Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Quiz
Rheumatoid arthritis can be effectively managed - and many people have even achieved remission! See what you know about your treatment options.
Last Modified: 2013-04-17 | Tags »
dmards, biologics, rheumatoid arthritis, methotrexate, rheumatoid arthritis pain, ra treatment
Rheumatoid arthritis treatment has changed from painkillers and corticosteroids as the primary treatment to DMARDs and biologics. Learn about the evolution of RA medication.
Transcript: Any health practitioner will be PLEASED to tell you -- rheumatoid arthritis treatment has come a VERY...
Any health practitioner will be PLEASED to tell you -- rheumatoid arthritis treatment has come a VERY long way. A diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis USED TO mean a future inevitably packaged with a wheelchair and debilitating pain. TODAY, modern medicine has advanced so much that RA patients may never see a wheelchair. Up until the early 1950s, aspirin and intramuscular gold salts were the only medications available to manage RA. But aspirin simply dulled the pain and gold salts, though effective against joint inflammation, caused severe side effects in up to 30% of people using them. Then along came the wonder-steroid, cortisone, which quickly blocked joint inflammation and seemed to have fewer side effects. But soon enough, long-term use of corticosteroids was found to cause osteoporosis, increased risk of infection, water retention and weight gain. Then in 1988, the Food and Drug Administration approved an alternative- METHOTREXATE. Originally developed to treat certain types of cancer, methotrexate is STILL the most prescribed traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug or DMARD. In 1998, DMARDs advanced even further. That's the year the FIRST biologic response modifier, etanercept, was approved for treatment of RA. Other biologics, such as infliximab and adalimumab, QUICKLY followed. These drugs can actually SLOW the progression of RA by targeting specific immune system activities that trigger joint inflammation. So how is RA treated today? Healthcare providers still occasionally prescribe gold salts to those who can't take methotrexate or don't respond to it, but most patients go on a therapy using methotrexate and/or a biologic. People with RA also use anti-inflammatory medications and corticosteroids for fast relief of painful flares or to relieve pain while waiting for DMARDs to start working. While rheumatoid arthritis is a complicated condition, your prognosis for a good quality of life is MUCH better now, than in the past.More »
gold salts, corticosteroids, nsaids, biologics, traditional dmards, methotrexate, etanercept infliximab, adalimumab, rheumatologist, prescription, ra treatment, treating rheumatoid arthritis joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis prednisone, advil, rheumatrex, enbrel, humira, remicade, orencia
We know the biology behind rheumatoid arthritis-but what's it really like if you have it? What's involved in the day to day? Listen to these real life stories for a look into the daily life of someone with RA.
Last Modified: 2013-01-03 | Tags »
rheumatoid arthritis, biologics, dmards, rheumatoid arthritis patient, arthritis joint pain
What's really going to happen to you if you don't treat your rheumatoid arthritis? Turns out, a lot. Watch this video to learn about joint damage and RA complications.
Transcript: It's possible that rheumatoid arthritis MAY not seem serious when you are first diagnosed, but what happens...
It's possible that rheumatoid arthritis MAY not seem serious when you are first diagnosed, but what happens if you ignore your symptoms and go without treatment? Plenty. With RA, your immune system attacks the synovium-a membrane in your joints that secretes a lubricating fluid that eases movement and reduces friction. During an RA flare-up, the synovium becomes inflamed and as RA progresses it can destroy the cartilage and bone within the joint. If you do NOTHING to control RA, loss of flexibility and mobility, chronic pain and serious joint damage could occur. Bony DEFORMITIES are possible as well -although these days, because of disease-modifying drugs, they are the exception. And many people develop rheumatoid NODULES, little bumps that grow under the skin on affected joints, are associated with advanced RA and with the medication methotrexate. Finally, you may have an increased risk of HEART DISEASE if you allow RA to go untreated, due to the link between inflammation and heart disease. NOT treating rheumatoid arthritis can be debilitating, and significantly reduce your quality of life. With the treatment advances available today you may be able to reduce joint pain, minimize complications and even potentially enter remission. So remember, doing nothing means you may not be able to do a lot of things you want to do. Learn more about treating RA by watching other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-12-27 | Tags »
ra complications, ra heart disease, disability, immobility, joint damage ra flareup, suppressed immune system, low immunity, vaccinations, test for tb joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis
Don't let joint pain and stiffness get the better of you. Learn how you can take action against rheumatoid arthritis so you can go to work, see your friends, and enjoy your hobbies.
