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When I was told I had RA was bad enough because it is very painful I have the worse kind you can have and it will only get worse as I get older that sucks too. But, then several years back I was told I had pnemonia and was given antibotics for it but never a follow up X ray now I get them every 4 months or sooner if needed because I was told I had Sarcoidosis of the lungs. It was in the end stage of 2 meaning horrible looking x ray scared the death right out of me. So, below you will find some information that I have found all true since I been going through all this for years but the worse time was Dec 2005 when I thought I was going to die and I am not kidding about that. There is no CURE for either of them all you can do is take medication given you by your doctor and hope for remission of the lung disease just like cancer remission and then either slow down the RA or stall it but no cure. I post more as I can and as time goes on you can also fine the information to all these and more at the site in the blog. My goal is to awaken awareness of illness that people 1 out of 12 will get and let you know you are not alone. Arthritis: Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body, but mostly the lungs and lymph glands. In people with sarcoidosis, abnormal masses or nodules (called granulomas) consisting of inflamed tissues form in certain organs of the body. These granulomas may alter the normal structure and possibly the function of the affected organ(s). What Are the Symptoms of Sarcoidosis? The symptoms of sarcoidosis can vary greatly, depending on which organs are involved. Most patients initially complain of a persistent dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include: Tender reddish bumps or patches on the skin. Red and teary eyes or blurred vision. Swollen and painful joints. Enlarged and tender lymph glands in the neck, armpits and groin. Enlarged lymph glands in the chest and around the lungs. Nasal stiffness and hoarse voice. Pain in the hands, feet or other bony areas due to the formation of cysts (an abnormal sac-like growth) in bones. Kidney stone formation. Enlarged liver. Development of abnormal or missed beats (arrhythmias), inflammation of the covering of the heart (pericarditis) or heart failure. Nervous system effects, including hearing loss, meningitis, seizures or psychiatric disorders (for example, dementia, depression, psychosis). ALL THE ABOVE I HAD AT ONE TIME AND STILL DO NOW BUT WITH TREATMENT THERE ARE SIGNS OF REMISSION. enlarged Lymp glands would have been so good if notice sooner but sometimes there are not signs until you are very very sick. In some people, symptoms may begin suddenly and/or severely and subside in a short period of time. Others may have no outward symptoms at all even though organs are affected. Still others may have symptoms that appear slowly and subtly, but which last or recur over a long time span. Who Gets Sarcoidosis? Sarcoidosis most often occurs between 20 and 40 years of age, with women being diagnosed more frequently than men. The disease is 10 to 17 times more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. People of Scandinavian, German, Irish or Puerto Rican origin are also more prone to the disease. It is estimated that up to 4 in 10,000 people in the U.S. have sarcoidosis. What Causes Sarcoidosis? The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. The disease is associated with an abnormal immune response, but what triggers this response is uncertain. How sarcoidosis spreads from one part of the body to another is still being studied. How Is Sarcoidosis Diagnosed? There is no single way to diagnose sarcoidosis, since all the symptoms and laboratory results can occur in other diseases. For this reason, your doctor will carefully review your medical history and examine you to determine if you have sarcoidosis. The main tools your doctor will use to diagnose sarcoidosis include: Chest X-rays to look for cloudiness (pulmonary infiltrates) or swollen lymph glands (lymphadenopathy). CT scan to provide an even more detailed look at the lungs and lymph glands than provided by a chest X-ray. Pulmonary function (breathing) tests to measure how well the lungs are working Bronchoscopy to inspect the bronchial tubes and to extract a biopsy (a small tissue sample) to look for granulomas and to obtain material to rule out infection. Bronchoscopy involves passing a small tube (bronchoscope) down the trachea (windpipe) and into the bronchial tubes (airways) of the lungs. How Is Sarcoidosis Treated? There is no cure for sarcoidosis, but the disease may get better on its own over time. Many people with sarcoidosis have mild symptoms and do not require any treatment. Treatment, when it is needed, is given to reduce symptoms and to maintain the proper working order of the affected organs. Treatments generally fall into two categories -- maintenance of good health practices and drug treatment. Good health practices include: Getting regular check-ups with your health care provider Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables Drinking 8 to 10, 8-ounce glasses of water a day Getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night Exercising regularly and managing and maintaining your weight Quitting smoking I am on the Methrotrexate and Plaquenil the methrotrexate I have been on it for couple months got 10 months to go you take it on Thrusday I take 6 pills every thrusday and I get blood test done once a month unless other wise said by doctors . I been on the plaquenil for about a year now or soon to be a year I have to have eye test every 4 months my eyes are doing great other then normal vision glasses now. But the first sign that the specail test I have done that takes photos of my eye in layers and lets the doctor know all well or not first sign of change if cause by medication will be stopped and if by disease will be addressed. I was not able to take prednisone it made me very sick worse then the two above I am taken now it made my heart race or beat strange so I hope not to have to take it i went through one treatment of it and that was all I could handle. Drug treatments are used to relieve symptoms and reduce the inflammation of the affected tissues. The oral corticosteroid prednisone is the most commonly used treatment. Fatigue and persistent cough are usually improved with steroid treatment. If steroids are prescribed, you should see your doctor at regular intervals so that he or she can monitor the disease and the side effects of treatment. Other treatment options include methotrexate and Plaquenil and other drugs. What Can Happen as the Disease Progresses? In many people with sarcoidosis, the disease appears briefly and then disappears without the person even knowing they have the disease. Twenty to 30% of people have some permanent lung damage. For 10% to 15%, sarcoidosis is a chronic condition. In some people, the disease may result in the deterioration of the affected organ. Sarcoidosis can be fatal in 5% to 10% of patients. Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases. Arthritis: Chemotherapy Drugs to Treat Arthritis In cancer treatment, chemotherapy refers to particular drugs used to kill or slow the reproduction of rapidly multiplying cells. In rheumatology, chemotherapy is designed to decrease the abnormal behavior of cells, rather than kill cells. The doses of medication used for rheumatic or autoimmune conditions are generally lower than the doses used for cancer treatment. How Does Chemotherapy Treat Inflammatory and Autoimmune Diseases? In many rheumatic diseases, inflammation causes damage to parts of the body; for example - causing painful joints as in rheumatoid arthritis. In many cases, inflammation results from autoimmunity, a malfunction of the immune system where one's own tissues or organs are not recognized as such and are attacked by the body's immune system. Chemotherapy helps people with certain inflammatory and autoimmune diseases because it slows cell reproduction and decreases certain products made by these cells that cause an inflammatory response to occur. What Chemotherapy Drugs Are Used to Treat Rheumatic Diseases? Although there are many chemotherapy drugs, only some are used to treat rheumatic diseases today. These include: Rheumatrex. Rheumatrex (methotrexate) is the chemotherapeutic drug most widely used by rheumatologists because it is effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis and certain other rheumatic diseases (such as certain forms of vasculitis, or inflammation of blood vessels), and it is relatively safe. Most patients can take Rheumatrex by mouth in a single, weekly dose. Some patients prefer to take it as an injection once a week. It's common side effects are relatively easy to monitor, treat, and prevent. Imuran. Imuran has been used for many years as an immunosuppressive drug to prevent organ rejection in patients receiving kidney transplants. Usually taken in a single daily dose by mouth, Imuran also is used to suppress the abnormal immune response in some patients with vasculitis, systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), and rheumatoid arthritis. Cytoxan. Cytoxan is a more powerful drug and has more side effects than Rheumatrex and Imuran. It is used to treat the most aggressive and dangerous rheumatic diseases and their complications, such as severe systemic lupus erythematosus and some forms of vasculitis. This drug, taken either by mouth or injection, directly attacks the parts of the cell nucleus that contain the genes interfering with the production of certain proteins. These proteins (antibodies) are involved with the autoimmune response. Although rapidly reproducing cells are more susceptible to this action than resting cells, any cell in the body can be affected if there is enough drugs present. What Side Effects Do These Drugs Have? Side effects of chemotherapeutic drugs are fairly common, even though the doses are typically lower than the doses used to treat cancer. All of these drugs can suppress the formation of blood cells, resulting in: Anemia or low red blood cell count. Red blood cells are the cells that carry oxygen throughout your body Leukopenia/Neutropenia or low white blood cell count that may cause decreased ability to fight infection Thrombocytopenia or low platelet count that may cause impaired blood clotting In addition, Rheumatrex and Imuran can damage the liver, and Cytoxan can damage the urinary bladder lining and cause bleeding. Cytoxan also causes hair loss and sterility. Rheumatrex and Cytoxan can cause damage to the lungs. Since no drug is entirely safe, your doctor will talk to you about the possible benefits of these drugs, as well as their side effects. The occurrence of side effects depends on the dose, type of medication, and length of treatment. It is very important to have the appropriate follow-up examinations and laboratory testing while taking chemotherapeutic drugs. Careful monitoring can minimize all of these risks. How Long Does Treatment Last? Although there are some differences among the drugs and how they are used to treat certain rheumatologic and autoimmune diseases, these drugs usually produce benefits gradually, requiring weeks to months for full effectiveness. Generally, if there is no benefit within four months, it is unlikely that continuing the chemotherapeutic drug at the same dose will be helpful. Rheumatrex and Imuran can be used for prolonged periods (many years) if necessary, as long as they do not cause serious side effects. Cytoxan is generally used for more limited periods because of its greater side effects. However, in certain cases more prolonged use may be necessary. Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases. My personal advice would be get chest x ray done once a year if you have ever smoked or if anyone in family had lung disease because my mom mother smoked and died from lung cancer I been exposed to second hand smoke most of my life but not the past 6 years I stay clear and live in smoke free home. It helped. Once you have clear x ray then doctor will tell you how often and if you have a not clear x ray doctor will set up how often but always good to be safe then sorry. The web site enclosed are very informational and I found to be all that I have gone through and some that I have been lucky enough not too but I fear of it every day but am greatful for the new morning of my life daily. Anxiety Disorder Information Current mood: bored Category: Blogging Just some information I have found and before I was told I had all my illness I do have I had a hard time finding information to help me understand all the things wrong with me which not knowing or understanding can make you feel crazy in its self alone. So, when I find something that helps me I try to post it so others can find the help they may need or just knowing you are not alone helps too. Being it physical or Mentall illness. Trouble Sleeping Most Nights May Indicate an Anxiety Disorder or Depression By Miranda Hitti WebMD Medical News Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD July 5, 2007 -- Chronic insomnia may predict the development of anxiety disorders and also indicate current depression. That's according to a Norwegian study published in the latest edition of the journal Sleep. The study defines chronic insomnia as the subjective feeling of having trouble falling or staying asleep most nights for at least a month. People with chronic insomnia should be screened to see if they have an anxiety disorder or depression, note the researchers. They included Dag Neckelmann, MD, PhD, of the psychiatry department at Haukeland University in Bergen, Norway. Neckelmann's team tracked depression, anxiety, and insomnia in more than 25,000 Norwegian adults. Participants completed a health survey that included questions about chronic insomnia, anxiety disorders, and depression. They took the survey twice -- once in the mid-1980s and again 11 years later. Insomnia, Anxiety Disorders, and Depression The researchers excluded participants who had anxiety disorders or depression at the time of the first survey. People who reported chronic insomnia in the first survey were particularly likely to note anxiety disorders in the follow-up survey 11 years later. Chronic insomnia didn't predict depression's development. People with chronic insomnia in the first survey weren't especially likely to report depression 11 years later in the second survey. But that doesn't mean that insomnia and depression weren't related. People with chronic insomnia were more likely to have current anxiety or depression than people without insomnia. The results held when the researchers considered other factors, including participants' age, sex, and educational level. Sound Sleep, Less Anxiety? Easing chronic insomnia might help prevent the development of anxiety disorders, Neckelmann's team notes. However, they didn't test that theory directly. Their study doesn't prove that insomnia causes anxiety disorders, or that ending insomnia heads off anxiety. Does your depression come with the added joy of insomnia? How do you deal with it? Talk with others on our Depression Support Group message board. SOURCES: Neckelmann, D. Sleep, July 1, 2007; vol 30: pp 873-880. News release, American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Understanding Sleep Problems -- Treatment How Do I Know If I Have a Sleep Problem? Your doctor may suggest that you go to a sleep clinic for diagnosis of your sleep problems. Sleep clinics are especially useful for diagnosing sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and heart-related sleep problems. You may need to spend a night or two in a sleep lab, where your heart, brain, and breathing can be monitored. By reviewing the results of your tests, a sleep specialist may be able to tell what, if anything, is wrong. What Are the Treatments? Try to figure out why you're having trouble sleeping. Could it be related to stress or illness? Do you drink too much coffee or alcohol? Talk with your doctor about all health problems you're having, all medications you take, and your lifestyle to help determine how you may be able to get better sleep. Track Your Moods The Mood and Goal Tracking Diary helps you keep track of your moods, personal goals, and treatment plan from day to day. Be sure to share your results with your health care provider. With this tool, you can: Rate your daily mood Track progress toward daily and long-term goals Record medications taken Add additional notes or comments Store 90 days of information View and print a 30-day mood chart Tips for Caregivers: What You Should Know, How You Can Help When you have a loved one who is experiencing the symptoms of bipolar disorder, it can easily make you feel out of control, too. Here are two important things to keep in mind: Your loved one is not in control — the disease is in control. For people suffering from severe depression or mania, controlling feelings and behavior is simply not possible in the same way that it is for people who do not suffer from a mood disorder. Your loved one may lack insight into his or her illness. Someone with bipolar disorder may not realize he or she is sick. This is especially true during an episode of mania. Even when someone is taking medication to help manage their disorder, he or she may still not be aware of their moods or behaviors. How can you help? When someone you love is suffering from bipolar disorder, it can sometimes leave you feeling helpless. But there are ways you can help both you and your loved one: Learn all you can about bipolar disorder and understand that it is an illness that affects a person's brain. It is not a character flaw or weakness, and it was not brought on by something your loved one or a family member did. Give unconditional love and positive, hopeful support. Encourage your love one to stick to their treatment plan and see their doctor if problems arise. Be realistic about your expectations for recovery. It won't happen over night. Be patient and give the treatment time. Appreciate the small along the way. Offer to help your loved one keep track of medications and doctor's appointments. Help your loved one make a plan for times of crisis — offer to help with child care or managing household chores and bills. Urge your loved one to hold off on making big decisions or carrying out big plans during an episode, no matter how great these ideas may sound. Examples might include changing jobs, taking a trip, buying something expensive, or selling personal property. Do your best to keep your loved one safe if his or her behavior seems reckless. Keep yourself safe; if your loved one becomes abusive, get help immediately. Do not make demands, threats, or ultimatums unless you are fully prepared to follow through with them. Realize that hospitalization may be required. Other ways you can help Bipolar disorder affects everyone differently. You may find it helpful to have a detailed discussion (while taking careful notes) with your loved one's doctor. Talk about the types of behaviors that your loved one has displayed in the past. Ask about behaviors that you have not seen but may likely see your loved one display in the future. Ask for advice on ways to handle situations. You may also find it helpful to review the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder mania and depression to better recognize the signs. Is It Really Depression? Major depression (major depressive disorder) and bipolar disorder are two different conditions that require different treatments. However, because they have many common symptoms — the depressive ones — bipolar disorder is frequently misdiagnosed as depression. Sometimes it can take up to 10 years for bipolar disorder to be accurately diagnosed and treated. In general, depression involves overwhelming feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression and episodes of mania. Manic episodes are periods of elated mood, which can include racing thoughts, extreme irritability or reckless behavior. Learning how these illnesses are alike and different may help you and your doctor better understand your symptoms. Similar Characteristics Bipolar disorder and depression are types of mental illness that can have a major impact on work, school, family, and social life. Both affect a lot of people. Based on a recent study, more than three percent of ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />U.S. adults have bipolar disorder, and about 9.5 percent of people suffer from a depressive illness in any given year. Depression and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder have common symptoms including: Sadness Excessive crying Loss of pleasure Abnormal sleep Low energy Restlessness Difficulty concentrating Irritability Loss of appetite or overeating Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness Ongoing physical problems not caused by physical illness or injury (headaches, digestive problems, pain) Thoughts of death or suicide Generally both illnesses start between ages 15 and 30. SEROQUEL is not approved for patients under the age of 18. People who have a family history of depression or bipolar disorder are at higher risk of having the same illness. Differing Characteristics Bipolar disorder involves periods of depression, but unlike depression it also involves periods of mania. People with depression do not have mania. Mania is when a person experiences an elevated, expansive, or irritable mood that lasts one week or longer. There also is a difference in how these two illnesses affect genders. Women are twice as likely as men to experience depression whereas men and women get bipolar disorder about equally. How misdiagnosis can happen Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed as depression. When you consider that bipolar disorder involves depressive symptoms at certain times during the illness, it's easy to understand how that could lead to misdiagnosis: Lack of understanding. . Some people may not recognize manic episodes – and, therefore, don't see them as problems they should discuss with their doctors. Current depression. Some people don't seek a doctor's help until they are deep in a depressive episode and are entirely focused on those symptoms. Poor public awareness. Although many people are familiar with the signs of depression, there is a low level of public awareness about the signs of bipolar disorder, especially the manic symptoms. Therefore, people may not identify these symptoms in themselves or a loved one. Learning more about the two sides of bipolar disorder may help you understand symptoms you may have experienced. What is generalized anxiety disorder? Generalized anxiety disorder occurs when you feel worried and stressed about many everyday events and activities. Often the things you are worried about are small or not important. This type of worry disrupts your life most days. Everyone gets worried or anxious sometimes, but people with generalized anxiety disorder experience more than normal everyday worries. Many people who have generalized anxiety disorder have physical symptoms, such as headaches or being tired all the time. 1 Women are twice as likely as men to have the problem. Many people with generalized anxiety disorder also have other problems such as depression, other anxiety illnesses (obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety disorder), alcohol abuse, or personality disorder. What causes generalized anxiety disorder? The cause of generalized anxiety disorder is not known. Some studies show that it might be passed through the family (genetic). Some problems such as hyperthyroidism can cause generalized anxiety symptoms. Some medicines can cause worry and stress or make your stress worse, such as medicines with amphetamines (Ritalin) or too much caffeine. Illegal drugs such as cocaine can also cause these symptoms. Be sure to talk with your doctor about any medicines you are taking. What are the symptoms? People who have generalized anxiety disorder get worried and stressed about many things almost every day. They have a hard time controlling their worry. Adults with this problem often worry about money, family, health, or work. Children with this problem often worry about how well they can do an activity, such as school or sports. You might also have physical symptoms, such as: Feeling tired or irritable; having a hard time concentrating. Having headaches or muscle aches. Having a hard time swallowing. Feeling shaky; sweating or having hot flashes. Feeling light headed, sick to your stomach, or out of breath. Having to go to the bathroom often. Feeling like you can't relax; being startled easily. Having problems falling or staying asleep. How is generalized anxiety disorder diagnosed? To find out if you have this problem, your doctor will ask questions about your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your doctor will also do a physical exam, ask questions about your medical history, and ask questions about medicines you are taking. This information helps your doctor find out whether or not you have any other condition. To be diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, you must have more worry and stress than normal. You must feel worried and stressed about many things almost every day, and these feelings must last for at least 6 months. You will also have some physical symptoms. The worry, stress, and physical symptoms might make it hard for you to do normal activities such as going to work every day or doing grocery shopping. How is it treated? Generalized anxiety disorder is treated with medicines and/or therapy. The two kinds of therapy that are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder are called applied relaxation therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. In applied relaxation therapy, your therapist might ask you to imagine a calming situation to help you relax. