January Arthritis News Update

January Arthritis News Update

We consistently learn more about identifying the symptoms of arthritis and how it affects people’s day-to-day lives. Here are a few inspiring developments in the world of arthritis over the past month.

FDA Issues Stern Warning to CBD Industry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to 15 companies for selling products containing cannabidiol (CBD) in ways that violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). The FDA also published a revised Consumer Update detailing safety concerns about CBD products more broadly. The FDA warning particularly focuses on ingestibles and products that fall outside of the Arthritis Foundation’s CBD guidelines.

The Arthritis Foundation sent a letter to the FDA regarding the need for more regulation, research and patient education regarding CBD and continues to monitor any legislative action regarding CBD. We have strict guidelines a CBD company must meet in order to associate with us through programs, sponsorship or advertising.  We are not affiliated in any way with any of the 15 firms cited in the FDA letter.

The Arthritis Foundation released the first-ever patient CBD Consumer Guidance for Adults with Arthritis for those considering the use of CBD. You can also learn more about CBD in episode #1 of the Live Yes! With Arthritis Podcast, available now.

Tennis Star Caroline Wozniacki Opens Up About Her Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis

Caroline Wozniacki recently announced her retirement from professional tennis. During her career, which began at age 15, she achieved 30 Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) singles titles, a WTA Finals victory, three Olympic games — carrying the flag for her native Denmark — and a win at the 2018 Australian Open Grand Slam championship. One area of focus she’s planning during her retirement is raising awareness about rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Wozniacki was recently diagnosed with RA but said it didn’t play a factor in her decision to retire.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and causes inflammation as the immune system attacks joints by mistake. Treatment of RA includes over-the-counter drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin, to control pain and inflammation and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs.

Wozniak plans to use her platform to launch a health education campaign centered around RA. Her goal is let people know anything is possible, regardless of the disease.

Thermal Cameras Detect Rheumatoid Arthritis When Symptoms Are Absent

A recent study performed by Staffordshire University shows thermal imaging could be used to detect rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers wanted to see if RA patients showed different temperatures in their palms when compared to healthy individuals. Patients for this study were chosen because they showed no other signs of RA symptoms.

The researchers found patients with RA showed higher temperatures than the healthy participants, possibly caused by underlying disease activity. Although further studies are required, the research team believes thermal imaging, an emerging technology within medicine, could be an innovative tool for detecting RA compared to current methods.

New Wearable Sensor Detects Gout and Other Medical Conditions

Gout is a complex form of arthritis, characterized by sudden, severe attacks of pain and tenderness in the joints. It can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to other conditions.

A Cal Tech team led by Wei Gao, a professor of biomedical engineering, developed a wearable sensor that measures sweat compounds. The research team designed its sensor to measure levels of uric acid, in addition to other metrics. Uric acid was chosen because it is associated with gout, which occurs when high uric acid levels begin crystallizing in the joints, causing irritation and inflammation.

The high sensitivity of the sensors, along with the ease of manufacturing them, means they could eventually be used by patients at home to monitor conditions like gout, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Arthritis can make everyday life difficult for the millions of Americans struggling with its many different forms. But education and scientific developments can make it easier to identify, detect and treat the effects of arthritis. Get the resources you need by joining the Live Yes! Arthritis Network.

Quitting Smoking Helps Improve RA 

Smoking cessation can lower disease activity for RA patients, as well as lowering cardiovascular disease risks according to a new study put out by Oxford Academic.

Additionally, the Mayo Clinic recently released  a study of 74 comorbidities and the timing of their development. The study discovered that comorbidities accumulate in an accelerated fashion after an RA diagnosis. In addition, autoimmune diseases and epilepsy may predispose to RA development, while heart disease, venous thromboembolism and obstructive sleep apnea might develop as a result of RA.

You can find out more about arthritis comorbidities and how RA increases risks for lung and heart diseases on the Arthritis Foundation’s website.

Rural Areas Benefit from State Arthritis Programs

Living in rural areas of the U.S. can provide many challenges for access to care when it comes to managing arthritis. However, state arthritis programs funded by the CDC can make a difference. A recent article released by Xtelligent Healthcare Media highlighted the benefits of providing access to these programs and how they can break down some of the barriers.

The Arthritis Foundation advocates in D.C. each year for continued and increased funding from the CDC to provide these state-funded arthritis programs. You can take action by sending a letter to your lawmakers encouraging them to support this increased funding.

Physical Therapy Before Joint Injections?

Osteoarthritis treatments available are limited, but new research shows that physical therapy may be more effective for knee OA than steroid injections.

The Arthritis Foundation has a Walk with Ease Program & The Better Living Toolkit that can provide guidance in managing OA and staying active. Information on the benefits of physical therapy is available on our website, as well as exercising with OA.

No Itch to Switch: Few Medicare Beneficiaries Switch Plans During the Open Enrollment Period

According to a recent article, only 8-10% of Medicare beneficiaries voluntarily switch plans during open enrollment. Around 1% switch involuntarily. This lends to discussion on whether people understand the differences in their coverage plans available.

The Arthritis Foundation has a toolkit to help you understand your health insurance coverage needs and plan options with the RX for Access – Your Coverage, Your Care.  Also,the Arthritis Foundation Helpline, staffed by licensed, clinical social workers, offers assistance 24/7 to help you understand how to access the care you need.

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One thought on “January Arthritis News Update

  1. I’m not sure I agree about CBD. Personally it doesn’t help me much and I think people will self select out of using it, especially considering the ridiculous price of it. The lessons of Prohibition were only incompletely learned.

    However, there’s a misinformation I’ve seen on your site that needs to be talked about. Traditionally spinach is bad for joint pain. And in my life I’ve confirmed that this is true, for me. You might suggest that people stick to plain lettuces or collards instead of spinach. If nobody’s studied it, then I suggest they do a study on it. For years I wondered why I woke up in pain despite all drugs offered to help and, partly, it was spinach. Maybe it’s all oxalic acid foods. I haven’t tested them all, but I know spinach hurts me. It’s very confusing to see your dietary suggestions include it, despite traditional warnings about it.

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