All posts related to "treatment"

AS it Goes – Bridging the Patient-Doctor Divide

The doctor is listeningA checkup appointment at my rheumatologist (doctor who specializes in arthritis) always leads to some interesting discussions. Most of the time I try to “research” a topic beforehand, so that I am armed with the latest background information on whatever are my most pressing concerns at the time. When I launch into my questions (I always have a list written out), I have a better-than-even chance of holding a meaningful conversation with my rheumy. In turn, I get more out of the conversation instead of returning home with questions that even Google cannot answer. Understanding what he is really saying provides me with the sense that I am in control of my ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and not the other way around (AS controlling me?) Continue reading

CRA Interview Series 2015 – Dr. Glen Hazlewood: Treatment preference

Canadian Rheumatology Association (CRA) and Allied Health Professions Association (AHPA) Interview Series 2015

Today’s feature interview – Dr. Glen Hazlewood: Treatment preference of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

ABN reporters from Canada’s arthritis consumer organizations interviewed leading health professionals and researchers during last month’s CRA and AHPA annual meetings.

Beginning March 9, feature interviews will be posted on the ABN YouTube channel Please help us raise awareness about the important work going on in Canada by sharing the interviews with your organizational and social networks.

About Dr. Glen Hazlewood (from Arthritis Research Canada)

Picture of Glen HazlewoodDr. Glen Hazlewood is a practicing rheumatologist in Calgary and is currently working towards his PhD in Clinical Epidemiology through the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. His PhD co-supervisors are Dr. Deborah Marshall and Dr. Claire Bombardier. Continue reading

ACR News – New frontiers in osteoarthritis treatment

What to doA clinical symposium yesterday at the ACR called New Frontiers in Osteoarthritis Treatment: The Role of Weight Loss, Surgery and Current Treatment Guidelines looked at the management of osteoarthritis (OA) patients through weight loss and exercise, surgery, and medications. The session also looked at the differences in treatment recommendations for OA.

Osteoarthritis and weight loss and exercise

In an interview with ACR Daily News, Stephen P. Messier, PhD, Professor of Health and Exercise Science at Wake Forest University, said: “When combined with exercise, weight loss is a level 1 method of treatment for knee osteoarthritis, and there’s strong support for both weight loss and exercise as the first-line treatment for knee osteoarthritis. I think the problem is that patients don’t know how to do it.”

Continue reading

New Guidelines for Psoriatic Arthritis


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

New guidelines were recently drafted in an effort to raise awareness among doctors that psoriatic arthritis affects more than just skin and joints, and that there are several comorbidities associated with the disease.

Comorbidities of psoriatic arthritis include cardiovascular disease, uveitis (eye inflammation), obesity, and inflammatory bowel disease in addition to the symptoms commonly associated with the disease: psoriasis, painful and swollen joints, morning stiffness, reduced range of motion, and general fatigue. Continue reading

AS it Goes – Amber as Therapy?

Amber bead necklace in heart shapeMy friend, her daughter and her 6-month old son recently came for an afternoon visit and while the baby entertained us with his antics, his shirt opened to reveal that he was wearing a necklace made of small amber beads.

The baby’s mother, a university-educated and grounded young woman, told me that many young babies wear these necklaces because it is believed that amber has strong anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Babies wear amber as a remedy for teething; Baltic amber, in particular, is thought to soothe and calm a fussy baby without resorting to drugs. Continue reading

AS it Goes – A Magical Fish

Armand the betta fish

Armand, the betta fish. Photo courtesy of Fran Halter.

My hubbie and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary, and our children searched for the perfect gift to give the couple that already has two of everything. They finally settled on a “little” something related to the traditional stone—coral—that marks 35 years of married life.

Coral is said to grant wisdom, promote a healthy emotional foundation, and protect passage through tempests. However, instead of giving us a piece of ornamental coral (where to display that?) or a decorative photo of colourful coral (no wall space available either), they decided to expand on the coral theme and integrate it into their gift.

Apparently a family vacay to see a coral reef was their first idea, but practicality and financial reality intervened. Instead, we were introduced to “Armand”, a bright blue betta fish whose new home features coloured coral-type rocks on the bottom of his fish bowl. These fish tend to be aggressive, so they are often sold individually as they can easily live up to their common name: Siamese Fighting Fish. Two male bettas in the same tank will fight each other to death to exert their dominance (I’m sure the kids did not know about this aspect when they decided on their gift ).

However, Armand seems friendly enough and he interacts with us: he follows your finger along the outside of his tank and every day at the feeding hour, he nearly jumps out of the water with excitement when his food arrives. Lately, he’s been making bubble nests, floating bundles of bubbles, which apparently indicates that he is healthy and comfortable in his environment on the island in our kitchen.

We were a little hesitant about owning a fish because our previous attempts to care for goldfish were most unsuccessful. But there’s no doubt that owning a pet has a positive psychological effect. Armand’s lazy swim around his bowl does impart a certain calmness with his hypnotic movements. It’s a fact that your body goes through a physical change when your mood is altered; the level of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, is actually lowered. And the production of serotonin, a chemical associated with well-being, is increased.

Fran HalterCoupled with the purported “magical” properties imparted by the coral stones on the bottom of his bowl, Armand has made a positive contribution to our state of health. Anyone who suffers from a chronic condition or disease, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), welcomes any small positive measure that brings even a modicum of comfort or relief. Seems like Armand has done just that. ~ Fran


Do you have a pet that has a magical effect on your health? Send us pictures!