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Great Answers to Important Questions..

June 21, 2011 3 comments

I came across some great information from the Mayo Clinic that I wanted to share. I am providing this information to continue to help dispel the belief that Rheumatoid Arthritis is just about swollen hands and achy joints. This information addresses the impact of RA on the Lungs and Eyes.

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect your lungs?

Answer

from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

Although rheumatoid arthritis primarily affects joints, it can also affect your lungs. In fact, lung problems from rheumatoid arthritis sometimes surface before joint problems. The most common lung problems associated with rheumatoid arthritis include:

  • Painful breathing. Rheumatoid arthritis can cause inflammation of the lining of the lungs (pleurisy). The inflammation can cause sharp pain while breathing.
  • Shortness of breath. Fluid due to inflammation of the lining of the lungs may accumulate around the lungs (pleural effusion). This accumulation can cause shortness of breath.
  • Lung nodules. Small lumps may form in the lungs (rheumatoid nodules), as well as in other parts of the body. Lung nodules usually cause no signs or symptoms, and they don’t pose a risk of lung cancer. In some cases, however, a nodule can rupture and cause a collapsed lung.
  • Scarring of the lungs. Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to scarring within the lungs. Signs and symptoms may include shortness of breath, chronic dry cough, fatigue, weakness and loss of appetite.

Contact your doctor promptly if you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience any unexplained breathing problems. Sometimes treatment is aimed at the underlying rheumatoid arthritis. In other cases, treatment involves medication to suppress the immune system or a procedure to remove fluid from the lungs.

Can rheumatoid arthritis affect the eyes?

Answer

from April Chang-Miller, M.D.

Rheumatoid arthritis is primarily a joint disease. However, rheumatoid arthritis occasionally affects other parts of the body — including the eyes. Eye conditions associated with rheumatoid arthritis may include:

  • Dry eyes. Generally, preservative-free artificial tears can ease the discomfort of dry eyes. It’s important to note that dry eyes also can be a symptom of Sjogren’s syndrome — an autoimmune disorder that’s often associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Inflammation of the interior of the eye (uveitis). Uveitis may cause eye redness and pain, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
  • Inflammation of the membrane covering the white part of the eye (episcleritis). Episcleritis may cause sudden eye discomfort or redness.
  • Inflammation of the white part of the eye (scleritis). Scleritis is usually characterized by constant, severe eye pain and tenderness. Sometimes the white of the eye takes on the appearance of a deep violet color — deeper than the eye redness typically seen with episcleritis.
  • Glaucoma. Inflammation within the eye can affect the eye’s drainage system, ultimately leading to glaucoma — a condition that can result in blindness. Depending on the type of glaucoma, signs and symptoms may include gradual vision loss, eye pain or blurred vision.
  • Cataracts. Several factors may lead to clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye (cataracts), including inflammation within the eye and long-term use of corticosteroid medications often prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Signs and symptoms may include cloudy, blurred or dim vision.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis and experience eye pain, vision changes or other eye problems, consult an ophthalmologist for an evaluation. Also consult your rheumatologist. Early treatment can help prevent vision-threatening complications.

www.mayoclinic.com

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Don’t Leave me in all this Pain…

Recently there was a discussion online regarding more entertainers sharing with the world their struggles with chronic illness. Of course there are some, such as Kathleen Turner, who have come out with the fact that they have RA. She has a great story and cautionary tell of dealing with being diagnosed with RA. However, I always new there were others dealing with an autoimmune disease..Well, recently one of my besties has gotten me addicted to the reality show “Braxton Family Values” staring Grammy award winning Toni Braxton. Love it..Full of drama and comedy, they really bring it. On this past episode she announced to her family and the world that she has Lupus. It has been impacting her heart and lungs and has caused her to put her performing career on hold. She decided to tell everyone to encourage early diagnosis, because her being diagnosed with Lupus late, had a harsh impact on her life. By the time she was diagnosed her body was in such a bad flare that she couldn’t perform and had to cancel her performance contracts, which led to financial disaster.  This is a terrible position to be in, and so many people have had to stop working, give up their dreams in some form or another just to take care of themselves. So it may sound crazy, but there is some comfort is knowing you are not alone, this can happen to anyone, you are not being punished..Autoimmune is a random illness that impacts rich, poor, Black, White, Fabulous and, well everyone is fabulous in their on way..

