My name is Cathee and I am currently 35 yrs old. I was diagnosed
with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 27. My introduction to RA was
rather quick. In fact, I had actually never heard of RA when I went
to see my doctor about a swollen knuckle. My finger had been
swollen for about 2 months and as I was reading through a magazine
I found an article about lyme disease. Since I spent a lot of time
hiking in the woods with my dog, I began to think I might have
contracted lyme disease from a tick. I went to my family physician
and luckily she had an instinct about what was going on with me and
sent me to see a Rheumatologist. The Rheumatologist immediately
ordered blood work and I was officially diagnosed with RA in March
of 1997. I didnt have any other symptoms at the time except
for the one swollen joint until August 1997. Literally overnight, I
became almost bed ridden. It was if I went to sleep as one person
and woke up another.
Since that fateful night, I have battled this crippli...
Dear Dr. Krant: I am a 55 year-old man who has had osteoarthritis in my feet for 17 years. During the last 3 years it has spread throughout my spine, skull to tailbone, in the shoulders/hips/knees and hands, and nodes on fingers. I also have some difficulty walking. Is this a normal progression, or an extreme variation? You have had osteoarthritis for almost twenty years, beginning in your early 30s. Many people develop aches and pains in the large weight-bearing joints relatively early, even in their twenties. X-ray evidence of joint space narrowing, loose bodies and asymmetry throughout the weight-bearing surfaces usually does not appear until the 40s, although certain people will develop abnormalities early on. This is particularly true when cartilage has been surgically removed from the knees, when work involves repetitive lifting, bending and weight-bearing heavy loads, and when there is a genetic link to an affected parent. Nodes on the fingers (called Heberden...
In early June, and for weeks since, news outlets have been writing about a study showing that responsibly drinking five or more servings of wine or other alcohol a week cuts the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis by up to 50% . Those who drank 1-4 drinks per week cut their risk by about 20%. The researchers believe this is because alcohol is a mild anti-inflammatory. The study was performed by researchers at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden and was published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
The data consisted of two studies in Sweden and Denmark and included 2,750 men and women, 1,650 of whom had rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers found that those who drank regularly, meaning more than three drinks per week, were less likely to develop RA. The effect appeared to be greater for smokers with genetic risk factors for developin...
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