Last Modified: 2013-09-12 | Tags »
rheumatoid arthritis, biologics, dmards, rheumatoid flares, joint pain, methotrexate
Your quality of life with RA can improve greatly if you follow these RA lifestyle tips. Watch this video to learn about dealing with RA daily.
Transcript: Having rheumatoid arthritis can affect ALL parts of your life, but smart tactics can make your daily...
Having rheumatoid arthritis can affect ALL parts of your life, but smart tactics can make your daily activities easier to manage. PLAN AHEAD--as much as you can! Prep for several meals if you're having a good day. Select your day's outfit the night before. Do easy tasks in the morning, when you're still stiff, and save the errand-running for later in the day when you might feel better. ORGANIZE your kitchen and bathroom. The items you use often should be easy to reach. Put heavier items on lower shelves. Place common ingredients in easy-to-use, and open, containers. Instead of shampoo and soap bottles that can be hard to squeeze, try using pump dispensers. Continue your HOBBIES. If you enjoy traveling, don't stop. Just choose locations that you will be able to navigate comfortably and that offer accessible transportation if you can't walk to where you want to go. If you love to entertain, hold potluck parties instead of cooking on your own. WHATEVER makes you happy, keep on doing it-with modifications. Use your IMAGINATION. A wooden pizza handle can tuck in bed sheets, a long piece of ribbon doubles as a door opener, and a lazy Susan on a refrigerator shelf brings items from the back within reach. When you can't engineer a home-made gadget, you can PURCHASE one. There are many arthritis-friendly tools, from key turners, to zipper pullers, and even can and jar openers. PROTECT YOUR WEAKER JOINTS. Use your HIP to open doors instead of your hands. Hold shopping bags with TWO hands. You can even sit in a swivel chair to accomplish tasks at chest-level. Most importantly, know when ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Let someone help! Physical activity is VERY important with rheumatoid arthritis, both to prevent joint damage and to maintain a POSITIVE attitude. But if you need a rest, don't be reluctant to ask a friend or family member to cook, go grocery shopping, or make the bed. Want more lifestyle advice? Check out other videos on managing rheumatoid arthritis.More »
day to day with rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis advice, ra lifestyle, ra gadgets, cooking with ra, driving with ra ra pain relief, treating rheumatoid arthritis, antiinflammatories, painkillers joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis
Your family, your doctor and other health providers make up your RA support network. Watch this video to learn about how this network helps.
Transcript: You don't have to deal with rheumatoid arthritis alone. A strong network of support can help EASE your...
You don't have to deal with rheumatoid arthritis alone. A strong network of support can help EASE your symptoms and BOOST your mood. Here are a few kinds of people everyone with RA should have in their life. Start with FAMILY and friends. They are most likely to jump in when you need help making dinner, driving to the doctor's office, or when you simply need someone to talk to. Try teaming up with willing friends and family when starting a new exercise routine or switching to a healthier diet-the support will make you more likely to succeed. Next... Seek out a support group. A rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis and the lifestyle changes that come with it can be tough. Support groups can CONNECT you with others going through the SAME challenges. These groups come in many forms, from peer-led sessions to those organized by trained PSYCHOLOGISTS. They can be in-person or online. Whichever you choose, look for a group that aims to help you cope with changes AND improve your life. Avoid all-out vent sessions though; they can only reinforce a NEGATIVE attitude. If you think you may have depression, which often goes hand in hand with rheumatoid arthritis, consider individual counseling. People with RA are twice as susceptible to depression as compared to the general population. Therapy and education can help you fight this tendency. Finally, utilize your physical and occupational therapists. The job of a PHYSICAL therapist is to help you build STRENGTH and keep your joints in TOP shape. Occupational therapists help you figure out how to better ACCOMPLISH daily activities that may have become more difficult. Together, their ultimate goal is to allow you to move independently, with LESS pain. Don't let rheumatoid arthritis control your life. Check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-12-27 | Tags »
family help, rheumatologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, daily activities psychologist, exercise, counseling, support group joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis
Physical activity is paramount in relieving rheumatoid arthritis pain. Watch this video to learn what exercises for RA you can do at home.
Transcript: When your body hurts from rheumatoid arthritis, you probably don't want to hit the gym, but low-impact...