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, your therapist will help you learn how to think positive thoughts instead of thoughts that make you feel stressed and worried. Some of the medicines that are used to treat generalized anxiety disorder are: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft). Studies have shown sertraline to be a good medicine for children or adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder. These medicines usually take several weeks to a few months to work well. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), such as venlafaxine (Effexor). Studies have shown venlafaxine to be a good medicine for people who have another problem along with generalized anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder or depression. These medicines take several weeks to work well. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam (Valium) or alprazolam (Xanax), which traditionally have been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. In some people who take benzodiazepines, their body becomes too used to the medicine and their doctor might need to prescribe more of the medicine for it to work. If you stop taking benzodiazepines all of a sudden, you might feel more jittery or worried than usual (withdrawal symptoms). Some people might have seizures from stopping the medicine too quickly. Be sure to talk with your doctor before you stop taking your medicine. People can become addicted to it. Be sure not to let anyone else take this medicine. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), such as amitriptyline (Elavil) or nortriptyline (Pamelor) have also traditionally been used to treat generalized anxiety disorder. Buspirone is often used with other medications to treat generalized anxiety disorder. It may be used alone if the anxiety is mild. It can take 2 to 3 weeks to start working. People who take buspirone will not become addicted to the medicine than people who take benzodiazepines. Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) can sometimes have side effects such as being restless and not being able to sleep. These symptoms can be similar to generalized anxiety disorder, but they usually go away after you take the medicine for a while. Some medicines work better for different people than others. Be sure to talk with your doctor about how the medicine is working for you. Sometimes you might need to try more than one type of medicine before you find one that works best for you. Treatment for generalized anxiety disorder helps reduce the symptoms. Some people might feel less worried and stressed after a couple months of treatment, and some people might not feel better until after a year or more. Its Not Just Age Current mood: bored Category: Blogging How many times have you been to the doctor or even the hospital and to have them say well we can not find anything wrong with you its just old age. Forget it there no such thing as old age. Old age is when you have no reason or can not find a reason its called old age. But the list of things below are just a few of things that are real and can mess up your health and cause you pain , real pain that somtimes even pills do not help with. So, if you hurt get test done to find out WHY you hurt because its your bodies way of letting you know something is wrong. Osteoarthritis Rheumatoid Arthritis Bursitis Sports Injuries Shoulder Pain Neck Pain Knee Pain Hip Pain Wrist Pain Elbow Pain Ankle Pain Back Pain Hand Arthritis Fibromyalgia Carpal Tunnel Spondylosis Osgood Schlatters Disease Polymyalgia Rheumatica I just hope that putting this information in blogs will help others know they are not alone and also give them ways to find the information to research their own illness and find the help they need. I suffered with these illness with out even knowing because I was told it was just age or to young to have anything wrong. Or told you got pnemonia which I did but that was not all I had going on but no doctors not even hospital ever found out. It was my moms doctor in North Florida by mistake that find out what he thought was going on and that got my doctors on the right track. every day Remission is what I pray for because there no cure for any of it. Hugs
http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Chemotherapy/Individualdrugs/Methotrexate This is my new drug I am taken called Methotrexate Chemo Theraphy. This is my medication I am taken but it can also treat RA not cure but remission and it can make your hair fall out I think he had to wait until my blood test where some what normal before he could do aggressive treatment like this. So, it can help my Lymphatic system which I think is where it all started there and my lungs and even other stuff. What is lupus? Lupus is a condition of chronic inflammation caused by an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex system within the body that is designed to fight infectious agents, for example, bacteria, and other foreign invaders. One of the mechanisms that the immune system uses to fight infections is the production of antibodies. Patients with lupus produce abnormal antibodies in their blood that target tissues within their own body rather than foreign infectious agents. Because the antibodies and accompanying cells of inflammation can involve tissues anywhere in the body, lupus has the potential to affect a variety of areas of the body. Sometimes lupus can cause disease of the skin, heart, lungs, kidneys, joints, and/or nervous system. When only the skin is involved, the condition is called discoid lupus. When internal organs are involved, the condition is called systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both discoid and systemic lupus are more common in women than men (about eight times more common). The disease can affect all ages but most commonly begins from age 20 to 45 years. It is more frequent in African-Americans and people of Chinese and Japanese descent. What causes lupus? The precise reason for the abnormal autoimmunity that causes lupus is not known. Inherited genes, viruses, ultraviolet light, and drugs may all play some role. Genetic factors increase the tendency of developing autoimmune diseases, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis , and immune thyroid disorders are more common among relatives of patients with lupus than the general population. Some scientists believe that the immune system in lupus is more easily stimulated by external factors like viruses or ultraviolet light. Sometimes, symptoms of lupus can be precipitated or aggravated by only a brief period of sun exposure. Dozens of medications have been reported to trigger SLE; however, more than 90% of this "drug-induced lupus" occurs as a side effect of one of the following six drugs: hydralazine (used for high blood pressure), quinidine and procainamide (used for abnormal heart rhythm), phenytoin (used forepilepsy), isoniazide (used fortuberculosis), d- penicillamine (used for rheumatoid arthritis). These drugs are known to stimulate the immune system and cause SLE. Fortunately, drug-induced SLE is infrequent (accounting for less than 5% of SLE among all patients with SLE) and usually resolves when the medications are discontinued. It also is known that some women with SLE can experience worsening of their symptoms prior to their menstrual periods. This phenomenon, together with the female predominance of SLE, suggest that female hormones play an important role in the expression of SLE. This hormonal relationship is an active area of ongoing study by scientists. Recent research provides direct evidence that a key enzyme's failure to dispose of dying cells contributes to SLE. The enzyme, DNase1, normally eliminates what is called "garbage DNA" and other cellular debris by chopping them into tiny fragments for easier disposal. The researchers turned off the DNase1 gene in mice. The mice appeared healthy at birth but after 6-8 months, the majority of mice without DNase1 showed signs of SLE. Thus, a genetic mutation that disrupts the body's cellular waste disposal may be involved in the beginning of SLE What is scleroderma? Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses which occur when the body's tissues are attacked by its own immune system. Scleroderma is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the skin and organs of the body. This leads to thickness and firmness of involved areas. Scleroderma is also referred to as systemic sclerosis. The cause of scleroderma is not known. Researchers have found some evidence that genes are important factors, but the environment seems to also play a role. The result is activation of the immune system causing injury to tissues that result in injury similar to scar tissue formation. The fact that genes seem to cause a predisposition to developing scleroderma means that inheritance at least play a partial role. It is not unusual to find other autoimmune diseases in families of scleroderma patients. Some evidence for the role genes may play in leading to the development of scleroderma comes from the study of Choctaw Native Americans who are the group with the highest reported prevalence of the disease. The disease is more frequent in females than in males. How is scleroderma classified? Scleroderma can be classified in terms of the degree and location of the skin involvement. Accordingly, scleroderma has been categorized into two major groups, diffuse and limited. The diffuse form of scleroderma is involves symmetric thickening of skin of the extremities, face, trunk (chest, back, abdomen, or flanks) which can rapidly progress to hardening after an early inflammatory phase. Organ disease can occur early on and be serious. Organs affected include the esophagus, bowels, lungs with scarring (fibrosis), heart, and kidneys. High blood pressure can be a troublesome side effect. The limited form of scleroderma tends to be confined to the skin of the fingers and face. The skin changes and other features of disease tend to occur more slowly than in the diffuse form. Because a characteristic clinical pattern can occur in patients with the limited form of scleroderma, this form has taken another name which is composed of the first initials of the common components. Thus, this form is also called the CREST variant of scleroderma. This name represents the following features: C.....Calcinosis, refers to the formation of tiny deposits of calcium in the skin. This is seen as hard whitish areas in the superficial skin, commonly overlying the elbows, knees, or fingers. These firm deposits can be tender, can become infected, and can fall off spontaneously or require surgical removal. This is the least common of the CREST scleroderma variant features. R.....Raynaud's phenomenon refers to the spasm of the tiny artery vessels supplying blood to the fingers, toes, nose, tongue, or ears. These areas turns blue, white, then red after exposure to extremes of cold, or even sometimes with extremes of heat or emotional upset. For more information, please read the Raynaud's Phenomenon article. E.....Esophagus disease in scleroderma is characterized by poorly functioning muscle of the lower 2/3 of the esophagus. This can lead to an abnormally wide esophagus which allows stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus to cause heartburn, inflammation, and potentially scarring. This can eventually lead to difficulty in passing food from the mouth through the esophagus into the stomach. Symptoms of heartburn are treated aggressively in patients with scleroderma in order to prevent injury to the esophagus. S.....Sclerodactyly refers to the localized thickening and tightness of the skin of the fingers or toes. This can give them a "shiny" and slightly puffy appearance. The tightness can cause severe limitation of motion of the fingers and toes. These skin changes generally progress much slower that those of patients with the diffuse form of