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Severe Skin Reactions to Gout Drug Allopurinol Linked to Race

Severe Skin Reactions to Gout Drug Allopurinol Linked to Race

Americans of Asian and African descent have much higher risk than white and Hispanic Americans of developing rare but severe, sometimes life-threatening skin reactions to the gout drug allopurinol (Zyloprim), according to a new study published recently in Seminars in Arthritis & Rheumatism. These two skin reactions, called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), cause flu-like symptoms, a widespread rash, and large portions of the upper layer of skin (including mucus membranes) to blister and detach. They can also damage other major organs. SJS and TENS, which are believed to be different manifestations of the same disorder, are usually ...more
Does Fish Oil Fight Osteoarthritis?

Does Fish Oil Fight Osteoarthritis?

While the use of nutritional supplements for osteoarthritis (OA) has focused largely on the duo of glucosamine and chondroitin, research suggests that a popular supplement for heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis may also help OA – fish oil. Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids our body needs to function properly. Most studies of the effectiveness of fish oil for osteoarthritis have been done on animals, but a few studies have also been done in humans. Animal Studies Offer the Most Evidence Early evidence of potential effectiveness of fish oil for OA came in a 2011 study published ...more
Running with Knee Osteoarthritis

Running with Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee osteoarthritis doesn’t have to stop you from running—when done carefully, it can actually reduce pain associated with arthritis. Many people mistakenly believe that running causes knee osteoarthritis—however, doctors now know this is not true. Researchers who compared long-term effects of walking, running and other strenuous forms of exercise found that running significantly decreased the risk of hip and knee replacement, while other forms of exercise increased it. Another long-term study of runners versus non-runners showed that the runners did not have a higher incidence of knee osteoarthritis than the non-runners. While doctors are still trying to understand how running can improve ...more
Former Football Player Tackles Gout

Former Football Player Tackles Gout

As a former football player and wrestler who’d had three knee operations, Scott thought he knew pain. Then he had his first gout attack. While the pain was new to him, Scott was familiar with gout because his dad had been living with it for 20 years. Gout, a form of inflammatory arthritis, 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 and redness are not severe – focus on pain, warmth and swelling), warmth and swelling in ...more
Potential New Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Potential New Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Traditionally, treatment for osteoarthritis has been limited to relieving pain. Scientists have found hope that drugs used to treat osteoporosis may be useful in treating not only osteoarthritis (OA) pain, but cartilage damage as well. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue breaks down faster than it is replaced, causing the bones to become brittle and prone to fracture. Bisphosphonates, a class of drugs commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, work by inhibiting cells called osteoclasts that break down bone. Researchers believe they may work similarly for OA, by inhibiting the activity of osteoclasts in the bone beneath the cartilage in affected joints. In ...more
The Emotional Toll of Psoriatic Arthritis

The Emotional Toll of Psoriatic Arthritis

The symptoms of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are usually quite visible – painful, swollen joints, skin reactions and fatigue. Less apparent, but just as impactful, is the emotional toll the disease can take. “They tell me that it’s taxing,” Julie Nelligan, PhD, a Portland Oregon-based psychologist, says of her psoriatic arthritis patients. “They may say things like, ‘Nobody understands me, I feel like I’m not contributing. I’m lonely, I’m anxious because I don’t know when I can get things done and I can’t commit to doing things,’” she adds. Living with a disease that has both subtle and obvious symptoms can be a ...more
5 Psoriatic Arthritis Myths Debunked

5 Psoriatic Arthritis Myths Debunked

Between appointments with your healthcare provider and online research, you feel confident in your knowledge of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). You might be surprised to learn that some popular beliefs about the disease, which affects up to 30% of the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis, are not true at all. “There is a lack of understanding about the nature of this disease,” explains Eric L. Matteson MD, professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Learn the truth behind five popular psoriatic arthritis myths. Myth: If you have psoriasis, you will get psoriatic arthritis. Fact: Fewer than one-third ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis and Eye Complications

Psoriatic Arthritis and Eye Complications

Research shows that the same arthritic inflammation that causes joint problems might also cause damage in other areas of your body, including your vision. One Arthritis Today reader asked us how psoriatic arthritis can lead to potential vision problems. Read on to find out more about what causes these complications and how to treat them, with answers from an expert rheumatologist in Toronto Question From a Reader: I have psoriatic arthritis and often hear that it can lead to eye and vision problems. What are these problems and is there anything I can do to avoid them? Answer From Dafna D. Gladman, MD, ...more
Skin Protection Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis

Skin Protection Tips for Psoriatic Arthritis

Keeping disease activity under control with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologics is an important part of managing the skin symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. But many lifestyle habits can help or worsen psoriasis.  Here are 9 self-care tips that can relieve symptoms and promote healthier skin. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. One of the best remedies for scaling skin is moisture.  Applying moisturizers frequently can relieve dryness and itching and promote healing, particularly in cold, dry weather. The best one for you will depend on how dry your skin is – the thicker the product the more moisture it will hold in, says Steven R. ...more
Smoking Increases the Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis

Smoking Increases the Risk of Psoriatic Arthritis

Smoking can have harmful effects on your skin and joints, increasing the risk and severity of the scaling skin disease psoriasis, and the arthritis that often accompanies it – psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Several studies have found an association between smoking and psoriatic arthritis, but further research is needed to gain a better understanding of cause and effect. In a 2014 study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers in Denmark investigated the smoking-psoriatic arthritis connection in 1,388 psoriatic arthritis patients from a nationwide registry. They found that compared with non-smoking psoriatic arthritis patients, smoking PsA patients had worse self-reported disease. ...more