When your body hurts from rheumatoid arthritis, you probably don't want to hit the gym, but low-impact activities like swimming or biking in combination with stretching and weight training can actually REDUCE your pain. But know when to rest your joint. Exercise LOOSENS stiff joints and STRENGTHENS the muscles around them to relieve pressure. Let's go through a few examples of joint-friendly moves you can do at home. Here's a move that can increase range of motion and extension in your stiff knees. - Sit on the floor with legs straight out in front. -Rest the heel of one foot on top of a thick book or yoga block. -Gently press on your knee until it's fully extended. Hold 5 to 10 seconds. -Repeat with the opposite leg. Do this a total of 10 times on each side. To help with hip flexion, lie on your back, bend one leg, place both hands on your shin and gently pull your leg towards your chest. Again, hold 10 seconds and repeat 10 times for both legs. Next, is a wrist stretch. While sitting, rest your right arm, palm down, straight over the edge of a table. -With your opposite hand, grab your fingers and pull back. Hold 10 seconds. -Then flex your wrist forward and pull your hand down. Hold 10 seconds. -Repeat on both hands 10 times. To turn this into a strength exercise, grab a light weight or SOUP can and do curls pulling your wrist up and then flipping your arm over and doing the same. This last strength move targets the shoulders and triceps. You'll need a resistance band. -Wrap the band around your upper back, level with your arms. -Start with both arms bent at your side. -Slowly extend one arm in a punching motion. -Return to start and then punch with the opposite arm. Do 8 to 10 reps 3 times. Having fun? These exercises are just the start! See a physical therapist to learn more exercises that will help relieve your joint pain. And check out other videos in this series for more RA tips!More »
Last Modified: 2013-12-16 | Tags »
exercises for ra, rheumatoid arthritis exercises, physical therapy for ra, stretching, range of motion, strength training, swimming, aerobic exercise physical activity, physical therapy, treating ra joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis
What questions do you need to ask a rheumatologist when you are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis? Get advice on your rheumatologist visit in this video.
Transcript: Your rheumatologist WANTS you to ask questions, but since you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed,...
Your rheumatologist WANTS you to ask questions, but since you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed, you may not be able to think of any! Here are some you'll probably want the answers to. First question: "What's the first step? " Well, in the past, doctors used to start new patients on NSAIDs--or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-in order to treat RA pain. But nowadays, they usually start new patients on disease modifying antirheumatic drugs - or DMARDs right away. They are the only drugs to actually SLOW the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Although DMARDs are strong medications, you'll thank them for saving you from joint damage and years of pain. Number 2: Will I have to be on medication forever? In short, the answer to this one is "yes." Most cases of rheumatoid arthritis last a lifetime. In order to prevent joint pain and damage, you'll have to take disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, and/or biologics, indefinitely. Next question: "What are the side effects of these drugs?" All traditional DMARDs and the more modern versions called biologics have common, minor side effects and RARE major side effects. Depending on the DMARD, the minor effects include: nausea, vomiting, sore throat, headache and loss of appetite. If you take a biologic, some of the most common side effects are skin rashes, itchiness, bruising and swelling, all of which occur around the injection site. Also, all DMARDs and biologics increase your risk of infection. Number 4: What else can I do? You should ask your doctor what action YOU can take to relieve your RA symptoms. Medication is vital, but EXERCISE also helps enormously. You may be limited depending on the progression of your RA, so don't try anything until you ask your physician. He or she may even be able to refer to you to a physical therapist. And weight loss, if you need it, can take enormous pressure off your joints and that ease pain considerably. Once you get the answers to these questions, you'll be one step closer to fully understanding your treatment plan. To learn more rheumatoid arthritis basics, check out other videos in this series.More »
rheumatologist, asking your doctor, treating ra, biologics, dmards ra pain relief, treating rheumatoid arthritis, antiinflammatories, painkillers joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis
Both traditional DMARDs and biologic response modifiers work to stop the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. But they have many differences. Learn more.
Transcript: Rheumatoid arthritis means that your overactive immune system is mistakenly targeting the lining of your...