scleroderma. T.....Telangiectasias are tiny red areas, frequently on the face, hands and in the mouth behind the lips. These areas blanch when they are pressed upon and represent dilated capillaries. Patients can have variations of CREST, for example, CRST, REST, ST, etc. Patients can also have "overlap" illness with features of both CREST and the diffuse form of scleroderma. Some patients have overlaps of scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and polymyositis. When features of scleroderma are present along with features of polymyositis and systemic lupus erythematosus, the condition is referred to as mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). Finally, scleroderma skin changes can be very localized. Morphea is scleroderma skin that is localized to a patchy area of the skin that becomes hardened and slightly pigmented. Sometimes morphea can cause multiple lesions in the skin. Linear scleroderma is scleroderma that is localized usually to a lower extremity, frequently presenting as a strip of hardening skin down the leg of a child. Linear scleroderma in children can stunt bone growth of the affected limb. Sometimes linear scleroderma is associated with a "satellite" area of a patch of localized scleroderma skin, such as on the abdomen. Rheumatoid Arthritis Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR What is rheumatoid arthritis? What causes rheumatoid arthritis? What are the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis? How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed? How is rheumatoid arthritis treated? "First-line" drugs "Second-line" or "slow-acting" drugs Newer treatments Other treatments Future treatments Rheumatoid Arthritis At A Glance Related Rheumatoid Arthritis articles: Rheumatoid Arthritis - on WebMD Rheumatoid Arthritis - on eMedicine Health Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis Mrs. K. D. is a 43 year old wife and mother of two children and suffers from severe rheumatoid arthritis. This is her story... This article is not about my disease itself or its treatment, but about the way it affects what I do throughout my day. My disease has caused deformity of my hands and feet. My fingers are recognizably gnarled and have bumps, called nodules. My wrists have nearly fused so that I can move them very little. My toes have cocked up and I have calluses under the pads at the bottoms of my feet. My knees are chronically slightly swollen as are many of the small joints of my knuckles. Things that most people take for granted for example sleeping, bathing, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, making meals, and even driving a car; for me, are extremely challenging. Read More about Living with Arthritis » What is rheumatoid arthritis? Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also cause inflammation of the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body tissues are mistakenly attacked by its own immune system. The immune system is a complex organization of cells and antibodies designed normally to "seek and destroy" invaders of the body, particularly infections. Patients with autoimmune diseases have antibodies in their blood that target their own body tissues, where they can be associated with inflammation. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. While rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness, meaning it can last for years, patients may experience long periods without symptoms. Typically, however, rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive illness that has the potential to cause joint destruction and functional disability. A joint is where two bones meet to allow movement of body parts. Arthritis means joint inflammation. The joint inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis causes swelling, pain, stiffness, and redness in the joints. The inflammation of rheumatoid disease can also occur in tissues around the joints, such as the tendons, ligaments, and muscles. In some patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation leads to the destruction of the cartilage, bone and ligaments causing deformity of the joints. Damage to the joints can occur early in the disease and be progressive. Moreover, studies have shown that the progressive damage to the joints does not necessarily correlate with the degree of pain, stiffness, or swelling present in the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common rheumatic disease, affecting more than two million people in the United States. The disease is three times more common in women as in men. It afflicts people of all races equally. The disease can begin at any age, but most often starts after age forty and before sixty. In some families, multiple members can be affected, suggesting a genetic basis for the disorder. How can cancer be detected early? In many cases, the sooner cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better a person's chance for a full recovery. If you develop cancer, you can improve the chance that it will be detected early if you have regular medical checkups and do certain self-exams. Often a doctor can find early cancer during a physical exam or with routine tests, even if a person has no symptoms. Some important medical exams, tests, and self- exams are discussed on the next pages. The doctor may suggest other exams for people who are at increased risk for cancer. Ask your doctor about your cancer risk, problems to watch for, and a schedule of regular checkups. The doctor's advice will be based on your age, medical history, and other risk factors. The doctor also can help you learn about self-exams. (More information and free booklets about self-exams are available from the Cancer Information Service). Many local health departments have information about cancer screening or early detection programs. The Cancer Information Service also can tell you about such programs. Exams For Both Men And Women Skin - The doctor should examine your skin during regular checkups for signs of skin cancer. You should also check regularly for new growths, sores that do not heal, changes in the size, shape, or color of any moles, or any other changes on the skin. Warning signs like these should be reported to the doctor right away. Colon and Rectum - Beginning at age 50, you should have a yearly fecal occult blood test. This test is a check for hidden (occult) blood in the stool. A small amount of stool is placed on a plastic slide or on special paper. It may be tested in the doctor's office or sent to a lab. This test is done because cancer of the colon and rectum can cause bleeding. However, noncancerous conditions can also cause bleeding, so having blood in the stool does not necessarily mean a person has cancer. If blood is found, the doctor orders more tests to help make a diagnosis. To check for cancer of the rectum, the doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum and feels for any bumps or abnormal areas. A digital rectal exam should be done during regular checkups. Every 3 to 5 years after age 50, an individual should have sigmoidoscopy. In this exam, the doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a light to look inside the rectum and colon for abnormal areas. Mouth - Your doctor and dentist should examine your mouth at regular visits. Also, by looking in a mirror, you can check inside your mouth for changes in the color of the lips, gums, tongue, or inner cheeks, and for scabs, cracks, sores, white patches, swelling, or bleeding. It is often possible to see or feel changes in the mouth that might be cancer or a condition that might lead to cancer. Any symptoms in your mouth should be checked by a doctor or dentist. Oral exams are especially important for people who use alcohol or tobacco products and for anyone over age 50. Exams For Men Prostate - Men over age 40 should have a yearly digital rectal exam to check the prostate gland for hard or lumpy areas. The doctor feels the prostate through the wall of the rectum. Testicles - Testicular cancer occurs most often between ages 15 and 34. Most of these cancers are found by men themselves, often by doing a testicular self-exam. If you find a lump or notice another change, such as heaviness, swelling, unusual tenderness, or pain, you should see your doctor. Also, the doctor should examine the testicles as part of regular medical checkups. Exams For Women Breast - When breast cancer is found early, a woman has more treatment choices and a good chance of complete recovery. It is, therefore, important that breast cancer be detected as early as possible. The National Cancer Institute encourages women to take an active part in early detection. They should talk to their doctor about this disease, the symptoms to watch for, and an appropriate schedule of checkups. Women should ask their doctor about: Mammograms (x-rays of the breast); Breast exams by a doctor or nurse; and Breast self-examination (BSE) A mammogram can often show tumors or changes in the breast before they can be felt or cause symptoms. However, we know mammograms cannot find every abnormal area in the breast. This is especially true in the breasts of young women. Another important step in early detection is for women to have their breasts examined regularly by a doctor or a nurse. Between visits to the doctor, women should examine their breasts every month. By doing BSE, women learn what looks and feels normal for their breasts, and they are more likely to find a change. Any changes should be reported to the doctor. Most breast lumps are not cancer, but only a doctor can make a diagnosis. Cervix - Regular pelvic exams and Pap tests are important to detect early cancer of the cervix. In a pelvic exam, the doctor feels the uterus, vagina, ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder, and rectum for any change in size or shape. For the Pap test, a sample of cells is collected from the upper vagina and cervix with a small brush or a flat wooden stick. The sample is placed in a glass slide and checked under a microscope for cancer or other abnormal cells. Women should start having a Pap test every year after they turn 18 or become sexually active. If the results are normal for 3 or more years in a row, a woman may have this test less often, based on her doctor's advice. What is psoriasis? Psoriasis is a chronic (long-lasting) skin disease characterized by scaling and inflammation. Scaling occurs when cells in the outer layer of skin reproduce faster than normal and pile up on the skin's surface. Psoriasis affects 2 to 2.6 percent of the United States population, or almost 5.8 to 7 million people. It occurs in all age groups and about equally in men and women. People with psoriasis may suffer discomfort, restricted motion of joints, and emotional distress. When psoriasis develops, patches of skin thicken, redden, and become covered with silvery scales. These patches are sometimes referred to as plaques. They may itch or burn. The skin at joints may crack. Psoriasis most often occurs on the elbows, knees, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet. The disease also may affect the fingernails, toenails, and the soft tissues inside the mouth and genitalia. About 10 percent of people with psoriasis have joint inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis. This condition is called psoriatic arthritis. Psoriasis is not contagious in any way. It is not possible to "catch" psoriasis by touching a person afflicted with it. Living With Sarcoidosis The cause of sarcoidosis still remains unknown, so there is at present no known way to prevent or cure this disease. However, doctors have had a great deal of experience in management of the illness. It should be noted that most people with sarcoidosis lead normal lives. If you have sarcoidosis, you can help yourself by following sensible health measures. You should not smoke. You should also avoid exposure to other substances such as dusts and chemicals that can harm your lungs. Patients with sarcoidosis are best treated by a lung specialist or a doctor who has a special interest in sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis specialists are usually located at major research centers. If you have any symptoms of sarcoidosis, see your doctor regularly so that the illness can be watched and, if necessary, treated. If it heals naturally, sarcoidosis, or are suspected of having the illness but have no symptoms now, be sure to have physical checkups every year, including an eye examination. Although severe sarcoidosis can reduce the chances of becoming pregnant, particularly for older women, many young women with sarcoidosis