The Month Ahead: RA and Heart Health

  • Ahh, February. For those of us who’ve been living in the grip of arctic cold, it is the beginning of the end of winter. Tomorrow, the groundhog will tell us how much more ice, snow and visits from the polar vortex we have to endure. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that the groundhog won’t see his shadow. Groundhog Day is also Rheumatoid Awareness Day, sponsored by the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Like the groundhog, rheumatoid arthritis is coming out of shadows!


    Here on HealthCentral’s RA site, we work every day to create awareness of the many aspects of living with this disease. This month, we’re focusing on the heart, both in the physical and emotional sense. RA is a systemic illness that affects not just for joints, but also with other systems of the body, including internal organs and the vascular system. Staying on top of your heart health is a very important part of managing your RA. Later this month, I’ll tell you how you can do that.

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    Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and that means chocolate and pink and red hearts everywhere. Many people who live with a chronic illness find that it affects their relationships, both with their partner or spouse or with their friends. This month, two of our writers will tackle this topic. Leslie will write about RA and relationships with a significant other. Vanessa will explore the impact of RA can have on friendships and how you can maintain these types of relationships. You may also want to look in our archives for more information on RA, relationships and sex. We have a helpful slideshow about RA and sex. As well, a few years ago writers from many HealthCentral sites wrote about love, sex and relationships and how they are affected by a variety of chronic illnesses. We collected all these interesting posts on a special page.


    Your dental health isn’t just affected by eating too much Valentine’s Day chocolate. RA can also play a role in how healthy your teeth are. Later in the month, Lisa will explore the topic of dental health and RA, giving you tips on dealing with challenges to in this area.


    This year, we are going back to basics on the RA site, helping you build a solid foundation of knowledge so you can focus on living well. Although we are called the RA site, we also provide information about a number of other types of inflammatory arthritis and conditions that can be associated with RA. Leslie lives with both RA and lupus and she’ll tell you more about what lupus is. Brad battles adrenal problems, something about which there isn’t a lot of information. This month, he’ll tell us more about what the adrenal gland does and how things can go wonky.


    We also take great pride in profiling interesting people who live with RA and other chronic illnesses. I’m very much looking forward to my interview with Dan Malito, the author of a new memoir about living with RA.


    As well, we have plans for the launch of a truly special project. I can’t tell you what it is quite yet, but check back on this site or follow our Facebook page to see the announcement.


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    Are you planning to raise awareness about RA this month? Has RA affected your relationships? We look forward to reading your stories in SharePosts and on the Facebook page.

Published On: February 01, 2014