All posts related to "symptoms"

“The 1 Minute Symptoms Survey”

Take this survey to help Arthritis Research Canada advance research into symptoms.

picture with the words "Just One Minute"A group of researchers from the University of British Columbia and other Canadian universities are developing a new survey to learn more about a wide range of symptoms that people have (for example, back pain, headache, fatigue, joint pain, anxiety, constipation, etc.). To inform the planned study, we would like to know the opinions of people like you whether this research is important and whether the findings may be valuable.

Steroid use associated with fractures in early RA

A recent study suggest that steroid use may be associated with fractures in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Researchers looked at the impact of systemic glucocorticoid exposure on fracture risk among new-onset rheumatoid arthritis by looking at administrative claims data between 2005-2012. The data provided detailed information about the treatments and outcomes of 42, 127 newly diagnosed RA patients.

Pill bottom with pills spilling outFrom the data, researchers concluded that 85% of RA patients were exposed to steroids. Rheum Now summarised the research findings as follow: “Although exposed and unexposed patients were demographically similar, fracture risk was significantly higher at doses <15mg/day (5 to 9 per 1000 person-years), ≥15 mg/day (16 per 1000 PY), and with cumulative doses ≥5400 mg (13.4 per 1000 PY). Adjusted fracture risk was approximately 2-fold higher at highest dose levels compared with 0 mg/day current daily dose and <675 mg cumulative dose, respectively.” Continue reading

Beware of these rheumatoid arthritis symptoms

Woman with headacheRheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease with hallmark symptoms of inflammation and resulting pain. It is a disease process (like cancer or diabetes) where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own healthy joints. It is a relatively common disease-approximately 300,000 or 1 in 100 Canadians get it-and is often devastating to a person’s body if not treated properly.

The disease process causes swelling and pain in and around joints and can affect the body’s organs, including the eyes, lungs, and heart. Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the hands and feet. Other joints often affected include the elbows, shoulders, neck, jaw, ankles, knees, and hips. When moderate to severe, the disease reduces a person’s life span by as much as a dozen years.

Below are ten rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, as listed in this WebMD’s article,  that may indicate something more serious: Continue reading

Can Lyme disease cause arthritis?

Can Lyme disease cause arthritis? The answer is yes.

Caution: Lyme disease risk area

Photo courtesy of mommytoo on stock.xchng

According to WebMD, Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick. The disease can enter the bloodstream if the tick bite is not treated within six months. It then becomes a chronic condition that causes fatigue, arthritis and cognitive difficulties.

Below are some symptoms of Lyme disease which may or may not develop in each case: Continue reading

Do Anti-TNF drugs boost risk of herpes zoster in inflammatory disorders?

Not according to recent findings.

Shingles is a major concern for people with autoimmune conditions, particularly people who are older and more at risk for developing shingles in general. Shingles is caused when the same virus that causes chickenpox, which stays hidden in the body, is reactivated.

This recent study focused on people with autoimmune diseases.  The medicine to treat some of these conditions are called anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drugs. They suppress the immune system. As a result, they can increase the risk of some infections.

The new study looked at records for about 60,000 people with autoimmune diseases. It compared shingles rates for those who took anti-TNF drugs and those who took other drugs. There was no increase in shingles among people taking anti-TNF drugs. People taking high doses of another type of medicine called a corticosteroid had twice the odds of developing shingles.

Read more: Serena Gordon, HealthDay, March 2013

Spotlight on Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDMS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting approximately three in one million children.

Autoimmune diseases generally occur when the body’s immune system begins to malfunction and attack healthy tissue in various parts of the body, causing inflammation and damage. In dermatomyositis, muscle and skin are attacked by inflammation, but the joints, lungs, heart, and intestinal tract can also be affected.
Continue reading

Arthritis: A Joint Responsibility

Beat Arthritis: A Joint Venture with the Arthritis Research Foundation by Johanna Kendall

From the National Post, February 26, 2013 – This is the story of Erinn McQueen, a varsity athlete who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in her third year of university, at the age of 21. Now 34 years old and married with two children, Erinn had her hip replaced in March 2011 and is unable to return to work. She has tried a variety of treatments over the years, “including biologics that can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year.” She is quoted as saying, “I have been on intravenous infusion treatments and the injections I give myself… It was a pretty difficult thing to realize that I likely wouldn’t play again or even just go for a run… I sort of view RA as the opponent, I wake up every day and know that this is my challenge.” Continue reading

Winter health problems

winterWinter can be a glorious time of year for some of you, whether you prefer to be outside skiing or inside curled up by the fire with a hot chocolate and a good book. Often, though, people experience health issues brought on by this coldest season of the year.

Problems can include troubles breathing, painful joints, and dry skin. The following article gives a brief look at how to help fix these three common winter conditions: Dr. Sheila Wijayasinghe, The Globe and Mail, December 2012.

For people who live with arthritis, winter can be a pain – literally. Joints can be more painful and uncomfortable with the onset of rainy and cold weather. A common condition among those with autoimmune diseases is Raynaud’s phenomenon, which can become more bothersome as temperatures drop. To learn about Raynaud’s, check out this article at Katie Meakem, EmpowerHER, November 2012 or visit the Spotlight on Raynaud’s Phenomenon at

When winter is here, do you think you can feel it in your bones? You might not be crazy. Cold weather, for many who live with arthritis, can stiffen muscles and may also worsen arthritis symptoms. Some studies have demonstrated a worsening of arthritis symptoms with low barometric pressure and high humidity. There are theories that low pressure systems, usually associated with damp or rainy conditions, could cause joints to swell. So remember to “Dress warmly, work out inside, and get enough vitamin D. These are some of the ways you can get arthritis pain relief despite the bone-chilling cold of winter weather.” Madeline Vann, everydayHealth, December 2012 .