Finally the Rheumatoid Disease is planned for February 2, 2012. Yes, the same day  as Groundhog Day. Why another,”awareness” day for a disease that most of us know about? Wait, do most or even a few people truly know even one fact about RA? Here’s a couple quick ones for you:

What is RA?

An unpredictable, destructive, autoimmune disease. A person’s immune system attacks his or her own body tissues.

Who can get the disease? 

Anyone can get RA. This includes children. Women have a higher chance than any other people group. Seventy percent of those with RA are women. One percent First Rheumatoid Awareness Day Groundhogof the worlds’ population has RA.

What’s the cause of RA?

It’s may be due to genes, environment and hormones.

What are a few of the symptoms of RA?

Joint inflammation / stiffness – Any joint can be effected, however hands and feet are traditionally the first to show symptoms.

fatigue, swelling and extreme pain in ones joints. This commonly begins in the hands, feet, back, elbow and or knees.) Joint pain is usually seen in a symmetric pattern, effecting both sides of the body, although this is not always the case.

fevers

What’s the cure for rheumatoid arthritis?

There is none. Medications to treat RA include painkillers, steroids, disease-modifying / anti-rheumatic drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and biologics, such as Enbrel and Humira.

As the disease progresses it can lead to complicated and sometimes fatal conditions:

Dry Eye (sclertis) / uventis – The pain could be severe. And if it’s not taken care of, scleritis could create a hole in the eyeball. One form of uveitis, called, “posterior uveitis”, could cause permanent vision loss. Other complications from uveitis include glaucoma and cataracts.

Heart disease / inflamed lining of the heart. Both linked to sudden heart attacks.

Lung pluralism – Inflammation of the lung lining. Painful breathing

Erosion of the spine, which can lead to the deterioration of the cervical collar.  This condition can lead to spinal cord syndrome, which is fatal. (This is how my dear Mother died from this serious disease.)

The sooner one gets diagnosed with this disease, the better. Often, joint damage occurs within the one to two years of the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential, in efforts to prevent extensive joint damage.

For more extensive information on The First Rheumatoid Awareness Day, on the disease and on how you can help those with RA,  please contact Kelly Young at the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. The only charity just for Rheumatoid Arthritis! http://rheum4us.org/press-release-rheumatoid-arthritis-awareness-day/

Thank you for a few minutes of your time. Oh, and thank you Phil for the free promo for a extremely important cause!