All posts related to "rheumatoid arthritis"

Living well with arthritis: Tips from people like you

Bikers beside a river fist pumping in the airThe award-winning chef Seamus Mullen, athlete Aimée Espinoza of San Clemente, California, triathlete Dina Neils and Pain Talks Founder Alan Brewington are all successful people, who just happen to live with arthritis. Remember that you have arthritis, but it doesn’t have you.

In an interview with Everyday Health, Seamus Mullen, author of Hero Food and the chef and owner behind New York City’s Tertulia restaurant, said: “I think the first mistake I made was believing that life as I knew it was over. I really felt as though the rug was pulled from beneath me, and that I would never again be able to do the things I once loved doing.” Mullen was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2007. He adds, “I really wish that, early on, I’d gotten to know more people who were living and functioning with RA, and that I’d learned more about what I could do as an individual to treat the disease, rather than depending so heavily on the medical community for answers.” Continue reading

Biomarker tests to help detect rheumatoid arthritis

hand holding test vialTreating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) early and aggressively is vitally important and can help to prevent crippling joint damage. Today specialists recommend a treatment plan that includes education, medication-often a combination of several different types of medication will be used in a person’s treatment plan-social support, appropriate amounts of range-of-motion, cardiovascular and muscle strengthening exercises, rest, vitamins and mineral supplements and a well-balanced diet. Biomarker tests may also help to detect RA and prevent further joint damage.

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Do you have rheumatoid arthritis? This study is for you!

Online ToolDo you have rheumatoid arthritis and have you recently been recommended to START or SWITCH biologic medications?

Researchers at Arthritis Research Canada would like YOU to try the latest online tool to help make your treatment decisions. 

We are looking for people with rheumatoid arthritis across Canada to try a new online tool that helps to make decisions about using biologic medications.

If you have been recommended to consider starting or switching biologic medications, we invite you to participate in this study. You may be eligible if you:

  1. Have rheumatoid arthritis
  2. See a rheumatologist
  3. You are considering or reconsidering starting or switching biologics
  4. Have a valid email and internet access

We are more than halfway there! We now have 28 participants who have completed the study. Please help us reach our recruitment target of 55 participants.

The study will take about two hours to complete over a span of four to six weeks, and can be completed remotely.  Any information you provide will be completely confidential. An honorarium will be provided for your time.

If you would like more information, please contact Jasmina Memetovic, Research Coordinator by phone at 604-207-4007, toll free 1-877-871-4575, or email

Ways to help your loved one live with RA and depression

Rheumatoid arthritis can increase the chances of depression; depression may worsen RA symptoms, leading to higher disease activity and disability, which in turn can lead to depression. Several studies have indicated that depression in those with rheumatoid arthritis is linked to greater joint pain and other symptoms of RA such as fatigue and sleep disturbances, decreased immune function, and a higher mortality rate. Untreated depression may cause you to be less likely to take care of yourself, less motivated to stick to a treatment plan, more likely to isolate yourself from friends and family and avoid activities you once enjoyed.

It is estimated that people living with RA are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Research shows that approximately 13 to 20 percent of the population currently living with RA are already depressed. A study published in the Rheumatology medical journal states that women living with RA are almost twice as likely to have suicidal thoughts and commit suicide.

“Many people with suicidal thoughts brought on by chronic illness will not come out right and say what they are thinking,” said Thea Barrieau, a SeniorBridge Care Manager. If you are concerned that someone you know are having suicidal thoughts, look out for the following suicidal warning signs and seek help from a medical professional:

  • Gathering friends and family “one last time” or “to say goodbye”.
  • Verbal or physical signs that allude to an inability to “cope” with the chronic illness, giving up, or a lack of motivation to do everyday and new tasks.
  • Skipping medication dosages or trying a new medication regimen.

It’s not your fault you are depressed

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“Suffering the Silence” during Arthritis Awareness Month

A picture of Cheryl Koehn

Dear ACE community members,

I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis for over a quarter century now, and I’m sick of it.

Canadians living with one of over 100 types of arthritis are told to understand that what they have is “just arthritis.” They are frustrated by the self-management routine they are supposed to be “in charge of” because they don’t have access to the very things they are supposed to self-manage with. They’re discouraged to read about other important diseases in the media spotlight, but not their own. They’re saddened that yet another Arthritis Month in Canada has begun without a cure for any type of arthritis. That’s how I feel, too. What about you?

Our community continues to face significant barriers to elevating arthritis with the public, governments and workplaces across the country where the havoc wreaked by the diseases is still underestimated and poorly understood.

Well, I’ve had enough. We can’t passively accept arthritis. It maims and kills, but people seem afraid to say that. I’m going to start saying it in my life and in my work.

I am rheumatoid arthritis. Who are you?

We need to break through the sound barrier. Please take a moment and tell me, tell your arthritis sisters and brothers, who you are. I want to know. Make millions know.
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Link between rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease explained

Woman covering face with hands

Image courtesy of FrameAngel at

According to a new study, mental health problems like anxiety and depression may explain why people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. According to the study, anger, anxiety, depressive symptoms, job stress and low social support was linked to increasing risk of hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis for people with RA.

In the study, Dr. Jon T. Giles of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and team compared 195 patients with RA and no history of heart problems to more than 1,000 similar adults without arthritis. Study participants with RA had more depressive symptoms, higher personal (such as caring for a loved one) and health stress, higher job stress and lower relationship stress. These listed psychosocial problems, on top of higher anxiety scores and anger scores, were associated with increased odds of coronary artery calcium. Furthermore, job stress increased the risk of plaque in the carotid artery in the neck, which helps supply blood to the brain. In the comparison group, there was no relation between the aforementioned psychosocial factors and artery calcium. Continue reading