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rheumatoid athritis

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Any SF members have any experience with this? my niece was just diagnosed with this and wondering if anyone could offer any insight
post #2 of 9
It sucks. The steroids have tons of side effects and it's a degenerative disease. A client and close friend got diagnosed with it. When I first met her she was making great progress and she was soon in the best shape of her life. RA set in and created lots of limitations and it really set her back a lot because so much of her training and life got affected by it.
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bullethead View Post
Any SF members have any experience with this? my niece was just diagnosed with this and wondering if anyone could offer any insight

Any particular concerns? It's a chronic inflammatory condition primarily involving the joints. There is no cure but there are many good treatments, some more affordable than others.
post #4 of 9
My mother-in-law has it. It sucks.
She's really deteriorated in the past several years.

It took a long time before they were able to find a treatment that was effective for her and the drugs are very expensive.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkl118 View Post
Any particular concerns? It's a chronic inflammatory condition primarily involving the joints. There is no cure but there are many good treatments, some more affordable than others.

Nothing i can think of right away-just found out this afternoon. I suppose i'm curious to see if anyone here has it and how it affects day to day life.

thanks for the responses
post #6 of 9
I wrote a paper on coping with RA in Health Psych so I'll offer what little insight I have..

One of the most common complications of RA is depression, and depression has been shown in studies to intensify pain experienced. This is especially dangerous because it forms a negative feedback: progression of disease --> greater disability --> decreased self-esteem/self-efficacy because they are not able to do the things they used to do --> depression --> increase intensity of pain --> exacerbation of the physical impairment.

In terms of treatment, generally speaking cognitive-behavior therapy with the main goal of increasing self-efficacy is the best way to go. The goal is to reduce the risk of depression. Teach the patient skills in managing stress, pain, and symptoms of the disease (eg: through arthritis self-help books) has been shown to reduce pain and joint inflammation and improve psychosocial functioning.

EDIT: also, if she's just diagnosed with this, here's some optimistic statistics: almost half of RA patients recover completely, nearly half remain somewhat arthritic, and only about 10% are severely disabled.
post #7 of 9
i'm assuming you're talking about juvenile RA? as that's a slightly different beastie than RA diagnosed in later life. it used to be a seriously crippling /deforming disease. with the new DMARDS (disease modifying antirheumatic drugs) patient outcomes are insanely better. it's an area that some serious progression has been made and is being made, so you're best bet is to talk to a rheumatologist if possible, as they'll be the most up to date with the particular sub-type of RA you're talking about, current medications, and prognosis. just to reitterate --> shitloads of progress has been made, far far far better outcomes than previous.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mkerr View Post
just to reitterate --> shitloads of progress has been made, far far far better outcomes than previous.

Totally true. There are way more effective treatments now compared to just 10 years ago. There are also new drugs coming out all the time.

How severe the RA is really varies from person to person. Some have mild disease which doesn't affect day to day life at all. Others have moderate disease which is harder to control. And others have severe disease which is more resistant to treatment.

The prognosis is often hard to determine. But some prognostic factors include how severe the disease is at onset, certain blood test results, and if someone is a smoker.
post #9 of 9
I had juvenile RA when I was younger, so in the early 90s. From what I remember, I had to go to the hospital pretty frequently treatment. At 19, I am completely fine, though, and have been just about as long as I can remember. I have played soccer since I was about 6, am an active runner, and pretty athletic. It hasn't really affected me at all, except that it may be one of the factors as to why I am skinny.
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