Month: November 2019

Mary Man's RA Journal Icon

Disabling RA

One of the big pleasures I have is watching the full moon make its way up and over the mountain. I see it from my patio doors as I am making dinner. Lately, it not only is a big, full moon but also a beautiful, warm yellow. When I first see it, the moon  is just peering over the top edge of the mountain. Then it seems to sit on the edge of the mountain top just before continuing  its journey up into the night sky. A moment in time. I was thinking of good things to distract from the pain I have in my joints and the nagging fear in the back of my mind that I am becoming more disabled with each passing day. My RA was diagnosed seven years ago in January. Since then, I have had three cancers and a hip replacement. Most of that time I have been on methotrexate, mostly injectable. It has slowed the progress of the RA. It could be worse. I’ve been on almost all the …

Mary Mann inflammatory arhtritis

Meet Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)

  Spondylo means vertebrae or bones in your back. So, you can see that AS affects the spine. With the progression of disease, the vertebral joints fuse causing the spine to be stiff. AS affects the  areas where the joint capsules, tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. Pain and swelling occur  along these “hotspots”. The lower back, the sacroiliac joints,  the cervical spine, pelvic bones, the rib joints and the heel. Classic AS involvement. Many other joints can be involved. The joints of the hip, shoulder, and knee are commonly involved. Involvement of fingers, toes, wrists and jaw, although possible, is not common. It is a disease of younger people (teen-40s) usually. It is common in men, but science is learning that women have AS frequently, too. It is a major cause of low back pain. It is an inherited disease. There are many genes involve. The gene HLA-B27 is present in 90% of those who have AS. As in many cases an environmental trigger like an infection activates the genes involved. AS belongs …

Silica is a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis

Silica, the earth’s most abundant mineral, is made up of oxygen and silicon. It is a part of many, many processes including mining, pottery making, glass making, and granite work including tombstone making. The lung disease caused by crystalline silica dust is called silicosis and has been known since the time of Hippocrates. It is an inflammatory disease. In the fifties after many studies, it was learned that autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis could be caused by exposure to crystalline silica. The connection though proven is not well understood. Rheumatoid arthritis is also an inflammatory disease. This morning I was reading one of the comments on the forum Health Unlocked. It was written by a woman who has RA as does her brother. Interestingly, both had jobs where they worked with silica.