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Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms? Make Sure You Take NSAIDs with food!

Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you know what it’s like to wake up to stiff, achy joints. You’ll also know that NSAIDs are among the medications used to treat RA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, is a common condition affecting the joints. I’ve had people come up to me asking for advice about their RA meds. Some tell me that the meds cause stomach pain, and they’re wondering what to do about it.Well, first things first! Let’s talk about RA and its symptoms.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and its Symptoms

There are many forms of arthritis and RA is among the most common. It presents as swelling in the joints of the fingers, hands, feet and knees. IN some cases, it can cause symptoms that affect other parts of the body.

The most common symptoms of RA include:

  • Tender, swollen, painful joints
  • Joint stiffness, which is especially felt upon waking up or after periods of no activity
  • Joint redness and warmth
  • Limited movement in affected joints
  • Limping and deformities
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Anemia and weight loss

Most of these symptoms start out as mild. Joint symptoms usually happen in smaller joints first, like those in your fingers. As the condition progresses, it can affect larger joints like the knee joint.

Medications and Tips to take them

There are various medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. These include NSAIDs, steroids, and drugs called DMARDs. Most patients are prescribed with NSAIDs for the pain, along with another medication to stop the disease from getting worse.

NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can help lessen the swelling and stiffness. They can also effectively block the pain. Ibuprofen (check and compare Ibuprofen price and read about risks when using ibuprofen) and naproxen (check and compare naproxen prices) are over-the-counter NSAIDs that can be useful. Other stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.

Like many medications, NSAIDs have some adverse effects. One of the most common is causing an upset stomach. This can happen especially if you take your medication on an empty stomach. Long-term use may also cause bleeding in the stomach lining. This is why it’s important to know how to take NSAIDs correctly.

Check out MeddySaid’s arthritis pain section to see which medications suit your profile and preferences. You can also read my post about Best Time To Take Medicines – Everything You Need to Know.

Useful Tips for Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Take your dose with food. Never take a NSAID on an empty stomach, as this can cause ulcers and bleeding.
  • Use the lowest possible dose. Lower doses of a medication are less likely to cause stomach upset and other risks.
  • Do not take a NSAID for the long-term. Though an NSAID can greatly help manage your Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms, it’s best to only take them during a flare-up. There are other medications that can help treat RA that is much safer in the long term.
  • Always check with your doctor or pharmacist when taking NSAIDs along with other medicines. Don’t take NSAIDs with blood-thinning medications like warfarin and clopidogrel. Be careful as well if you’re taking it with aspirin.
  • Don’t take NSAIDs if you have gastrointestinal disorders like Crohn’s disease, GERD, ulcers and gastritis. Talk to your doctor for help.

NSAIDs are very effective for managing pain, swelling and other symptoms. Though they do have their own risks, they can work well to bring relief from pain. Follow the tips above and you’ll have lesser chances of horrid side effects!

About MeddySaid
MeddySaid’s team is passionate about helping you choose the right product for your health. MeddySaid was created by experienced clinical pharmacists and specialists dedicated to delivering accurate, trusted, up-to-date health and medical information. MeddySaid’s simple-to-use, the problem-solving platform helps you make the right product decision, at the best price, for yourself and your loved ones.

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3 Tips for Surviving a Stressful Job Despite Chronic Illness

Surviving a Stressful Job Despite Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness can be extremely difficult, when you work in a high stress field you may find your health quickly taking a nosedive. So, what do you do?

While some may be forced to quit their jobs due to their health, some people manage to find their own delicate balance that allows them to keep working in high stress environments. Here are three important tips that help me keep my balance.

You Are What You Eat

Diet cannot be stressed enough, but between having little to no time for meal prep and the unpredictability of breaks, eating healthy can be a challenge. While a complete diet overhaul would be best, in most cases it is not necessarily feasible. So the next best thing is finding and eliminating your food sensitivities.

There are numerous articles and lists on the internet telling you what foods you should avoid for every type of illness under the sun, so do some research for your particular illness. Then narrow down those lists by paying attention to what your body is telling you, find what your personal triggers are and avoid them.

