A diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis can leave you wondering what you’re in for: Will you face along, bumpy road with your disease, or will it respond well to minimal treatment? Although there is no crystal ball, research into different forms of inflammatory arthritis is identifying factors that predict the likelihood of more or less severe disease.
Knowing these factors enables your doctor to target treatment, says David Pisetsky, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and immunology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. “With evidence of a worse prognosis, most rheumatologists will monitor patients more closely, try to get disease control more rapidly and adjust medications to achieve a [disease] activity score as low as possible,” he says. Plus, steps to taper treatment in those who achieve remission “would be more cautious and gradual,” he adds.
Here are prognostic factors your doctor may consider. Continue reading What Determines How Severe Your Arthritis May Become?
Yes, you can reap all the benefits from your inflammation-fighting fish oil supplements without the fishy taste.
Don’t let your fish oil supplements linger on a kitchen shelf because it causes fishy burps. Follow these five tips to minimize this unpleasant problem and still get your helping of omega-3 essential fatty acids:
Continue reading Stop the Fish Oil Aftertaste
Rheumatic diseases don’t just affect the joints; they can attack many different body parts, including the eyes. Save your vision by bringing any of the following symptoms to your doctor’s attention.
Eyes that burn, itch or feel gritty could point to Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune attack on the body’s moisture- producing glands. About half of people living with Sjögren’s also have another autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or lupus.
Continue reading Three Eye Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore if You Have Arthritis
When Kathleen Stoddart was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) two years ago, she knew there would be some things she couldn’t control. But, when she realized some things were within her control, she immediately got to work.
“When I was diagnosed with RA, one thing the doctor mentioned was smoking,” recalls Kathleen. “I had been a smoker for a long time. “I kept thinking that if there was any behavior I had that contributed to making my RA worse, I would do anything to change it. Within a month of my diagnosis, I quit smoking completely.”
Continue reading Healthy Choices: Massage Therapy a Part of a Lifestyle Makeover
You’ve probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you have an inflammatory type of arthritis. They help reduce inflammation throughout the body, and some studies have shown benefits for heart health, brain function and diabetes.
There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets. One type is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the other type is eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fish oil (EPA and DHA) is the most commonly used dietary supplement in the United States. A study published in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease in 2013, found that when a high-dose fish oil supplement is added to so-called triple therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (methotrexate, sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine), patients achieved better outcomes: they were far less likely to “fail” treatment and twice as likely to reach remission than those who did not take a supplement.
Continue reading The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Arthritis