have given birth to healthy babies while on treatment. Patients planning to have a baby should discuss the matter with their doctor. Medical checkups all through pregnancy and immediately thereafter are especially important for sarcoidosis patients. In some cases, bed rest is necessary during the last 3 months of pregnancy. In addition to family and close friends, a number of local lung organizations, other nonprofit health organizations, and self-help groups are available to help patients cope with sarcoidosis. By keeping in touch with them, you can share personal feelings and experiences. Members also share specific information on the latest scientific advances, where to find sarcoidosis specialist, and how to improve one's self-image. Information above was contributed, in part, by the generosity of National Institutes of Health. Sarcoidosis At A Glance Sarcoidosis is a disease that causes inflammation of body tissues. The cause of sarcoidosis is not known. Sarcoidosis commonly affects the lungs and skin. Diagnosis is suggested by the patient's medical history, routine tests, a physical examination, and a chest x- ray. Many patients with sarcoidosis require no treatment. For more severe disease, cortisone-related medications are used. Other treatments are considered, as above, depending on what areas of the body are affected and to what degree. Additional Information on Sarcoidosis is available from a number of sources: CURRENT SARCOIDOSIS RESEARCH AND CLINICAL TRIALS National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Division of Lung Diseases 5333 Westward Avenue Room 6A16 Bethesda, MD 20892 If you are interested in participating on NHLBI clinical studies of sarcoidosis, have your physician write to: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Pulmonary Branch 9000 Rockville Pike Building 10, Room 6D06 Bethesda, MD 20892 INFORMATION AND PUBLICATIONS FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases 9000 Rockville Pike Building 31, 7A32 Bethesda, MD 20892 Sarcoidosis Family Aid and Research Foundation 460A Central Avenue East Orange, NJ 07018 Many local chapters of the American Lung Association host support groups for sarcoidosis patients. The address and telephone number of the chapter nearest to you should be in your local telephone directory. Or you can write or call the association's national headquarters: American Lung Association 1740 Broadway New York, NY 10019-4374 (212) 315-8700 What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition causing pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the muscles, tendons, and joints. Fibromyalgia is also characterized by restless sleep, awakening feeling tired, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and disturbances in bowel function. Fibromyalgia was formerly known as fibrositis. While fibromyalgia is one of the most common diseases affecting the muscles, its cause is currently unknown. The painful tissues involved are not accompanied by tissue inflammation. Therefore, despite potentially disabling body pain, patients with fibromyalgia do not develop body damage or deformity. Fibromyalgia also does not cause damage to internal body organs. Therefore, fibromyalgia is different from many other rheumatic conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and polymyositis). In those diseases, tissue inflammation is the major cause of pain, stiffness and tenderness of the joints, tendons and muscles, and it can lead to joint deformity and damage to the internal organs or muscles. What causes fibromyalgia? The cause of fibromyalgia is not known. Patients experience pain in response to stimuli that are normally not perceived as painful. Researchers have found elevated levels of a nerve chemical signal, called substance P, and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid of fibromyalgia patients. The brain nerve chemical serotonin is also relatively low in patients with fibromyalgia. Studies of pain in fibromyalgia have suggested that the central nervous system (brain) may be somehow supersensitive. Scientists note that there seems to be a diffuse disturbance of pain perception in patients with fibromyalgia. Also, patients with fibromyalgia have impaired non-Rapid-Eye-Movement, or non-REM, sleep phase (which likely explains the common feature of waking up fatigued and unrefreshed in these patients). The onset of fibromyalgia has been associated with psychological distress, trauma, and infection. Who does fibromyalgia affect? Fibromyalgia affects predominantly women (over 80 percent) between the ages of 35 and 55. Rarely, fibromyalgia can also affect men, children, and the elderly. It can occur independently, or can be associated with another disease, such as systemic lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. The prevalence of fibromyalgia varies in different countries. In Sweden and Britain, 1 percent of the population is affected by fibromyalgia. In the United States, approximately 2 percent of the population have fibromyalgia. Total Knee Replacement Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR What is a total knee replacement? What patients should consider a total knee replacement? What are the risks of undergoing a total knee replacement? What is involved with the preoperative evaluation for total knee replacement? What happens in the postoperative period? How does the patient continue to improve as an outpatient after discharge from the hospital? Total Knee Replacement At A Glance What is a total knee replacement? A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The knee is a hinge joint which provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The thigh bone (or femur) abuts the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. During a total knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Depending on the condition of the kneecap portion of the knee joint, a plastic "button" may also be added under the kneecap surface. The posterior cruciate ligament is a tissue that normally stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide backward in relation to the thigh bone. In total knee replacement surgery, this ligament is either retained, sacrificed, or substituted by a polyethylene post. Each of these various designs of total knee replacement has its benefits and risks. Green Tea May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis By Kathleen Doheny HealthDay Reporter MONDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- Green tea, already touted for its cardiovascular and anticancer benefits, may also help ease the inflammation and pain of rheumatoid arthritis, a new study suggests. The study was conducted in the laboratory, and its findings are preliminary, stressed lead researcher Salah-uddin Ahmed, an investigator at the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor. "It's too early" to fully recommend green tea to ease rheumatoid arthritis, he said, but the study "is a starting point." Ahmed was scheduled to present the research Sunday at the Experimental Biology meeting, in Washington, D.C. For the study, Ahmed isolated cells called synovial fibroblasts from the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These cells form a lining of tissue surrounding the capsule of the joints. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, this lining is inflamed, leading to long-term joint damage and chronic pain. About 2.1 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Ahmed's team next cultured these cells and exposed them to the active ingredient in green tea, a compound named epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Next, the cells were stimulated with a protein of the immune system known to play a role in causing joint degradation in rheumatoid arthritis. The protein is called cytokine interleukin-1 beta or IL-1B. "IL-1B is a major player in mediating cartilage degradation," Ahmed explained. In an earlier study, Ahmed's team found that fibroblasts pretreated with EGCG and then stimulated with cytokine IL-1B were better able to block IL-1B's ability to produce damaging proteins and enzymes. Those proteins and enzymes can infiltrate the joints and cause the cartilage breakdown seen in people with rheumatoid arthritis. In the more recent study, the researchers focused on whether EGCG had the ability to block the activity of two potent molecules, IL-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), which also play a role in breaking down bone in an RA joint. The two molecules were suppressed by the EGCG, Ahmed's team found. While he said it is difficult to quantify exactly the effect of the suppression, the EGCG "blocked them significantly," he said. EGCG also blocked the production of prostaglandin E2, another compound that can cause joint inflammation. One expert said the new green tea study was intriguing. "This study is very specific," said Stephen Hsu, an associate professor of dentistry, molecular medicine and genetics at the medical College of Georgia in Augusta. In his own research, Hsu has found that green tea may help protect against certain autoimmune diseases, in which the body triggers an immune response, basically attacking its own cells. Hsu studied EGCG's effect in helping to inhibit an autoimmune disorder known as Sjogren's syndrome, in which the salivary glands are affected, and in lupus, in which the skin is affected. The new research by Ahmed is one of the first to focus on rheumatoid arthritis and green tea, Hsu said. If it bears out, it could be good news for rheumatoid arthritis patients, perhaps offering them a non-drug option to keep pain under control, he said. Ahmed cautioned that it's too soon to advise rheumatoid arthritis patients to drink green tea. On the other hand, drinking green tea certainly wouldn't hurt, he said, since it is known to have many health benefits and no known side effects. He said people might want to try drinking three or four 8-ounce cups of green tea per day. "Try different brands," he suggested. The flavors may taste slightly different. "Drink it continuously throughout the day," he said, to keep blood levels more constant. And you might want to consider popping some tart cherries along with that tea, according to another study presented at the same meeting. In the study, conducted by another team of University of Michigan researchers, powdered tart cherries appeared to lower total cholesterol and blood sugar and help the body handle fat and sugar -- at least in animals. SOURCES: Salah-uddin Ahmed, Ph.D., research professor, internal medicine-rheumatology, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Stephen Hsu, Ph.D., associate professor, dentistry, molecular medicine and genetics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta; Experimental Biology 2007, April 29, 2007, Washington, D.C. Erythema nodosum: An inflammatory reaction deep in the skin characterized by the presence of tender red lumps or nodules ranging in size from 1 to 5 centimeters most commonly located over the shins but occasionally involving the arms or other areas. The causes of erythema nodosum include medications (sulfa-related drugs, birth control pills, estrogens, iodides and bromides), strep throat, cat scratch disease, fungal diseases, infectious mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, Behcet's disease, inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and normal pregnancy. In many cases, no cause can be determined. Erythema nodosum may be self-limited and go away on its own in 3 to 6 weeks. If treatment is needed, the underlying condition is treated and simultaneously treatment is directed toward the erythema nodosum. This can include antiinflammatory drugs and cortisone by mouth or injection. Colchicine is sometime used effectively to reduce inflammation. Common Misspellings: erythemia nodosum What is erythema nodosum? Erythema nodosum is a type of skin inflammation that is located in a certain portion of the fatty layer of skin. Erythema nodosum results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the legs below the knees. The tender lumps, or nodules, of erythema nodosum range in size from 1 to 5 centimeters. The nodular swelling is caused by a special pattern of inflammation in the fatty layer of skin. Erythema nodosum can be self-limited and resolve on its own in 3 to 6 weeks. Upon resolution, it may leave only a temporary bruised appearance or leave a chronic indentation in the skin where the fatty layer has been injured. There are several scenarios for the outcome of erythema nodosum. Typically, these areas of nodular tenderness range in size from about a dime to a quarter and they may