A food diary can be invaluable when you are discovering your dietary sensitivities. Write down what you eat each day as well as how you are feeling, then look for patterns.

Do your joints ache the day after you eat a steak or burger? What about after pizza or spaghetti? Once you discover what you need to avoid, look for substitutions. Tomatoes make you ache? The internet has many tomato-free recipes, so you can have your pizza and eat it too.

Give Yourself Permission to Rest

Stress is the enemy, it can quickly exacerbate chronic illnesses and can be extremely detrimental to your health. We often deal with irate customers and tight deadlines, if we aren’t careful this constant stress can not only weigh us down but also follow us home.

That is why we all need an outlet, so take a moment to think of things that soothe you. It can be as simple as going for a walk on your lunch break or as creative as writing music. The idea is to release those emotions and stress so they can’t bottle up.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical in managing an illness. So give yourself permission to take the occasional evening or weekend off with no cell phone, leave work where it belongs and giving yourself some personal time.

Admit You Are Not a Super Hero

Yeah, that’s a tough one to swallow; you are amazing but you aren’t invincible. The 40+ hour work weeks of the past might no longer be within your capabilities.

That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to quit, but maybe it’s time to reevaluate. Work with your employer, maybe you can cut back your hours by working shorter days without hurting yourself.

You need to be honest about what your health will allow you to do at this point.

It’s better to cut down your hours for now than to work yourself so far into the ground that you are forced to quit. Listening to what your body is telling you is vital. So pay attention to how you feel each week and be open to adjustments.

Finding the Balance

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness you quickly discover that long hours and bad nutrition are no longer an option. Incorporate some of these changes into your daily routine. Your body may seem like the enemy but it can also be your greatest ally.

Listen to what your body is telling you and act accordingly, small changes can result in big improvements. It’s a daily struggle, but once you find that balance you may just find that you can maintain your health and keep your high stress job too.

Candice Hardman is a writer who uses her experiences as a healthcare worker and patient to bridge the gap in health communications. She provides professional writing services that help improve patient understanding and outcomes through her website.

 

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Recruitment for Rheumatoid Arthritis Study

Rheumatoid arthritis is an uncommon form of arthritis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when your immune system attacks the lining of your joints. This causes joint pain, stiffness, swelling, and redness that can move to any joint, at any time. You may also have other symptoms like feeling tired or having a fever. Better treatment options are needed for PEOPLE WHO SUFFER WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS. Right now, local doctors are looking for people who have Rheumatoid Arthritis to participate in local research studies.

To find out more about this study, visit http://curec.lk/2mYV5A5

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Benlysta for subcutaneous (SC) injection?

Until now, Benlysta™ was only available for IV (intravenous infusion) in a clinic, hospital setting, or cancer setting. However, just several days ago, the FDA approved it for subcutaneous injection-a 200 mg weekly dose. So, after a patient has been trained by his/her doctor’s medical staff, the patient may self-inject Benlysta™ at home.

First developed as a monthly infusion in 2011, Benlysta™ is now a weekly subcutaneous  (beneath the fatty tissue of skin layers  but not as deep as the muscle) injection.  We’ll leave the ‘how to give a subcutaneous injection’ for another post.

People who don’t have lupus may think that giving shots for lupus is overkill, since lupus only gives you sore joints. Au contraire, lupus or another autoimmune disorder can affect the heart, lungs or intestines-any organ in the body a tremendous inconvenience, causing pain and suffering-these side effect can be fatal.

So, what is Benlysta™ ? It is a human monoclonal antibody, as opposed to Rituxan™ which is a murine (mouse) monclonal antibody-more about that later. Suffice it to say that because Rituxan™ is murine (from a mouse)  and Benlysta™ is from human monoclonal antib odies, there is less chance or a reaction to Benlysta™       .

It needs to be noted that Benlysta™ has not been approved for other forms of lupus: discoid, drug-induced or neonatal lupus. This formulation has only been approved for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus,

Benlysta™ hasn’t been used long-term to study it’s effectiveness in lupus nephritis  (when lupus has affected kidney function) and CNS lupus (when lupus affects the central nervous system).

