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Showing posts with the label rheumatoid arthritis;

Chronic Pain Management: The Three Legged Stool Approach

Today I am sharing an article about one multi-modal approach to chronic pain that makes a lot of sense to me...
I don't want to elaborate too much because I think it's worth it for you to read for yourself.  All I can say in advance is that this article makes me think of a three-legged stool.  If you only rely on one leg of the stool, it's certainly not going to be very useful.

So without further ado, here is a link to the article I am speaking of.  Read and contemplate...comments are appreciated!

Sources:; wikimedia

Can Opioids Suppress The Immune System?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a progressive, painful crippling disease. It's unfortunately a common condition, and RA patients comprise a large segment of the chronic pain population. Fortunately, for the most part, the current standards of treatment for this condition do NOT include the use of opioids.

A recent study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology examined chronic opioid usage in almost 14,000 RA patients over a fourteen year period.  Surprisingly, when the patients in the study were using chronic opioids, they had a significant increase in rate of infection.  The study authors found a twofold risk of infection in opioid vs. non-opioid populations.

Why is this so?  In vitro studies have shown that certain opioids--morphine, methadone, and fentanyl--have immune suppressive properties. This can be attributed to inhibition of T-cell receptor signaling, reductions in natural killer cell activity, and depletion of lymphocytes, according to said studies.

The authors of the 

There's Something Fishy About This...

Many patients who are diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) find themselves on a serious, and intensive medication regimen..and while these are definitely effective, it's good to know that sometimes there are alternative choices.  If effective, alternative remedies can save a patient from side effects and drug interactions and can be cost saving as well.

Here is one example of an alternative treatment that can be effective.  Fish oil has been studied in patients with existing RA back in the 1990s and found to be minimally effective. But in the past year, an Australian study, published in Annals of Rheumatic Medicine. The study compared the use of high dose fish oil , low dose fish oil, and standard treatment regimens in patients who had RA for less than one year.  Those patients who were on the high dose fish oil regimen were less likely to progress to more advanced forms of treatment, and seemed to score better on remission assessments than those taking low dose fish oil or o…

Everyday Ways to Battle RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can really affect the quality of a person's life. Just ask anyone who has been diagnosed as such, or one of their family members or friends.  More than likely, they will have a lot of information to share with you. In a prior post, "Rheumatoid Arthritis IS A Deadly Disease" you will find a list of some things that cause an RA patient to suffer above and beyond the usual.  You will see that there are some things on the list that these patients can control...and that's what today's post is about.

Some of these things are lifestyle changes--and while they are not easy, they can happen. One of those things is modification of salt intake.  The American diet is pretty high in sodium as is. Opting for reduced sodium food products and using salt substitutes such as "Mrs. Dash" or pink himalayan salt can be a good place to start.  While himalayan salt does contain sodium, it has slightly less sodium than table salt, and contains some o…