be tender and inflamed off and on for a period of weeks. They usually then resolve spontaneously, each one of the little areas of inflammation shrinking down and then becoming flat rather than raised and inflamed. They leave a bruised appearance. Then, they resolve spontaneously completely. Other lesions can sometimes pop up elsewhere. This may occur for periods of weeks to months and then eventually goes away. However, chronic erythema nodosum that may last for years is another pattern. Chronic erythema nodosum, with intermittent recurrences, can occur with or without an underlying disease present. What causes erythema nodosum? Erythema nodosum may occur as an isolated condition or in association with other conditions. Conditions that are associated with erythema nodosum include medications (sulfa-related drugs, birth control pills, estrogens), strep throat, Cat scratch disease, fungal diseases, infectious mononucleosis, sarcoidosis, Behcet's disease, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and normal pregnancy. How is erythema nodosum diagnosed? Usually, erythema nodosum is a straightforward, simple diagnosis for a doctor to make simply by examining a patient and noting the typical firm area of raised tenderness that is red along with areas which have had lesions resolved, which might show a bruised-like appearance. It is not a difficult diagnosis for an experienced doctor. It does not typically require other investigative tests. Sometimes a biopsy is done for confirmation, for example, if a patient presented with an isolated, singular area and a doctor was unable to make a diagnosis based on its appearance. The biopsy of the deeper layers of tissue of skin can prove that it is erythema nodosum. Those layers would show the specific fatty layers of inflammation. How is erythema nodosum treated? Erythema nodosum is initially managed by identifying and treating any underlying condition present. Simultaneously, treatment is directed toward the inflamed skin from the erythema nodosum. Treatments for erythema nodosum include antiinflammatory drugs, and cortisone by mouth or injection. Colchicine is sometime used effectively to reduce inflammation. Treatment must be customized for the particular patient and conditions present. It is important to note that erythema nodosum, while annoying and often painful, does not threaten internal organs and the long-term outlook is generally very good. Reference: Clinical Primer of Rheumatology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkens, edited by William Koopman, et. al., 2003. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, W B Saunders Co, edited by Shaun Ruddy, et.al., 2000. Dr. Shiel, we have viewers who are interested in knowing about erythema nodosum (e-nodosum). What is e-nodosum and what causes it? Dr. Shiel: Erythema nodosum is an uncommon type of inflammation of the fatty layer of skin. This results in a localized, raised, tender, red area most commonly seen below the knees, but it can occur less commonly in the upper extremities. It is a result of inflammation of a special area within the lower levels of the skin in the fatty layers. If we think of the fat layer as a tissue that is designed with a honeycomb type pattern and fat cells within each of those honeycomb areas, it is actually the honeycomb portion that gets inflamed (that is referred to as "septa"). This is what occurs to cause the fat inflammation that is referred to as panniculitis in erythema nodosum. Dr. Lee: Who gets it? Dr. Shiel: Erythema nodosum (further referred to as "it") has a variety of different causes and those causes range from different diseases and conditions, to infections and as a side effect of different medications. It can even occur in the context of pregnancy or as a result or in association of pregnancy. It occurs more frequently in females, and it is felt that estrogens probably play a role. Birth control pills are one of the common medications to cause erythema nodosum. Erythema nodosum, though, can be caused by other medications, particularly sulfur medications and some medicines that are used to treat tuberculosis. It can be caused by infections, such as fungus infections, strep infections, and less common infections including tuberculosis. There are a variety of diseases that cause erythema nodosum such as; inflammatory bowel disease, sarcoidosis, and more rare diseases like Behcet's disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. These are generally conditions that involve inflammation throughout the body and erythema nodosum is in sort of association with these diseases. Dr. Lee: So generally speaking, if erythema nodosum, if it is there, usually indicates that there might be an underlying associated disease or condition. Whether it is infection, medication, or inflammatory condition of the body. Dr. Shiel: It is commonly associated either as a medication, infection, or an underling condition but erythema nodosum can occur without any associated disease or medication identifiable and we call that erythema nodosum of unknown cause or idiopathic erythema nodosum. Some patients have no identifiable cause to treat. Dr. Lee: Here is a viewer question; this viewer has had red skin lesions, diagnosis of having erythema nodosum in the feet, legs and buttocks continuously for four years. The question is: Does erythema nodosum generally come and go or can it be persistent and continuous without ever going away for four years? Dr. Shiel: Actually, there are several scenarios for erythema nodosum. Typically these areas of nodular tenderness range in size from about a dime to a quarter and they may be tender and inflamed off and on for a period of weeks. They typically resolve spontaneously, each one of the little areas of inflammation by shrinking down and then becoming flat rather than raised and inflamed. Then having a bruised appearance. Then, basically, resolve spontaneously completely but then another lesions will pop up elsewhere. This can most commonly occur for periods of weeks to months and then eventually does go away. But chronic erythema nodosum for years is another pattern with intermittent recurrences persisting and this can occur with or without an underlying disease. Dr. Lee: The viewer also wants to know what is the best way to make a firm diagnosis of erythema nodosum? Dr. Shiel: Basically, erythema nodosum is a straightforward, simple diagnosis for a doctor to make simply by examining a patient and noting the firm area of raised tenderness that is red along with areas which have had lesions resolved, which might show a bruised-like appearance. It is not a difficult diagnosis for an experienced physician with erythema nodosum to make. It does not generally require other investigative tests. When a biopsy is done, let's say a patient presented with an isolated, singular area and a doctor was unable to specifically make a diagnosis based on its appearance, a skin biopsy of the deeper layers of tissue of skin can prove that it is erythema nodosum. Those layers would show the inflammation that I have described in the specific areas of fatty cell tissues. Dr. Lee: Do we really need to treat erythema nodosum or is it more important to identify and treat the underlying associated disease? Dr. Shiel: Absolutely I think that all patients with erythema nodosum should have a doctor's evaluation in order to detect and prevent a potentially treatable condition. Erythema nodosum can be very mild and respond to simple anti-inflammatory medications or it can be much more intense and functionally impair a patients' activities. In which case the actual erythema nodosum itself may require addressing with medications. Dr. Lee: You mentioned non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents in the treatment of erythema nodosum? Dr. Shiel: Erythema nodosum is treated by a variety of methods. One is simple observation, and then gradually the lesions become less frequent and intense and calm down and go away. But for simple immediate treatment non-steroid anti-inflammatory medications can be very helpful. They are not universally helpful and in patients who have resistant erythema nodosum, corticosteroid medications (cortisone medicines like prednisone and prednisolone) have been used. Although in my experience, use of those medications, I like to generally limit to those medications for severely involved cases. Other options include colchicine, which is another anti-inflammatory medicine that is not cortisone and they can help with chronic colchicine intake to reduce the inflammation in the fatty layers of tissues. Sometimes doctors will actually inject cortisone medications directly into the area of erythema nodosum. In my experience, because of the lesions can recur and crop up in other areas, the use of local injections has not proved that rewarding and beneficial for patients. Dr. Lee: Thank you, Dr. Shiel. MedicineNet.com: The published answers represent the opinions and perspectives of the doctors and pharmacists of MedicineNet.com and are for educational purposes only. They should not be used to replace or substitute for timely consultation with your doctor. Accuracy of information cannot be guaranteed. Please remember, information can be subject to interpretation and can become obsolete. > MedicineNet.com: For more information, please see MedicineNet.com's Focus on Erythema Nodosum. Back to Doctors' Dialogue Index
Lymph nodes Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is also an important part of the immune system, the body's defense system against disease. The lymph nodes (sometimes called lymph glands) filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymph nodes may be found singly or in groups; they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin, and underarms. Many lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt. When a part of the body is infected, the nearby lymph nodes become swollen as they collect and destroy the infecting organisms. For example, if a person has a throat infection, the lymph nodes in the neck may swell and become tender. Cancer can spread through the lymphatic system. Overview & Facts Font SizeA A A With the basic facts about lupus, you’ll have a better picture of what’s going on. These overview articles will put the disease and its causes into perspective. What Is Lupus? Topic Overview Like other autoimmune diseases, lupus occurs when the immune system attacks an organ. Learn more about lupus. What Happens Lupus is different for every person, with symptoms that come and go. Click here to learn more. Causes Cause Genetics play a role in lupus, but other factors can trigger this autoimmune disease. Are You at Risk? What Increases Your Risk The chances of developing lupus are higher if you are female, and if you have these risk factors. Prevention What is systemic lupus erythematosus, or lupus? Systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus or SLE), is a chronic disease that can cause inflammation, pain, and tissue damage throughout the body. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, in which a person's immune system attacks its own tissues as though they were foreign substances. If you develop serious lupus, you may have problems with your kidneys, heart, lungs, nervous system, or blood cells. Although some people with lupus have mild symptoms, the disease can become severe. For most people, ongoing monitoring and treatment can control symptoms and prevent serious organ damage. There are five types of lupus erythematosus: systemic, discoid/cutaneous, subacute cutaneous, drug-induced systemic, and neonatal. This topic focuses on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the most common and most serious type of lupus. What causes lupus? Lupus has no single known cause. Experts believe that a combination of factors affect the immune system and trigger a reaction that causes lupus. These factors may be environmental, such as infections or hormones, or may be inherited. A person may be born with a certain genetic makeup that affects how the immune system functions or makes him or her at risk for lupus. What are the symptoms? Lupus symptoms vary widely, and they come and go. Common symptoms are fatigue, joint pain or swelling (arthritis), fever, and skin rash (often with sun exposure). Mouth sores and hair loss may occur. Over time, people with lupus can sometimes develop problems with the heart, lungs, kidneys, blood cells, or nervous system. Periods of time when symptoms get worse are called relapses or flares. Periods of time when symptoms improve are called remissions. Lupus symptoms rarely disappear completely.
