Rheumatoid Awareness Day
This Monday, February 2nd, we observe Rheumatoid Awareness Day. This is a day to promote education and awareness for this often misunderstood and underestimated chronic disease.
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation (RPF) established the day in 2013 to help raise awareness for all of those living with the daily pain and inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Dispelling the Myths About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”) is a progressive and disabling autoimmune disease. It causes inflammation and pain in and around the joints and other organs.
The first myth is the belief that this is an “old person’s” disease. Nothing could be further from the truth. RA can affect individuals of any age and is the number one cause of disability in the United States.
Another myth is that RA is a type of arthritis and not an autoimmune disease. RA has more in common with diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus than it does with osteoarthritis.
Autoimmune diseases are currently incurable, can cause severe disability, have a known negative impact on quality of life, and are likely to decrease the life span of the patient.
Lastly is the myth that RA is a result of the patient’s lifestyle choices and that their symptoms are imagined or exaggerated.
Autoimmune diseases are usually not caused by lifestyle choices. The only behavior that seems to have a positive impact on RA is for the patient to stop smoking, although the reason why is still unknown.
Why Is It Rheumatoid Awareness Day?
As mentioned above, the public’s misconception about the disease, that it is just another form of arthritis, is one reason why patients often feel misunderstood.
Arthritis is just one symptom of the disease, but the damage the illness causes go well beyond joint pain and inflammation.
The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation chose the month of February to establish its awareness day because February is also Heart Disease Month, and both conditions are closely linked.
A 2018 study found that RA patients under the age of 45 had an increased risk of cardiovascular death compared to the general population, in large part because of the systemic inflammation that comes with RA.
Close to 40% of RA patients also experience other signs and symptoms that don’t involve the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis is known to cause damage to many non-joint structures in the body, including:
- Blood Vessels
- Bone Marrow
- Salivary Glands
- Nerve Tissue
This February 2nd, Altus Infusion will join physicians and patients in an effort to raise awareness of this devastating chronic illness.
Although there is currently no definitive cure for the disease, the use of biologic infusion drugs has proven to improve the severity and frequency of symptoms.
As the leaders in in-office biologic management services, we feel compelled to raise awareness and advocate for the patients’ right to easy and cost-effective access to biologic treatments. Together we can help the world understand this disease and the challenges it poses for those who live with it.
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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Any content regarding symptoms and possible treatment of illnesses is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Altus Infusion does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information published in its blog and will not be held responsible for the content of any blog publication.
You should always consult your primary care physician for specific medical advice.