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Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

For some women with RA, pregnancy brings on an unexpected bonus: improved symptoms. Approximately 70% of women with RA experience improved symptoms in the second trimester that can last through the first 6 weeks after delivery, says J. Bruce Smith, MD, assistant compliance officer for research at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a rheumatologist whose research has focused largely on autoimmune disease and pregnancy. There are several theories why disease symptoms improve, including increased anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Exactly why some women with RA improve while others don’t is unknown, but a study out ...more
Voices: What Has Having Arthritis Taught You?

Voices: What Has Having Arthritis Taught You?

In recognition of May as Arthritis Awareness Month, we asked bloggers what they’ve learned from having arthritis, and what they want others to know. Julie Faulds an-attitude-of-gratitude.blogspot.com “Little Things Make All the Difference” Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the embodiment of a roller coaster – one day you’re up, the next day you rush to the bottom. The most important thing I have learned from my RA diagnosis (and all of the lovely off-shoot illnesses) and what I tell others is that I have to have patience with myself and use the wonderful support system with which I am blessed. And I know now exactly ...more
RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Smoking, Obesity Make RA Harder to Control Remission in RA patients can be harder to achieve in those who are overweight or smoke, according to a recent study. American and Canadian researchers who collected data on more than 1,100 patients receiving standard treatment for RA found that sex (being female), excess weight and smoking were not significantly associated with symptom severity early on. However, all three factors influenced how much symptoms improved over time. The most dramatic differences in symptoms were seen in patients who were overweight or ...more
Growing Up with JA Camp

Growing Up with JA Camp

In 1989, eight-year-old Gina Yocum attended Camp MASH in Wisconsin for the first time. She had so much fun at JA Camp that she went back the next summer – and then 28 more after that. For the first 10 years, Gina attended camp as a camper; this June will be her 20th year as a staff member. A Priceless Experience When Gina made her first venture to Camp MASH (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting), it was one of just a handful of JA Camps nationwide. Today, JA camps in 25 states serve kids coast to coast. Arthritis Foundation JA camps are sponsored ...more
Funding Juvenile Research Coordinators Across the County

Funding Juvenile Research Coordinators Across the County

The Arthritis Foundation is funding a new program to help support the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) and the CARRA Registry (registry). Eight sites were selected to receive funding to support the salary of a dedicated registry research coordinator for one year. Until now, some sites have been short-handed for this important research position. Researchers collect information through studies on many pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases over time and store it in the registry.  Research coordinators play a critical role in making sure research studies run smoothly. Those supported by this program will: Explain the registry to patients and ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. Nail Changes May Indi­cate Psoriatic Arthritis Certain nail features can help doc­tors distinguish between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and possibly lead to earlier or improved treatment for PsA, a new study suggests. In the analysis of 1,092 patients with either PsA or psoriasis only, researchers found that nail changes were more common among those with PsA than psoriasis only. Transverse (side-to-side) grooves, splinter hemorrhages (small broken blood vessels under the nails) and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed) were associated with arthritis. Transverse grooves were ...more
A New Way to Compare How Different Treatments Work for Patients with Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases

A New Way to Compare How Different Treatments Work for Patients with Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases

Every family whose child receives a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease (such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus, dermatomyositis and scleroderma) wants the best treatment and care. The doctors who treat your child also want to provide the best treatment and care for their patients.  Over the past 20 years, new discoveries and medicines have greatly improved the lives of children with rheumatic diseases.  Many new treatment choices are good, but how can we know which medication will work the best for each child?  What if we can learn the answer to this question by simply collecting information on how ...more
When Diet Worsens Osteoarthritis Pain

When Diet Worsens Osteoarthritis Pain

Before you take another bite of that convenient fast food meal, consider how it affects your osteoarthritis (OA).  Research shows that diets high in saturated fat – found in red meat, butter, cheese, lard and processed foods – can weaken knee cartilage, making it more prone to damage. A 2017 study published in Arthritis Care & Research, researchers followed more than 2,000 patients with OA for up to four years, checking disease progression  and diet at yearly intervals. Participants who ate the most fat, especially the saturated kind, showed increasing joint damage, whereas those who ate healthy fats like olive oil ...more
RA Research Briefs: Remission, Surgery, Green Tea

RA Research Briefs: Remission, Surgery, Green Tea

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Obesity Reduces Odds of RA Remission Research suggests weight may be a factor in whether people with RA will achieve disease remission. A review of studies screened a total 3,368 patient records. Canadian researchers found obese patients with RA were less likely to achieve remission or sustain remission compared to healthy-weight patients. Obesity, they reported, negatively impacts disease activity and patient-reported outcomes during therapy. Therefore, they say, interventions to reduce BMI should be investigated for the ability to improve disease outcomes. Source: Arthritis Care & Research, January 2017 Biologics Not ...more
You Said It: PsA Must-Have Item

You Said It: PsA Must-Have Item

We asked our readers and followers “What is your one must-have item for your psoriatic arthritis?” Here are their answers. Good, comfortable walking shoes with lots of support. — Patricia Flynn, Upland, California Good support network. — Garrett via Reddit A doctor that really listens and genuinely cares about my concerns with my care. — Kim Drouillard, Lincoln Park, Michigan I must have my electric jar opener. — Chrystal Tucker, Fayetteville, North Carolina My go-to copper compression gloves for the daily pain. Prayer for flares! — Kari Siemens, St. Louis, Missouri Pain medication when biologics and steroids are not working. — Anne Rowell, Houma, Louisiana A pool to exercise your joints weightlessly. — Kathy ...more