I think it took a lot of courage for Toni to come out and share with the world her battle with Lupus. I am sure it was very difficult for her to come out with her truth especially while going through a divorce, a son who has Autism and financial woes.  But for someone like me who can identify with her health struggles and in part her personal issues, I will definitely go out and support her projects.  It is a great testament to how important it is to share your story to hopefully inspire others to pay attention when their body is telling them something is wrong.  Hats off to you Miss Braxton..you truly exemplify being Fabulous and Sick..

For more info..check out this great article with Braxton in Black Enterprise.

http://www.blackenterprise.com

Relationships Effects Rheumatoid Arthritis | Shelley Kasle | Arthritis Today Magazine | Arthritis Foundation

 

Interesting article evaluating the impact a positive relationship can have on RA. Focusing on the benefits of having a good communication network.

Relationships Effects Rheumatoid Arthritis | Shelley Kasle | Arthritis Today Magazine | Arthritis Foundation.

Fatigue You Can’t Hold me down..Oatmeal You are No Help..lol

March 25, 2011 2 comments

The other day I mentioned to a friend I was exhausted and was headed home early to turn in. My friend replied that I should eat Oatmeal for breakfast, as she had started eating Oatmeal and it has been giving her energy for the day, SMH!! Now, If the Quaker Oatmeal man can cure the fatigue of RA, I would have bought stock in Quaker years ago. But Oatmeal doesn’t do squat for fatigue. So I came across this article which was shared by a participant of  an online support group and decided I must share as Fatigue is one of the underline issues of RA that many people tend not to acknowledge.  However, on those days when you either just can’t get out of the bed, or you just can’t wait to get home to get in bed, you are reminded that Fatigue is part of RA. And contrary to popular belief, feeling tired and fatigue are DIFFERENT.

Mastering the Impact of Fatigue in Rheumatoid Arthritis

http://www.hss.edu/conditions_mastering-impact-fatigue-ra.asp

Darvocet Recall Help

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

If you are like me, Darvocet is one of the few pain killers that help you have a progressive day. It helps you function as much as a person can without many harmful side effects such as nausea, ulcers and headaches. Now, it is not the answer for everyone, but for many, it truly does help them navigate through life with a manageable amount pain. For those who have suffered complications, I believe they should add additional warning labels on the containers, after all this medication has been around helping those in pain for over 50 years. Not to mention, they offer a generic version at a very affordable price. So if you believe that Darvocet should be placed back on the market with either further research into the complication claims or with additional disclaimers, PLEASE PLEAS PLEASE send you request to the following addresses below:

Public Citizen (The Group that pushed for the recall)
Main office is:1600 20th Street NW
Washington DC
Phone is 202-588-1000
E-mail them at hrg1@citizen.org

Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Springs MD 20993-0002 PHONE 1-888-463-6332 also 301-796-8460
http://www.fda.gov or drug info@fda.hhs.gov or OSHI@fda.hhs.gov

 

Let our voices be heard, we deserve the best medical treatment and the best life possible.

Categories: Awareness

Scholarships for those with Rheumatoid Arthritis

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

UCB Announces the Family RA Scholarship Program

In 2008, UCB conducted a pilot scholarship program that awarded 1o scholarships of $10,000 each, to students living beyond boundaries of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  The program was such a success that UCB expanded the scope to 31 one-time scholarships in 2009 and another 30 in 2010. In 2011, UCB will again award 30 scholarships of up to $10,000 each to qualified applicants.

This opportunity extends to people diagnosed with RA and their immediate family members (Parent, Spouse, child or sibling) who are seeking an associate’s, undergraduate, or graduate degree or are enrolled in a trade school educational program. The application submission deadline is March 18, 2011.

Click on the link below for further information..

http://www.reachbeyondra.com/scholarship/default.aspx


Categories: Awareness

Autoimmune Diseases: MedlinePlus

November 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Learning About Autoimmune Diseases

 

Autoimmune Diseases: MedlinePlus.

Categories: Awareness