All posts by Arthritis Today Magazine

Rheumatoid Arthritis Story Jessica Gottlieb

Jessica Gottlieb’s Medication Success for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Five years ago, Jessica went to her doctor to ask about prescription anti­depressants. “I couldn’t understand why I was exhausted all the time and why getting out of bed was so difficult.” A health history and exam revealed that she wasn’t depressed; she had rheumatoid arthritis (RA). “At first, I struggled with the diagnosis. I’ve always been super active – I love to play tennis and hike, and I have children. RA had seriously damaged my hands, too, and I write for a living.”

For Jessica, reclaiming her life was not about positive thinking, “It was about good medicine and good therapies [including acupuncture],” she says. “Anyone who tells you living well with RA is all about your attitude is delusional or a liar,” she says. “Sometimes I get really irritated that I have this disease. That doesn’t make me sicker – it makes me human.”

Sticking to her treatment plan has minimized the severity of her RA. “For me, biologics have been crucial. They helped get rid of the fatigue, which allowed me to regain my stamina and get back to my life,” says ­Jessica. “I see my rheumatologist ­regularly and I’m totally honest with him; I don’t pretend my pain is a 2 on a 1 to 10 level if it’s really a 6.”

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Story Cindy Lane Ross

Defeating Rheumatoid Arthritis With Fitness & Nutrition

It’s hard to believe that Cindy Lane Ross has been dealing with serious health issues most of her life. A fitness instructor and nutritionist, she owns a 12,000-square-foot fitness center with 14 personal trainers, plus two fitness clothing lines (including one for joint support at, a website design company, and online fitness and nutrition program ( She also regularly appears in nutrition and fitness segments on the local Fox station in her hometown of Mobile, Ala.

Cindy, now 37, was diagnosed at 22 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), was nearly 100 pounds overweight at one point, and recently was ­diagnosed with osteoporosis. With each new challenge, she steps up and takes control.

She played professional tennis until she was diagnosed with RA. “My tennis career came to a screeching halt,” Cindy says. “I was depressed and had no clue what I wanted to do with my life.” The pounds crept on, accelerating during the four years she cared for her mother. When her mother died in 2006, Cindy, at 5 feet, 6 inches tall, topped the scales at 220.

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