Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries.
Vitamin D Deficiency Associated with Neuropathic Pain
People with RA who suffer from neuropathic pain – or, understandably, are trying to avoid it – may do well to have their vitamin D levels checked. A study examined neuropathic pain indicators as well as blood samples of 93 patients with RA. The researchers found the prevalence of neuropathic pain was almost six times higher in patients with serum vitamin D levels below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) than in patients with vitamin D levels ≥ 30 ng/mL. Anything below 20 ng/mL is considered a deficiency.
SOURCE: International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, August 31, 2017
Continue reading RA Research Briefs: Vitamin D, Shingles, Jobs
Keeping up with your vaccinations is always a smart move, but getting immunized is especially important when you have an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both RA and the medicines you take to treat it can increase your risk for infections.
When Joan Wilkinson’s RA flared, her rheumatologist insisted that she and her husband get pneumonia and shingles vaccines to protect her from these common infections. “He said, ‘When you leave here today, go straight to the pharmacist,’” she recalls.
Continue reading RA & Vaccinations
People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have roughly twice the risk of healthy older adults of developing shingles, a virus related to chickenpox that causes pain and a blistering rash.
Most adults have been exposed to varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox. This virus is never completely cleared from our bodies, but lies quietly in spinal nerve cells. If it’s reactivated it causes shingles, explains rheumatologist Jeffrey Curtis, MD, professor medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The reactivated virus is called herpes zoster or shingles.
Continue reading Rheumatoid Arthritis Raises Shingles Risk