Imagine a single drug that would treat most, if not all, autoimmune disorders, such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and Lupus. That might not be so hard to do thanks to a team of researchers who have discovered a molecule normally used by the body to prevent unnecessary immune reactions.
This molecule, pronounced “alpha v beta 6,” normally keeps our immune systems from overreacting when food passes through our bodies, and it may be the key that unlocks entirely new set of treatments for autoimmune disorders. This discovery was recently published in research report appearing the Journal of Leukocyte Biology (www.jleukbio.org/).
Did you know that Chemo is not just for Cancer?Yes, that’s right! I am on Chemotherapy, as are the vast majority of Rheumatoid Arthritis patients around the world. RA patients, these brave individuals who have “The Big RA,” regularly ingest or inject Chemo into their bodies, in hope of slowing the progression of the disease, reducing inflammation and pain, and preserving their life and mobility.
Understanding Anklylosing Spondylitis, The Big Apple Awareness Event
On Friday, September 30, Jenna will be painting the BIG Apple in Times Square, at the Roy Arias Studios at 300 West 43rd Street. She will be holding a 24-hour Apple-A-Thon to help increase awareness of the condition, raise funds and just have fun. The public is invited to join in and paint, watch or buy an apple!
Read More: http://www.wpix.com/news/morningnews/wpix-as-big-apple,0,1159185.story
The Feeding Edge
The Feeding Edge is a place where art, a positive outlook, and Health Advocacy issues come together. Currently the Art Apple A Day project and Apples for AS is well on the way to the goal of a 365 day journey to create a daily art apple for Ankylosing Spondylitis awareness. Apples were chosen because of their health benefits and anti-inflammatory properties.
Read More: http://thefeedingedge.com/
About Ankylosing Spondylitis Spondylitis is the term used to refer to a group of chronic, inflammatory diseases that generally strike young people between the ages of 15 and 45. Typically, spondylitis causes pain and stiffness and, in the most severe cases, can result in a total fusion of the spine and/or neck, leading to disability. Although spondylitis primarily affects the spine, it is not uncommon for the disease to impact the joints of the shoulders, hips, knees and feet, as well as cause inflammation of the eye. More rarely, because AS is a systemic (whole body) condition, other organs such as the heart and lungs can be impacted. For more information please contact the Spondylitis Association of America or visit them at http://spondylitis.org.
I was showing symptoms of RA around 16 and blew it off thinking it was just pain. Finally went to the doctor and was told I didn’t have it. Got a second opinion, and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at the age of 17. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 2 years.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
Take a deep breath…and relax. Start your research. Grab a close friend or family member. Start looking up what our disease is. What it all entails so you know how and when to do what you need to do. Don’t freak out when you google “images” of rheumatoid arthritis. Remember….BREATHE. Once you start understanding it all…start looking at it alone and get used to the fact that it is who you are. I am still learning things about RA that I have not yet found.
Do you use any mobility aids?
I work with therapy puddy once a day doing exercises. It loosens up my hands. I need to invest in a jar opener and a new can opener. Hands are soon to be in splints at night time. I play softball at the collegiate level which is a daily challenge. I have to wear a wrist brace to hold my joint together and for support.
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
Living with RA has helped me become a better being all around. It makes you step back and look at life at a different perspective. You have to adapt to your life and live in the moment. You have to be thankful for the things you can do and try again tomorrow for the things you cannot do today. Just try again again and again. Never give up. I am living with an autoimmune disease and playing college softball. I feel as if I am an accomplished human. When I see someone in pain I am the first to jump up and help, I know what pain is. Not just pain, pain. But pain that you can’t even express. Being able to do the things you can do…it makes you thankful for the things you can do.
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
My fingers are cricked and don’t bend all the way close. My knuckles are bigger than the average person. Depending on the day, flare ups in my knees are noticeable.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
I play the piano and when my hands feel like giving me a treat, they let my fingers run up and down that keyboard like no ones business. Because I play a college sport, I have to PUSH myself daily. I never give up or say “no, I don’t feel like it today.” I have to or I wouldn’t be able to do what I love EVERYDAY. Push yourself, and you’ll be happier.
Blogging does WONDERS. Follow people, join a group. Do something. Meet people who have the same problems as you. When you complain to mom or dad about how bad your hips are hurting, they don’t and will never understand the amount of agonizing pain you are truly in. Talk to someone who has been there and done that. They can help you cope and get rid of the flare. ADVICE IS THE KEY!!
Overall, do something you have lost the ability to do, and DO IT. ENJOY it and be THANKFUL for it. (Even if it’s only one day every other week.)
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
I am a sophomore in college. I am a college athlete playing softball. I am a daughter, a sister, grand daughter, niece, cousin, a god mother, a friend, teammate, musician, and I am a fighter against Rheumatoid Arthritis. I will not let RA bring me down or take the game away from me. I will play until I cannot play anymore. RA cannot take something from you unless you let it. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT.
The cost of health insurance for many Americans this year climbed more sharply than in previous years, outstripping any growth in workers’ wages and adding more uncertainty about the pace of rising medical costs.
A new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit research group that tracks employer-sponsored health insurance on a yearly basis, shows that the average annual premium for family coverage through an employer reached $15,073 in 2011, an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.