If you have lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE), you may be extremely tired, have skin rashes, or have joint pain. If the disease is more serious, you may have problems with your kidneys, heart, lungs, blood, or nervous system. Lupus symptoms depend on what body organs are affected and how seriously they are affected. Fatigue: About 90% of people with lupus have mild to extreme fatigue.4 Even mild cases of lupus cause an inability to engage in daily activities and exercise.5 Increased fatigue is a classic sign that a symptom flare is about to occur. Joint and muscle pain: About 95% of people with lupus have joint pain (arthritis) at some time. About 70% of people with lupus report that joint and muscle pain was their first sign of the disease.4 Joints may be red and warm, and may swell. Morning stiffness may also be felt. Lupus arthritis often occurs on both sides of the body at the same time, particularly in the wrists, small joints of the hands, elbows, knees, and ankles.6 Skin problems: Most people with lupus develop skin rashes.6 These rashes are often an important clue to the diagnosis. In addition to the butterfly rash over the cheeks and bridge of the nose, other common skin symptoms include skin sores or flaky red spots on the arms, hands, face, neck, or back; mouth or lip sores; and a scaly, red, or purple raised rash on the face, neck, scalp, ears, arms, and chest. Sensitivity to light: Exposure to ultraviolet light (such as sunlight or tanning parlors) typically worsens the skin rash and can trigger lupus flares. Sensitivity to light affects more than 50% of those with lupus, with fair-skinned people with lupus tending to be more sensitive.4 Nervous system symptoms: The majority of people with lupus develop nervous system problems, most commonly headaches, depression, or anxiety. Memory loss is less common. Heart problems: People with lupus may develop inflammation of the heart sac (pericarditis), which may cause severe, sudden pain in the center of the left side of the chest that may spread to the neck, back, shoulders, or arms. Mental health problems: People with lupus may develop problems such as anxiety and depression. Such problems can be caused by lupus, the medications used to treat it, or the stress of coping with chronic illness. Fever: About 80% of people with lupus will sometimes have a low-grade fever related to the disease. Over a third of people with lupus report that fever was a first sign of the disease.4 Changes in weight: About 60% of people with lupus lose weight when their disease is active (flaring).4 Hair loss: Up to 50% of people with lupus experience periods of hair loss, either in patches or spread evenly over the head. This hair loss is usually not permanent.6 Swollen glands: Up to 50% of people with lupus eventually develop swollen lymph glands during a flare.4 Raynaud's phenomenon: This condition is present in about 20% of people with lupus.7 It affects the small vessels that supply blood to the skin and the soft tissues under the skin of the fingers and toes, causing them to turn white and/or blue or red. The skin affected will feel numb, tingly, and cold to the touch. Inflammation of blood vessels in the skin (cutaneous vasculitis): Inflammation or bleeding from the blood vessels can lead to small or large blue spots or small reddish spots on the skin or nail beds. There are other conditions with symptoms similar to lupus. Vasculitis Vasculitis is inflammation of the blood vessels. This inflammation can damage and narrow the blood vessels, causing a rash, a change in sensation, fatigue, or other symptoms. Vasculitis has many possible causes, including allergic reactions and certain diseases, such as lupus. Bleeding from the blood vessel may cause bruises or blood spots under the skin. Vasculitis can decrease blood supply to tissues or organs, causing blood clots, pain, tissue damage, and organ malfunction. Treatment depends on the cause of the vasculitis. Some cases may be self-correcting. Treatment often includes anti-inflammatory medication, such as corticosteroids.
What is Rheumatoid Arthritis? RA is one of the most serious and potentially disabling forms of arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the body's tissue. The main area of attack is the synovium, or joint lining. The attack trigger inflammation in joints and other tissues. The results is PAIN, Swelling and stiffness that limits a joints range of motion. If unchecked, inflammation damages not only the synovium, but also bones in the joints and other tissue, such as organs. Stiffness can be especailly severe after sleeping and can last an hour or all day or days. Symptoms tend to improve for a while, but then flare, seemingly at random. RA can affect the whole body, especially during flares, with fatigue , loss of apetite, fever weight loss. Peopel of all ages can have RA, but it usually starts in the 30's or 40's.(I went Ten years thinking that the pain was normal TEN YEARS.) The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but genetics plays a role. Gene helps keep immune system cells from being overactive, the cariation of that gene enables certain immune system cells to cause tissue to damage and inflammation . Altering or replacing those defective genes assocaited with RA is on the horizon. We se various kinds of Autoimmune diseases clustering in some families, but it's not all genetics. There is probably something in the environment , and ifectious agent, perhaps, that may act as a trigger particularly in those people who have a genetic predisposition because infectious agents may be involved, sometimes antibiotic therapy for RA. DIAGNOSIS: GETTING ONE QUICKLY: What ever the cause, the disease can quickly progress, which makes an early diagnosis crucail. RA diagnosis involves several tests. Medical history, physical exam, X-rays, MRIs, bonescan and ultrasounds to see the structure of the joint, and they perform a number of different blood test to determine the exten of the disease activity and severity. Because getting diagnosis of RA can take sometime, it is especially important to get a referral from your primary care doctor to a Rheumatologiest as soon as possible. (that is what I did all this and how I found out). BE AGGRESSIVE BE VERY AGGRESSIVE: Today, array of medication are used to treat RA symptoms and slow disease progression. Doctors use only mild pain relievers for as long as possible instead of thrumatologist are using them sooner like antiflammatories and other before hard pain pills. (I have antiflammatory and mild pain pill one a day of that)I hate taken any of it. These medication go to the root cause of inflammation to help stop the progression of the disease that we're not seeing further deformity or disablity. Example: Disease modifying antirheumatic drugs DMARDs slow disease progression by suppressing the immune system. Example: Hydroxycholoroquine (Plaquenil)(Iam on that one), Leflunomide(Arava),Methortrexate(Rhuematrex), sulfasalazine(Azulfidine). Newer biologic response modifiers (BRMS),which can stop disease progression by blocking proteins that cause inflammation ,may also be prescribed early on. The newest options - Abatacept (Orencia), andrituximab(rituxan)ma work in patient who od not respond to other BRMs suck as adalimumab(humira) oretanercept (enbrel). Talk to your doctor try it if it does not work ask for something else sooner or later you get something that works together to make you feel better. Arthritis foundation self help program. 18005684045 for more help or information
I am all for Natural Treatment but Not with out taken my medication given to me by my Ra doctor my Pulmanary Lung Doctor and My Primary Doctor. I take all this poisons they give me but I have to because the risk of taken the medication is less then not because if not I could die. So, I look for NATURAL ways to help my immune system and bones and general health. I am total into Antioxidents too. *** Should I Use Heat Or Cold Therapy? Both are equally effective. It depends on the person and the problem. (With me Heat is best most of the time.) Heat packs can be applied for 20 minutes to decrease pain and stiffness in your joints. People experiencing a flare should avoid heat therapy (that when it does not work for me)because it may increase swelling. Cold packs also may be applied for 20 minutes to decrease pain, swelling and inflammation by decreaseing blood flow. People with Raynaud's Phenonmenon and Hypersensitivity to cold should not use cold therapy. Talk to your physical Therapist or occupational therapist to get specific instructions on what might work best for you. ****** Is Experimental Drugs Safe To Use? (Some doctors may say yes because it may help find something that truely works for you but you should not do it with asking your doctor ) (I was talking Monavie active and it helped my blood test show more normal signs then before because that what it helped do but it did not improve my inflammation levels they are still to high.) There is always osme element of risk in the unknown, and the unknown when taking a new drug is how you will respond to it and whether you will experience undesirable side effects. That is true, however, whether you take an approved, on-th-market drug or one in a clinical trial. The difference is the degree of risk, which is greater for the trail drug, because it hasn't been used as widely as approved drugs. If you decide to try the drug in trial, you will be part of the process that may lead to the drug's FDA approval. There is advantages to going with trail drug. First, you will be getting access to a new, and potentially more affective, medication before it