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Rituxan #3

Tuesday: was my third Rituxan® infusion. Walloped with IV steroids and IV Benadryl™ (both as pre-meds to prevent a reaction to infusion), the appropriate labs had been drawn.The premeds are given to prevent a reaction to the infusion.

Reaction to infusion? Essentially, the administration of any foreign drug is likely to elicit some response from the immune system. How and why could I react to this infusion? Well, think of this just like the immune system in lupus. There is a foreign invader (antigen and in this case, Rituxan®) and the body can mount an immune response with antibodies. The antibodies which attack foreign cells are called auto-antibodies.
If the body does mount a response, it usually is diminished with the body’s own antihistamines. The administration of IV steroids and IV Benadryl, an antihistamine usually prevents this reaction from occurring and treats it it it does. Symptoms of a reaction might be itchiness, hives, throat tightening, airway obstruction and distress and respiratory arrest.

 

I find the following video an easy way of remembering the definition of antibodies and antigens and auto-antibodies and their difference.

An hour after the infusion began, the nurse increased the rate as she had done 2 times before, but shortly therafter, I got a very intense itch on my back. I didn’t consider an infusion reaction; rather, I thought of dry skin on my back: because I forgot to lotion!
Just as quickly as the nurse stopped the infusion, she looked at my very itchy back. It was reddened and raised and blotchy red. My face was reddened and so was my neck, I was having a reaction. The infusion was turned off for an hour and when she resumed the infusion, she started it at a much slower rate and I was fine.

 

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What is Rituxan?

An update on my second Rituxan™ infusion: my only side effect, mild flushing was gone in less than a day. Remember, doses for immunotherapy are lower than cancer chemotherapy, so, reactions most likely differ.

After the IV Benadryl™ and steroid I was given (to prevent most reactions) I slept. I slept during the whole infusion, except for lunch when I emerged from my warm blanket and slumber-when a sandwich and beverage was delivered. I was chomping away one minute and the next minute, I was the awakened by my nurse, “Your teeth have fallen out (I wear a partial plate) and your sandwich is smushed into your chest!”

More important, why Rituxan™, and why does it work? There are two types of cells in the humoral immune system; B cells and T cells. It is the  job of the B cells is to fight infection which it does by producing antibodies.When the B cells are suppressed, antibody production is decreased and disease activity is decreased. So suppress away, right? We don’t want disease activity!

Not so fast! When you suppress the B cells, you also suppress the body’s ability to fight infection, so infection is a common side effect of Rituxan™. So the risk of infection is a common risk that needs to be weighed. However, this risk can be minimized with good hand-washing, not exposing oneself to people who are ill, wearing a mask in large public places or and asking others to be respectful of your infectious needs.

 

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Rituxan #1

Apprehensive, that was me; you know how they say that nurses make the worst patients? Well. it’s true! Today was day one of Rituxan/Rituximab infusions and you’d think I’d never had an IV before! But, symptoms of lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome had gotten too great to be controlled any longer with the Prednisone and Plaquenil I take.

My rheumatologist and neurologist decided that Rituxan® was the treatment that would benefit me the most and have the fewest side effects. Before starting the medication, the nurse drew blood, sent the results to my doctor and gave me two medications: Benadryl™ and a steroid. Both were intended to decrease the chances of a reaction:  So, that was the reason for increased restless leg syndrome twitching. IV benadryl was the culprit!

The first treatment was pretty smooth with only one disruption: the nurse needed to stop the infusion because my tongue became ‘tingly.’ That was an early sign of potential life-threatening reaction, so we decided to err on the side of caution and stop the infusion for a while. She resumed the infusion after about 20 minutes, but more slowly this time.

I spent the rest of the time; well, I had lots of things to do, but I slept-after I ate lunch at the infusion center. Yes, they delivered sandwiches to each large cubicle (@5′ x 10′), I sat in a reclining chair complete with television and heated blanket! I had brought books on tape, movies, Facebook, and twitter; but did I do any of those things? NO! I slept.

The next day, my skin was a little flushed, my doc said to observe it, but the flushing was gone by evening. So, all in all, day #1, no problems. I’m scheduled to have the infusions weekly x 4 then the doctor will reevaluate and determine how often in the future I’ll need them.

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