Rheumatoid arthritis means that your overactive immune system is mistakenly targeting the lining of your joints instead of foreign bacteria. DMARDs, or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, are the ONLY drugs that are able to slow -and even stop--the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. They work by reducing inflammation that erodes both tissue and bone over time. There are several types of DMARDs-some block enzymes involved in the immune system process. Others slow the disease by hindering the INTERACTIONS between certain cells. Methotrexate is likely the FIRST DMARD your doctor will prescribe for you. It's one of the most effective and most popular drugs in RA treatment. Three other common traditional DMARDs are leflunomide, hydroxychloroquine and sulfasalazine. In order to treat rheumatoid arthritis more effectively, doctors SOMETIMES prescribe one or two of these ALONGSIDE methotrexate. Then there are the newest DMARDs on the market-BIOLOGICS. These are made of specific proteins that closely mimic those that naturally occur in our body. On a molecular level, they are able to interrupt the autoimmune attack that triggers RA. Common biologics include infliximab, adalimumab and etanercept - which you may know as Remicade, Humira, or Enbrel, respectively. Both biologics and traditional DMARDs are used alone or in combination with each other. All of these drugs fight rheumatoid arthritis effectively - but they all also suppress your immune system's ability to respond to outside intruders. So take care of yourself. Wash your hands, avoid sick people, eat nutritiously and get plenty of sleep. If you do catch an infection, your doctor may temporarily pause your treatment until you get better. For more on how to treat rheumatoid arthritis, look for other videos in this series.More »
traditional dmards, biologic response modifiers, methotrexate, etanercept dmard, treating rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis medication joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis enbrel, humira, remicade, orencia, rheumatrex
Biologic medications treat rheumatoid arthritis on a molecular level. What does this mean, exactly? Watch this video to find out.
Transcript: Biologics are created from human proteins. They're engineered to target different components of your...
Biologics are created from human proteins. They're engineered to target different components of your immune system on a MOLECULAR level. When used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, they prevent your white blood cells and other inflammatory substances from mistakenly attacking your healthy joint lining. Biologics come in two forms-as a self-administered INJECTION and as an INFUSION. They cannot be taken orally because the super-large sized proteins in them cannot be absorbed by your digestive tract. There are 9 approved biologics, but or tumor necrosis factor-inhibitors are the MOST commonly prescribed type of biologic. There are five-etanercept, adalimumab, infliximab, certolizumab pegol and golimumab. If your rheumatoid arthritis is in the early stages and you have low to moderate symptoms, you're NOT yet a candidate for biologic drugs. Biologics are prescribed after TRADITIONAL DMARDs-or disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs--are no longer an option. That's because BIOLOGICS have more potential side effects AND cost more than traditional DMARDs. Biologics are powerful drugs-SO powerful that they have the potential to send rheumatoid arthritis into remission and prevent joint damage. But biologics suppress the immune system and that increases the risk for infection and may trigger allergic reactions, so you must be carefully monitored while taking them. Patients should not take biologics if they have tuberculosis, hepatitis B, or any active bacterial infection. And, not all biologics are right for YOU. Your doctor will determine YOUR individual RA treatment based on your medical history. The decision to use a particular drug should be based on a thorough discussion with your doctor about the risks and benefits. If you'd like to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis treatment, take a look at other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2016-01-07 | Tags »
biologics, biologic response modifiers, brm, immune system, etanercept dmard, treating rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis medication joint pain, joint damage, disability, immune system, suppressed immune system, rheumatoid arthritis enbrel, humira, remicade, orencia, cimzia, simponi, kineret, rituxan
The future looks good for many people with rheumatoid arthritis. Get a personal look at prognosis and what people with RA hope for.
Transcript: SHANNAN: I hope the future looks good, I mean, I see it looking good. I'm not going to let myself just...
SHANNAN: I hope the future looks good, I mean, I see it looking good. I'm not going to let myself just let myself lay down and take it. JENNIFER: I am concerned about my future because I do know that my body has taken a tole from having rheumatoid arthritis as a child. There's only so much that your joints can take. IRENE: I just hope that I can continue living independently and doing the things that I enjoy doing. SHANNAN: I'm going to make sure I continue to stay active, continue to experiment with my diet and remain as healthy as I can be. JENNIFER: I think my attitude and my mindset is probably 90 percent of how well I do because I don't like to take no for an answer. I'm determined and I want to live the best life that I can. I know what key components make that happen in terms of exercise, eating right, getting plenty of rest, taking my medicine and taking care of me. IRENE The point is not to project on this disease. I just take one day at a time. SHANNAN: I just let it take it's course. JENNIFER: I think my future will be surrounded by those who love me and it'll be a positive experience and it will be what I make it.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
ra remission, rheumatoid arthritis prognosis, rheumatoid arthritis outlook, shannan, irene, jennifer positive outlook, patient stories, patient testimonials, women with ra, people with ra joint pain, joint stiffness