For many people living with arthritis, “I’m so tired” is an often spoken phrase. Fatigue is their constant, very unpleasant companion. It is a symptom which is often overlooked or overshadowed by other concerns when treating arthritis, but it can be life-altering to people living with the disease.
Often, research into treatments for arthritis has focussed on other disease symptoms, sometimes leaving out the importance of managing fatigue. Some recent research, however, has focussed on fatigue, why it is harmful, and how it can be better treated.
In an article published in Clinical Care in the Rheumatic Diseases, Basia Belza and Kori Dewing examined fatigue in arthritis and described some strategies for dealing with fatigue and minimizing its impact.
This article cites other research to conclude that 80 – 100% of people living with certain types of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia, live with fatigue. Most types of arthritis are associated with some fatigue, and it can be one of the most difficult symptoms to live with, and treat.
Fatigue has been defined as “usually or always being too tired to do what you want” (Wolf et al). For people living with extreme fatigue, completing even the simplest tasks, or participating in normal day to day activities, can feel nearly impossible. People who face fatigue as a symptom of their disease can simply feel “too tired” to do the things they want or need to do in their lives.
Causes of fatigue
There are several causes of arthritis-related fatigue, which very often occur together. Belza and Dewing note several causes of arthritis-related fatigue, including: Continue reading →
Travelling with arthritis can be challenging because of the added physical and mental stress on your body and mind. But if you are a travel enthusiast, nothing will stop you from travelling. Here are some helpful tips to make travelling safer and easier: Continue reading →
“New drugs – new perspectives: clinical and regulatory issues concerning biosimilars” – Professor Tore Kvien
During the session, “New drugs – new perspectives: clinical and regulatory issues concerning biosimilars,” Professor Tore Kvien, head of the department of rheumatology at the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, updated EULAR delegates on the latest issues and evidence on the use of biosimilars.
ACE is the leader in Canada providing patient information and education on biosimilars. If this therapy is new to you, please visit the Biosim•Exchange area of our website. Continue reading →
An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimated that non-adherence resulted in approximately 125,000 deaths and at least 10 percent of hospitalizations, costing US health care system $100 and $289 billion a year.
The article reports that “studies have consistently shown that 20 percent to 30 percent of medication prescriptions are never filled, and that approximately 50 percent of medications for chronic diseases are not taken as prescribed. The review found that for people who do take prescription medications, they only take about half the prescribed doses.
Researchers from Northwestern University found that one-third of kidney transplant patients don’t take their anti-rejection medications. Other studies show that 41 percent of heart attack patients don’t take their blood pressure medications and only 50 percent of children with asthma use their inhalers as prescribed.
In an article in the New York Times, Dr. Bruce Bender, co-director of the Centre for Health Promotion at National Jewish Health in Denver, explained: “When people don’t take the medications prescribed for them, emergency department visits and hospitalizations increase and more people die. Non-adherence is a huge problem, and there’s no one solution because there are many different reasons why it happens.”
State of Arthritis Medications: Some old, some new, all important
The reliable, quick reference arthritis medications guide you need to assist you and your health care team with your therapy conversations.
The JointHealth™ Medications Guide gives you information on the most commonly prescribed medications for inflammatory types of arthritis and osteoarthritis. Medication information for the following diseases is included in this year’s guide: rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis.
Treating 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.
A 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 →
Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici | FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The long-term usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) has always concerned me. Through the years I have taken different types of NSAIDs for varying periods. These NSAIDs even included (for a short time) VIOXX, which was pulled off the shelves in 2004 after studies confirmed that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke. For many years I have taken diclofenac, which now researchers also believe carries a high cardiovascular risk, especially for people with a history of heart disease or other risk factors such as diabetes or high cholesterol. Continue reading →
Call for patient organization input on certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®) for psoriatic arthritis
Do you have psoriatic arthritis or care for someone who does? We need your valuable input.
The Common Drug Review (CDR) is currently welcoming patients and their caregivers to provide input to patient organizations on the manufacturer’s submission for certolizumab pegol (Cimzia®) for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Certolizumab pegol is indicated for use in combination with methotrexate for reducing signs and symptoms and inhibiting the progression of structural damage as assessed by X-ray, in adult patients with moderately to severely active psoriatic arthritis who have failed one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Continue reading →
“One needle, only one time.” This statement may seem obvious in the context of any medical practice but as guest author on the Centers for Disease Control blog Dr. John O’Keefe notes in his article, Moving the Needle to Safe Dentistry, that rule, alarmingly, is not always followed.
As a result, the “One & Only Campaign” was created to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices. Led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), the campaign aims to eradicate outbreaks resulting from unsafe injection practices.
Dr. O’Keefe is a dentist and board chairman for the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), which is the dental sector’s premier organization dedicated to infection prevention and control. OSAP, disappointed when it discovered that unsafe practices in a U.S. dental setting led to the first documented patient-to-patient case of hepatitis C last year, has joined forces with the CDC and SIPC. Click here to read the full article.