FROM OUR EXPERTS
Taken from the story, A Winning Season Breathe Better, Live in Wellness: Winning your Battle Over Shortness of Breath ©Copyright Jane M. Martin. Infinity Publishing, 2003
Read Part II of Jennifer Smith's Story Here
I invited Jennifer Smith, a college student and award-winning tennis player, to share her story at our annual asthma education event. Meeting her for the first time that day, I knew right away that she was someone special. Her broad smile sparkled, and her thick, dark hair bounced as she walked in and offered me her hand. She thanked me for the opportunity to tell her story and expressed hope that it would help at least one person. I had no doubt it would. The audience of over one hundred people was captivated with Jennifer’s confidence, her youthful energy, her humor, and her story of courage and victory. Here, now, is her story, as she told it that day. In my freshman year of college, there were several occasions on which I had difficu...
When discussing of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, we often talk about pain, stiffness, swelling, and disability. We don’t often talk about vocal quality or ability to breathe freely, but RA can affect the larynx and small joints of the head and neck, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ), and the cricothyroid joint (CTJ).
According to a new literature review in the journal Autoimmune Diseases , the prevalence of laryngeal symptoms of RA has risen from up to 31% of RA patients in 1960 (Lawry, 1984) to 75% by the end of the 20th century (Hamdan, 2013). At least a portion of this significant increase is likely due to increased awareness and better clinical diagnosis.
Symptoms of larynx involvement caused by RA include odynophagia (painful swallowing), foreign body sensation, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), sore throat, lump sensation in the throat, change in voice quality (e.g. hoarseness, breathiness, vocal fatigue), referred ...
The use of narcotic drugs such as opioids has been up and down over the years. Concern about dependence and addiction led to tighter controls on their long-term use. But an increase in support for their use in the late 1990s brought the debate back out into the open. As a result, there was a rash of studies done using opioids for chronic pain problems. In this report, the issues are reviewed and the results of recent randomized-controlled trials (RCTs) are presented. Most of the studies done were with arthritic patients and people with neuropathic (nerve-related) pain. There had been some belief that opioids couldn't treat neuropathic conditions effectively. The studies all showed that opioids do, indeed, control pain in all conditions tested. But it should be noted that the studies were short-term and the doses used were moderate. Although pain was well-controlled, this did not always translate into improved function. Function was defined differently in various studies but included mot...
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