indicate only when a product is at peak quality, not whether it’s safe to eat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What Labels Mean In most cases, food manufacturers label foods to manage inventory and quality. A “sell by” date is a guide for a store to replace older products with new ones. A “use by” date lets consumers know when a food will be ...more
Picking the Right NSAID for Your Arthritis Pain

Picking the Right NSAID for Your Arthritis Pain

When your muscles ache or your joints throb, you and your doctor may turn to one of the most commonly-used medications to ease the pain: a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), either over-the-counter or prescription. But not all NSAIDs are the same, so how do you pick the right one? Consider these factors. Effectiveness With close to 20 NSAIDs on the market, it’s often a matter of trial and error to find an effective one, says Clark Kebodeaux, clinical assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, in Lexington. Just as people’s bodies are different, so are their responses to certain ...more
TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Update on the Affordable Care Act We are continuing our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs, pharmacist gag orders, President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint, drug rebates, and premium increases. This week, we break down a recent legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A court case was recently thrown into the spotlight as a result of the administration’s decision to file a brief essentially arguing that federal courts ...more
You Said It: Making House Chores Easier

You Said It: Making House Chores Easier

Arthritis Today readers answered the question: How do you make household chores easier on your arthritis? Here’s what they had to say: My husband does a lot for me. I also have my mom just down the street who helps a lot. —Katie Kahler Do a little at a time. One room and rest. Laundry today; sweep tomorrow. —Kim Mahaffey Know your limits. This month, I faced reality and hired someone. —Joyce McDonnell Costello I use a lightweight vacuum, a light broom and a dust pan with a long handle so I do not have to bend over. —Susan Madison On a daily basis, ...more
What’s Your Fitness IQ?

What’s Your Fitness IQ?

Exercise can help ease arthritis pain, but how much do you really know about the ins and outs of working out? Read these questions and answers and test your fitness IQ!  Q: How much aerobic exercise should you get per week? A: 150 minutes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises at least that much moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. Research shows just 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women with arthritis meet that. But a recent study suggests that as little as 45 minutes may help people who have arthritis in their knees, hips, ankles or feet. Q: Lifting weights ...more
Pain-Free Jewelry Lets You Shine

Pain-Free Jewelry Lets You Shine

A pretty piece of jewelry makes a thoughtful Mother’s Day or anytime gift. However, “the pinching motion also puts pressure on your finger joints, which can lead to pain,” says Jacqueline F. Lawrence, an occupational therapist at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston. But you don’t need to give up your love for sparkle. Tell your partner and kids about these options:  Magnetic clasps can eliminate pinching. Replace “lobster” clasps on bracelets and necklaces with closures such as the Magnetic Jewelry Safety Clasp (arthritissupplies.com). Or pick up a readymade piece from Clara Williams Company (clarawilliams.com). Omega-back earrings feature a hinged back that ...more
Having a Disaster Plan Is Important When You Have Arthritis

Having a Disaster Plan Is Important When You Have Arthritis

Fires, floods, hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes – even just a power outage can result in a difficult, if not disastrous, situation if you aren’t prepared. In some cases, you can leave before it hits, but whether you stay or go, you should be ready, especially if your mobility is limited or you have special needs. Having a plan also can reduce anxiety, which could trigger a flare if you have an autoimmune condition, like rheumatoid arthritis, leaving you vulnerable to injury and infection. “High stress levels make rheumatic conditions worse; having an established emergency plan can only reduce stress,” says Jennifer Hootman, ...more
More Weight Loss Is Better for Knee OA

More Weight Loss Is Better for Knee OA

When it comes to easing the symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (OA), the more weight loss, the better, according to researchers at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In a study published recently online in Arthritis Care & Research, Stephen Messier, PhD, and colleagues report that overweight and obese adults aged 55 and older with knee OA who lost 20 percent or more of their body weight saw far greater improvements in pain, function, quality of life, inflammation and knee joint stress than those who lost less. In an earlier trial, the same researchers found that a weight loss of 10 ...more
Sunshine Safety: Should You Soak it Up or Block it Out?

Sunshine Safety: Should You Soak it Up or Block it Out?

Basking in the summer sun has some definite benefits, but there are also known dangers. Here’s what you should know about the potential effects. The Bright Side Sun helps the body synthesize vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and a well-functioning immune system; vitamin D deficiency has been linked to autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Plus, sunshine boosts mood by raising levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Careful sun exposure also can help clear up psoriatic arthritis-related skin lesions. In general, exposure should be consistent and no more than 30 minutes a day, but ask your doctor. Be ...more
Strength Comes in Numbers This Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Strength Comes in Numbers This Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

On June 28th, friends and families from all over the United States flocked to Bellevue, Washington, to connect, play and learn at the 2018 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference. With a turnout of over 1,000 people, the event began with a bang and was a massive success! Now that the Conference has wound down, it is officially July, which is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month! And the Arthritis Foundation wants YOU to join the fight! JA: Our Heroes’ Nemesis Every day, 300,000 kids nationwide fight against this disease. There are many types of juvenile arthritis, as well as its henchmen: other childhood rheumatic conditions such as ...more