Managing your arthritis along with other health conditions can be a lot to handle. People taking more than one drug are at increased risk of interactions, not to mention potential confusion about timing and dosage when taking over-the-counter and prescription medicines. Fortunately, getting the answers you need is as easy as stopping by your neighborhood pharmacy.
More than just dispensing meds, pharmacists can provide information about your disease; review your medications and advise you about them; and recommend drug types, dosages and scheduling for over-the-counter medicines. A 2010 study in the journal Medical Care found that patients are healthier when a pharmacist is an active part of their healthcare team.
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Support groups have been beneficial to many people living with chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Studies show arthritis support groups can improve mood, provide better coping skills, decrease pain and provide relief from negative emotions, such as fear, resentment and hopelessness, according to Vicki Helgeson, PhD, of Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, who has studied the impact of support groups for more than a decade.
However, support groups sometimes get a bad rap because some can become a ceaseless cycle of negativity in which members continuously vent, but do not learn to cope and accept their illness.
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