All posts filed under: RA body

Celiac’s Disease not RA

Gluten is not theculprit in RA, but Gluten is the culprit in Celiac’s disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. The small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged when a person with Celiac’s disease ingests food such as bread, beer, cereal, or other foods that contain gluten. As damage occurs to the small intestine, it becomes increasingly difficult for the intestine to absorb nutrients. Celiac’s disease is an autoimmune disease. It is commonly paired with the autoimmune diseases of the thyroid (6%) and type1 diabetes (6%) There is also an increased risk associated with the following: Sjögren’s disease, MS, Autoimmune hepatitis, and arthritis (but not RA). Those with Celiac’s disease and those with a gluten sensitivity should not eat foods containing gluten, such as bread, pasta, and cereal.  The gluten will make them sick.  A gluten free diet is the cure for Celiac’s disease.  Those with Celiac’s disease may experience joint pain but it is not the destructive arthritis of RA. The joint symptoms will lessen as gluten is eliminated from …

Rheumatoid Arthritis Eyes

 Most of us who have had RA for a while understand that Plaquenil (hydroxychloroquine) puts us at risk for eye damage. If we do take Plaquenil, we understand that the danger of eye damage is small. That is what we seem to need to know and that is all we are told about RA and our eyes.  We are not being told that by having RA, we are at risk of having eye damage and should have our eyes checked on a regular basis. We do know that the same inflammation that causes pain and swelling in the lining of our joints courses through our veins damaging the lining of blood vessels and our heart even when our cholesterol profile is perfect. We understand that and we try to keep ourselves heart healthy in every way that we can. What no one mentions is that this same inflammation that affects our joint lining and affects our heart and our blood vessels also affects our eyes. This inflammation can cause permanent damage if we are not …

Morning time/Evening time with RA

I have figured out how to reduce the morning stiffness and pain of my RA. I do two things. First, I take pain medication. I wake up in the early morning to use the restroom. At that time, I take a dose of my pain medication. Before I go to bed, I put a dose in a little bowl on my night table. It is easy to access and I will know whether or not I had taken it.  Then I go back to sleep for about an hour or so. It relieves me of the pain that saturates my body in the morning. I no longer feel discouraged. I am ready for my day. The second thing I do is read the paper while I have my freshly brewed Starbucks French Roast. I have time to center myself as I work out the nighttime kinks.  I read the New York Times on my Kindle. I have a cover for my Kindle that also acts a stand for it (something like a picture frame easel). …

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.

Elderly Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis

Blog: EORA, Elderly Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis October 2019 As we get older, our youthful bodies start to lose some of the agility and endurance we have always expected of ourselves. We slow down. Late nights aren’t as fun as they used to be. Food choices change. Spicy food may suddenly seem too spicy. Climbing stairs isn’t quite as easy as it once was. Aging is a gradual process and we adjust to it as we go. Some of us feel lucky to be alive. We have friends and family who have died from cancer or heart disease. We may have the experience of surviving war, illness or accidents. And we have finally learned that we are not immortal. We see the calendar pages fly by and are starting to wonder about the condition of our maturing bodies. We look more closely at our medical insurance plan and we start making appointments with our primary care providers. We are prescribed the classic medications, a statin and maybe  a blood pressure pill. We promise ourselves to walk …

Vitamin D deficiency and RA

The first doctor to test my vitamin D level was my oncologist. My level was 60 ng/ml. He suggested I lower my supplement amount. I lowered it to 2000U. My next test level was 16 ng/ml. He said,” Just keep doing what you were doing before you changed it.”  I raised my supplement to 4000U and my blood levels have been normal since then. Without a supplement, I was deficient in vitamin D. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency is common in those with RA, type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Additional factors that influence vitamin D levels in those with RA include corticosteroid use. Drugs such as prednisone and Medrol can reduce calcium absorption and impair vitamin D metabolism. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) is also linked to malabsorption of vitamin D.  I am on both drugs and I do take the above supplement. Those with RA who have a deficiency of vitamin D will have difficulty concentrating, pain may worsen, fatigue and depression increase. Vitamin D is a hormone involved in bone and calcium metabolism. …

The Gut RA Connection

By now  most of us know  that our intestinal system is home to trillions of  bacteria busy doing their job populating their ecosystem in the lining of out intestines. Collectively they are called the gut microbiome or gut flora. The beneficial bacteria in the gut have names that we see on the list of ingredients in a good yogurt such as  lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria help maintain a consistent environment, protect the body from foreign invaders, communicate with the immune system and the brain. The gut microbiome is complex and gut imbalances have been implicated in the development of RA as in other inflammatory diseases.  “Larger-than-normal populations of  specific gut bacteria may trigger the development of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and possibly fuel disease progression in people genetically predisposed to this crippling and confounding condition,” according to Mayo Clinic Researchers. An imbalance in the gut microbiome coupled with a genetic predisposition to RA may be the initiating factor in the RA disease process. There is a lot of research being done. Using probiotics  medically as …

The Classic Symptoms Of RA

The Classic Symptoms Of RA Symptoms may vary during a day and from day to day and from person to person. The unpredictability of symptoms makes daily activities harder to plan. The following are symptoms common to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Pain is a hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis. Pain comes in many forms in the same person. It is sharp as the edge of broken glass. It is burning. Aching. It is incapacitating and it can be unrelenting. Consuming. Sometimes it is excruciating. The middle joints of the fingers, the knuckles, wrists, the joints in the toes and the feet are affected. The shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles, and the hips become affected. The cervical spine is frequently affected. The lumbar and thoracic spines can be affected but less commonly. Pain may make it hard to get out of bed in the morning. Pain may increase as the day wears on. Pain can wake you in the middle of the night. The trouble is that the pain is not isolated to one spot. It encompasses many joints …

EORA or YORA another RA category

Imagine my surprise when I learned about the initials YORA and EORA. YORA is an acronym for Younger Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis as is EORA for Elderly Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis. I came to a new understanding of where I am in the scheme of things. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can strike at any age from babies to the elderly. The elderly’s association with RA can be of long standing disease or it can be a new development. People who develop RA after age 60 are considered EORA. That is me. There are some notable differences with elderly onset RA. Initial symptoms may include large joints. With younger RA  onset small joints of the hands and the feet are usually first signs of joint involvement.  The shoulder joint may be a presenting joint in older onset.  My shoulder was involved initially as was the joints in my hands, wrists, feet, elbows. Initially I was in severe pain. Older adults may have more generalized symptoms. My grip was weak. I lost weight. I couldn’t sleep because of the severity …

RA nodules

Rheumatoid nodules are commonly talked about when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is discussed. It might surprise you to know that only 7% of those newly diagnosed with RA have rheumatoid nodules. So they are not characteristic symptoms of newly diagnosed RA. Overtime, about 25% of those with positive Rheumatoid Factor (RF) develop nodules. Nodules are frequently present in the more severe cases of RA, those more likely to have rapid progression of joint destruction and to develop vasculitis.  75% of those with Felty’s syndrome, more common in white males, have rheumatoid nodules. Current smokers with RA plus nodules usually have more severe disease. In those with seronegative rheumatoid arthritis, about 6% develop rheumatoid nodules. The condition of having rheumatoid nodules is called rheumatoid nodulosis. The nodules form below the skin near joints. They are firm and frequently moveable. They are not tender and are not usually harmful. They are 2 mm (.008 inch) to 5 cm (2 inch) and may occur singly or in clusters. They are formed in three, under the microscope, stages: acute inflammation …