Vanessa Collins

Patient Expert

Vanessa wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Latest by Vanessa Collins

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You Might Have RA If"¦

A sense of humor is a gift. The ability to laugh at oneself is an even greater gift. Those of us living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have many challenges, but laughter in stressful situations can lift us up. Not all of the following situations are ...

A man brings a care package to a friend with a chronic illness.

How to Help a Friend with Chronic Illness

Would you like to do something meaningful for a friend in pain, but don’t know what they need? Here are ten suggestions.

Custom Orthotics Soothe RA Feet

Custom Orthotics Soothe RA Feet

Living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) often means living with foot pain. Topical anti-inflammatories (liquids and creams) can ease that pain to some extent. Warm water soaks can also help temporarily. When topical types of pain relief stop working, y...

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Understanding People With RA

This open letter to the community offers insight for friends and family to better comprehend how RA affects someone’s life on a daily basis.

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Balancing The Benefits and Risks Of Steroid Injections

It may not seem as though winter is over, but Spring is officially here. It has been a long, cold winter season. I know we are all ready for some bright sunshine and yellow daffodils blowing in the breeze. Spring often spurs us to action… Out with th...

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RA & Weather: Do Storms Make You Hurt?

It is that time of year again. The jet stream is dipping down into the central U.S., bringing with it front after front of cold weather. It happens every year, and I dread it every year. No offense, Lene Andersen, but Canadian air is sooooo cold Of c...

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RA & Flares: Tips for Surviving A Flare & Avoiding Depression

The relationship between RA, inflammation and depression has been the subject of more than a few studies. I have been doing some research. I have read many abstracts of scientific studies and articles written by medical researchers and doctors who tr...

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RA & Prednisone: What is Right For You?

The use of prednisone is a topic that is highly charged in some circles. My point of view is that we all need to weigh the pros and cons of using steroids in light of our own individual circumstances. Prednisone was the first medication that gave me ...

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RA & Heart Health: Systemic Inflammation Linked To Cardiovascular Disease

If you have RA, you need to take steps to protect your heart. The traditional risk factors involved in heart disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, a high BMI and smoking. In addition to these risk factors, RA patients a...

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RA & Relationships: Avoiding The Isolation Of Chronic Illness

It is so easy to get in the habit of being alone. Sometimes being alone is fine. There is a difference in being alone, and being lonely. Isolation is a big issue for those who suffer from a chronic, painful illness. We have a difficult time making pl...