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Posts Tagged ‘Auto Immune’

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.

Initial Diagnosis..What You Should Know..

I came across some information from the Mayo Clinic on how to prepare for your initial doctors appointment and what to expect. Hopefully it will help prepare those of you who are in the early stages of being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. When I was initially diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, I had no clue what it meant. I was basically told it was an auto immune disease that causes my body to attack itself, primarily my joint tissue. With that information, I thought, OK, so now I understand why I am in pain. But I really didn’t understand all the other symptoms I was having and how they related to me being diagnosed with RA.  Without understanding there was a connection between certain things I was experiencing and RA, during my first few visits I only focused on discussing a few symptoms primarily focusing on pain. Why, because that is what I understood RA to about, PAIN. Now, years later after much research and discussions with my doctor, I understand a RA diagnosis is more than experiencing pain. I should have also been discussing pain management, fatigue, anxiety, appetite, exercise and various other issues. Hopefully this information will help to provide you with a more informed office visit.

Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic staff

While you might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a rheumatologist — a doctor who specializes in the treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions — for further evaluation.

What you can do
Write a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms, including when they started and if anything makes them better or worse
  • Information about medical problems you’ve had in the past
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

What to expect from your doctor
During the physical exam, your doctor will check your joints for swelling, redness and warmth. He or she will also check your reflexes and muscle strength.

In addition to the physical exam, your doctor might order imaging and laboratory tests to help determine the cause of your signs and symptoms. Rheumatoid arthritis can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages because its early signs and symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. And no one test or physical finding confirms the diagnosis.

Blood tests
People with rheumatoid arthritis tend to have an elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR, or sed rate), which indicates the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. Other common blood tests look for rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies.

X-rays
Your doctor may recommend X-rays to help track the progression of rheumatoid arthritis in your joints over time.

www.mayoclinic.com

Old Man Winter Never Looked so GOOD….

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Ok, I realize I have been neglecting my fashion obligations so I am writing this post for all my sick fashionistas who want to look good even when they don’t feel good. For me there are a few key things cold weather fashions must possess for it to be worthy of spending my hard earned cash:

1. Lightweight. When you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, your body is achy and your joints are swollen making the slightest bit of weight feel like a thousand pounds. Therefore instead of the heavy, bulky items, I searched high and low for warm, thin, insulated items that didn’t make me feel like I was wearing a heavy suit of armor.

2. Fabulous and Non-Trendy. Because staying warm in the winter months are important, I selected items that I could carry over into next winter, without looking like it was last winter. In order to achieve this, I avoided items with a huge brand labeling and stuck to classics, such as belted wool coats and colors that stand the test of time such as Black, Grey and Navy.

So here a few of my favorite designers that incorporate the most important items a fabulous sick chick needs to endure the cold.

http://zapp.me/7653783

Columbia: The brand is synonyms with warmth and comfort, and this coat lives up to it’s reputation. It is perfect for the cold winter days as well as the milder days. It is very light in weight and fashionable, with a great belt to give you that slim waist line every girl loves to show off. The color is classic and the style can go with jeans or slacks and snow boats or stilettos..Great all around winter coat and it looks better in person with a beautiful scarf.

http://amzn.com/B0018P2DQA

Pajar: Now, I don’t have these exact boots, mine have fur around the top of the boot. I love, love these boots. Pajar may not be as familiar to everyone as UGG or Sorel, but it is a great quality brand. Their boots are easy to get on and off and lightweight. I have had them for a while and I get compliments on them all the time. They match with all my winter coats and my feet never get cold. My favorite thing about these boots are the comfort level, typically I have to wear orthopedic insoles but not with these boots, “These boots are made for walking”, so corny,,but so true.

Single Black Female….seeking cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis

January 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I have searched and searched and I must say I have been a bit disappointed by the lack of information regarding African-Americans and Rheumatoid Arthritis or Autoimmune Disease in general. The little information I found provided insight more on Type 1 Diabetes and Lupus. Which is great but, considering there are over 80 types of Autoimmune diseases with African American, Hispanic, Native-American women having a higher predisposition for certain types, I would think there would be more information.  According to the CDC, African Americans are 17% less likely to report arthritis than Whites and Hispanics are 46% less likely. However they are twice as likely to report severe joint damage pain and work limitations. Other than the assumption of language barriers and access to health care the core reasons for the disparities are unknown.

I personally believe in this media overload world, more should be done to help the minority women identify with the women on RA medication TV and Internet ads. If a minority women would see herself on a Rheumatoid Arthritis TV/Facebook/Twitter educational ad experiencing these symptoms, she may ask her doctor to test her rheumatoid factor, instead of just pounding Motrin to self-manage the pain. Without getting the proper medical attention, it will lead to severe joint damage and debilitation.  With early diagnosis, a woman can start on an exercise plan, a healthy eating regimen and seek proper health care. All the things that can help a patient manage their RA. On the flip side, doctors may also become more sympathetic to young minority women who come into the office with RA symptoms and encourage her to see a Rheumatologist and not just prescribe her with the Motrin.

Ultimately, the goal is to educate, educate, and educate all women into living a healthier more fulfilling life with RA. However, I also believe that the 12% of the African Americans living with arthritis should not be left out of this educational program.

Arthritis Impacts African Americans and Hispanics more than Whites

http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100415.htm

Autoimmune Disease

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/autoimmunediseases.html

5 Tips on how to make Yoga class work when you have a disability…

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

All the experts say Yoga is a great way to stretch your muscles, relieve stress and get some very much needed gentle exercise. However when you see people in certain extreme poses, it can be a little intimidating. But now, I must admit that I personally love Yoga, it is low-impact and very relaxing. However when your body has certain restrictions, some of the poses can range from challenging to down right impossible. And if you are taking a class with a hands on teacher, they are eager to help try and push you into the proper position.  Which may be great for some, but for those of us with body restrictions certain movements are a NO-NO.  So what do you do to get the most out of your Yoga class for which you have paid for with your hard earned money? Well here are a few suggestions that I found helped me with my Yoga experience:

1.)  The Studio. If you are going to a Yoga studio, select one with various levels and types of classes. This allows growth in your Yoga experience and the chance to sample each class until you find the one perfect you. You should also ask for their advice on which they believe is the most appropriate class for your level of ability. Make sure you ask a qualified Yoga instructor and not just the desk receptionist.

2.)  Be Early on your 1st Day. Try to get to the class a few minutes early to talk with your Yoga instructor. Let them know your body restrictions and request for them to provide alternative poses during class. This will help you get the most out of the class while preventing you from doing hurtful poses.

3.)  Props! Props! Props! Don’t be afraid to use props such as rolled towels or blocks to add support when trying to achieve certain poses. Most reputable Yoga studios have them available for use free of charge. Call ahead to verify, if not, bring your on.  Try Target, Wal-Mart or Marshall’s, they have some great prices.

4.)  Please Don’t Touch. If you are sensitive to touch, request that when your instructor has a recommended alternative pose, to let you know verbally. Let them know upfront that you do not like to be touched, without permission.  If your instructor is a professional, they will not be offended. If they are too bad, remember, it is your body and an unwanted movement can hurt. Remember you are they to help your body, not hurt your body.

5.)  Take a break. If any pose is too difficult, feel free to sit down until they move to an accommodating pose. Trust me you will not be the only person sitting, just try to remain still and not to disturb the other participants. If you find yourself at your limit during class, quietly excuse yourself from the class.

These five tips can really help make your Yoga experience wonderful and allow you to really get the health benefit of the Yoga poses. Enjoy!