is available to the general public. You will also benefit from the close medical supervision given to trail participants. If you ever do a trail they will give you consent document to explain the unknown risk and benefits. You should carefully read and discuss this document with your doctor. Pharmacist Don Miller. **** Will Juvenile Arthritis Go Aways? JRA is defined as arthritis that starts before the age of 16, so that is why your diagnosis is JRA and not RA. JRA is actually a group of different diseases, including joint inflammation (Arthritis) starting in a few large joints (Pauciarticular JRA), arthritis starting in many large and small joints (polyarticular JRA), and arthritis with very high fevers and rashes (systemic JRA or Still's disease). RA is a single disease that is more likely to start out with inflammation of the hands and feet and involves several joint areas. Over the long-term, RA can cause a lot of joint damage, whereas active JRA usually does not. ALthough 50 percent of children with JRA enter adulthood with out active arthritis, RA is generally an ongoing progressive disease. Pediatric RA Doctor Barbara Adams. **** Can I Keep Exercising? Exercise is essential but key do not over do. The reason inactivity can cause pain, stiff joints and worse. Regular physical activity and exercise are keys to maintaining full mobility and phsyical and mental health. (there are days its almost impossible but you make your self do something which is better then nothing but sometimes nothing is all you can do very hard) A well rounded exercise program should consist of flexibility, muscle strengthening (this is very important this is what I am working on carefully)and cardiovascular conditioning. Sticking to a regular regimen of exercise will help you keep inflammation down, retain full joint mobility and protect tender joints. ( but my inflammation is going higher or was I know this blood test waiting to hear from doctor on results.)30 minutes 3 days a week is perfect and you own pace just remember not to over do it. **** Am I Going To Need Surgery? I have OA in Knees and RA else where. Surgery is usually not definite (but for me knee replacement on Right side is for sure left maybe)A small percentage of people do progress to severe cartilage loss ( This is why for me) Often called bone to bone, with significant pain and markedly reduced knee function. (Knees make you fall so if you start falling have your knees checked, like my doctor said SLOW down if its important they will call back or set it up for another day). Ra Paul Howard **** Having A Baby? There are many factors at play here, from disease severity to medications. RA and OBGYN can answer most questios and work with you throughout pregancy. Medications: several drugs taken for Arthritis are not recommended for use during pregancy. Examples: Leflunomide(Arava), and Methotrexate may cause miscarriage. Most nonsteroidal anti-flammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are not recommended during pregancy. Always work with your doctor they will help you know what best. REMISSION: 70 Percent of women with RA actually experience a welcome improvement in symptoms during pregancy. This cause is unknown. (I AM HOPING FOR REMISSION OF MY LUNG DISEASE and INFLAMMATION to go down so it does not effect my heart or anything else. )I hope my heart is not inflammed that will be scarey just waiting to know is. Always check with your doctor on anything. **** medwatch
High Heels? Cracking Knuckles? Just Old Age? Get the truth here. Fact given By: Leslie J Crofford, MD Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.In Fact, an estimated 300,000 infants, childern and adolescents in the united states have arthritis. Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), often strike men and women in their 20's and 30's. (I have found out that the pain I thought was pain that came with age is not I have the wrose kind of RA you can have, So listen to your body.) Myth: Only old people get arthritis. Fact: Arthritis, which has more than 100 different forms, can occur at any age. Myth: Exercising a lot can cause arthritis. Fact: Injuries during sports can lead to arthritis, says Dr. Crofford, but exercise in general does not. Don't use the rish of arthritis- or even and arthritis diagnosis- as a reason to bad the gym."Physical fitness is good for musculoskeletal health, "She says. "Just make sure you have trained to perform your sport." Taking the time to warm up and stretch and wearing protective gear are also important for preventing injuries. (I use Gym as theraphy at my own pace) Myth: Arthritis isn't serious disease; it's just normal aging. Fact: Osteoarthritis (OA) is sometimes referred to as "wear-and-tear" arthritis, but many of the more than 100 other forms of the disease are not caused by a joint wearing out or the toll of years of activity, RA, for example, is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body attacks itself. People with RA may experience joint damage and chronic inflammation, affecting the heart and other organs. OA also can be serious. "OA can be devastating to quality of life, causing pain and limiting physical functioning," Says Dr. Crofford. Arthritis is the nation's leading cause of disability among adults, so there is no question that it's a serious disease. (RA is my disease and I have high inflammation I am waiting on test results to hopeful make sure its not affecting my heart that scares more more then anything is my heart being inflame because of the inflammation.) Myth: Arthritis is caused by habits like cracking your knuckles or wearing high-heeled shoes. Fact: Many mothers have told their children not to crack their knuckles because it would lead to arthritis or enlarged knuckles. While the loud forcing of air from your hand joints is annoying social habit, "There is no data that cracking knuckles contributes to arthritis," Dr. Crofford says. And while wearing sleek Jimmy Choo pumps doesn't cause arthritis, you should reserve the indulgence for special accasions, because high-heeled shoes can exacerbate arthritis in the feet, says the doctor. Myth: Only overweight people get arthritis. Fact: Excess weight can contribute to the development of OA in some joints, particularly the knees, but many forms of arthritis have nothingto do with eing overweight. "Excess pounds can wrosen arthritis pain and fragile joints," Doctor Crofford says. Losing just 15 pounds can cut symptoms of the knee OA in half. (This is true every time I loose a few pounds my joints feel a sence of releif.) *********** If you have a family member with pain get it checked out you never know what may be harming their body. Also, remember it can hit any one at any age. Pain is REAL you do not make it up. Be caring about the family member or friend who is in pain and if they say they got OA or RA be understanding its the most painful thing you ever go through or feel. It hurts worse then having a baby . It hurts worse then a broken bone because the pain never stops. So, do not be like oh its just old age listen to them be there for them its a disease and crippling one at that.
Here's Is Something That May Help You Deal. Like a chef trying out new ingredients to get just the right flavor in a dish, people with arthritis and related conditions may have to experiment to find the best ways of coping with fatigue, pain and difficult sleeping. Finding a balance and rhythm to your life may be difficult at times, but having a solid plan for coping should help. Here are some tried and true tips: LISTEN TO YOUR PAIN AND FATIGUE: They are signals that you need to slow down. Ignoring them may make your condition worse. (this is so true I had to slow down) FOLLOW ACTIVITY WITH INACTIVITY: Rest to prepare for and active day. Set aside time after and active hour to take it easy. EXERCISE AT YOUR OWN PACE: After your exercise program according to how you feel each day. You may want to try swimming, yoga, tai chi or walking. LEARN TO TAKE THE MIDDLE ROAD: Instead of thinking you can't do the things you love because of your arthritis, find creative ways to do what you used to do. CHILL OUT: Try relaxtion and meditation techniques to ease fatigue and muscle tension. ********
But, now that you or someone you know has Arthritis, over committing yourself can actually be bad for your health. Learning to cut back can be hard- we've been trained all our lives to be helpful and to say "yes" to favors people aks of you. Whenyou are feeling the pressure to do more thank you can, remember to do the following: PRIORITIZE: It's easier to say "no" to what's at the bottom of the list. Start the day by compiling all the things on your "to do" List in order of importance items, and you won't be disappointed if you know you did the most important itiems, and you won't have to make an on-the-spot decision when someone asks you for a favor. MEAN IT: Once you say "no" , that's it. Don't feel obligated to give an explanation or you will leave the door open for someone to talk you into something. If you feel you should give a reason, keep it short and stick to it. And say "no" sooner, rather than later. Time pressures can make you feel guiltier. PRACTICE: Rehearse saying "no,I'm really sorry, I can't do that." If nothing out write it down until you feel it and know this is for your health and well being. TELL YOURSELF "NO" IS A-OK. Give yourself permission to say "no" Recognice you can't be every thing to everyone. NO MATTER HOW YOU FEEL OR WHAT YOU ARE USE TO DOING. Taking time out for yourself is essential to your mental and physical health. ********* Arthritis Today
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