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Battling Arthritis Burnout

Battling Arthritis Burnout

Worn out from dealing with your disease? Never-ending appointments, medication refills, insurance paperwork, and diet and exercise worries can take a toll. Living with a chronic disease can be exhausting, even without the fatigue that comes with being ill. Chronically ill people often feel burdened and burned out from coping with pain and illness while also managing their treatment and daily work-life demands, says Mary Anderson, a specialist in health psychology at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in Boston. And when patients feel burned out, they’re less likely to take care of themselves, says Mayo Clinic rheumatologist and researcher John Davis III, MD. It ...more
Success at Summit! Advocates Meet with Congress as American Health Care Act Released

Success at Summit! Advocates Meet with Congress as American Health Care Act Released

The 2017 Advocacy Summit was held March 6-7 in Washington, DC, and while the outcome is still developing, we are very pleased with the results thus far. Arthritis affects people regardless of age or origin, so it was no surprise that this year’s Summit attendees were a mix of all ages from coast to coast. More than 400 people from 45 states attended. Summit attendees participated in a variety of educational programs, all designed to help them better understand issues that are affecting easy access to affordable care, and how to communicate to policymakers the devastating effects of arthritis and critical need for ...more
Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Help Your Partner Cope with Your Arthritis

Does your partner cope with the ups and downs of your arthritis by keeping his or her frustrations and fears on lockdown? Does he or she try to micromanage problems away? Understanding your partner’s coping style can make you both happier and healthier. Understanding what’s behind your partner’s behavior can be an important step toward a stronger relationship, says Nancy Ruddy, PhD, a clinical psychologist at McCann Health in Mountain Lakes, N.J. Couples can get locked into unhelpful patterns that negatively affect health, but strengthening your bond makes for a happier relationship and can improve your health. For example, research shows people ...more
More Americans Report Arthritis-Related Limitations Than 15 Years Ago

More Americans Report Arthritis-Related Limitations Than 15 Years Ago

More than 54 million adults in the United States have some form of arthritis and, for nearly half of them, the pain, stiffness and joint damage make daily life harder, according to a new report released in early March by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the report notes that the prevalence of arthritis has not changed significantly since 2002, it does highlight a 20 percent jump in the percentage of people who have arthritis-attributable limitations in activities – that is, trouble with simple tasks such as lifting a grocery bag or walking a few blocks. CDC acting ...more
Victory in Iowa: Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law!

Victory in Iowa: Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law!

Iowa has recently joined 27 other states that have passed biosimilars legislation.  On behalf of the 619,000 adults (plus 2,800 children) in Iowa with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, we’d like to thank Governor Branstad for signing House File 305 into law on Friday, March 10, 2017. The bill allows Iowa pharmacists the ability to dispense safe and potentially less expensive biologic medications to patients, by substituting an FDA approved interchangeable biosimilar for a prescribed biologic product.  The law also requires that the prescriber and patient be notified when there is a substitution. Angie and Maci Brooker “I find it vitally important that communication occurs between ...more
People with Gout at Risk of Premature Death

People with Gout at Risk of Premature Death

A new study found that people with gout have a 25 percent greater likelihood of dying prematurely than people without gout. The findings also show that this increased mortality rate has not improved over the past 16 years, unlike the mortality rate for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Gout, which affects more than 4 percent of adults in the United States, is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis. It develops in some people who have high levels of uric acid in the blood. The acid can form needle-like crystals in a joint and cause sudden, severe episodes of pain, tenderness, ...more
Advocacy Summit Day 2 Highlights: Advocates Meet with State and Federal Policymakers to Share Their Stories

Advocacy Summit Day 2 Highlights: Advocates Meet with State and Federal Policymakers to Share Their Stories

Day two of the Advocacy Summit started with lots of chatter about the Trump administration’s unveiling of repeal and replace health care legislation. Several aspects of the bill align with our Patient Principles for Health Care which outlines four principles that, if adopted, will result in a transparent health care system that allows easier access to more affordable care. The bill includes language that prevents denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions, bans lifetime coverage caps and allows young people to remain on their parent’s insurance plans until they turn 26-years-old – all good news for the arthritis community! Ruby Rollins, AL As ...more
400 Volunteers Prepare for Meetings with Congress: Advocacy Summit Day 1 Highlights

400 Volunteers Prepare for Meetings with Congress: Advocacy Summit Day 1 Highlights

They came from places like Runnels, a small town in Iowa with 507 residents, and New York City, the second largest city in the world. Lydia and Susanna Meyer, NV People like Leticia Hugues and her son, Ashton, from Smiths Grove Kentucky, Lydia Meyer and her daughter Susanna from Reno, Nevada, and Kelli Carlson from Woodbury Minnesota and her friend Kelli Dwyer from La Crosse, Wisconsin. Yesterday, more than 400 volunteers from all parts of the country convened in Washington, DC, filled with passion and desire, and ready to use their personal arthritis stories to affect real and meaningful changes for the ...more
Advocacy Summit 2017: Up Close with Actor and Foundation Advocate Clark Middleton

Advocacy Summit 2017: Up Close with Actor and Foundation Advocate Clark Middleton

Clark Middleton, the talented actor currently on NBC’s “The Blacklist” and Hulu’s “The Path,” is packing his bags and heading to Washington, DC, with hundreds of other Arthritis Foundation Advocates – to raise his voice and share his story at the Advocacy Summit. Clark’s journey with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) started as a young child, helping shape who he is today – and why he’s extremely passionate about patient rights and access to affordable health care for those with chronic diseases. Clark opened up about his lifelong journey with JRA. Childhood Journey In 1961, a doctor diagnosed 4-year-old Clark with JRA and told ...more
RA With a Side of Fibromyalgia

RA With a Side of Fibromyalgia

For years, fibromyalgia was a mystery illness. No one knew what caused it, how to diagnose it or how best to treat it. Some people, including doctors, even questioned its existence. In the last few years, however, researchers have cleared up some of the mystery. Although much about fibromyalgia still isn’t understood completely, two things are clear: It’s very real, and it affects a disproportionate number of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). What Is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain, fatigue, poor sleep and memory problems. It’s often associated with other symptoms, too, including headache, irritable bowel syndrome and ...more