Donnee Spencer has very graciously let us share her brilliant new infographic about fatigue. While Donne is a member of the multiple sclerosis community this really applies to so many other conditions such as cancers or fibromyalgia. it would be really great if you could share this as widely as possible.
Donnee shares “This was my third of four MS poster creation I started creating them last year in an attempt to help MS’ers explain to others what it is that we go through The extreme fatigue we live with is one of the hardest things for others to understand!”
Welcome to the first in an ongoing series of blog posts into the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. This in turn is part of an informational series which we hope over time with cover the main issues associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the reasons I want to cover this area in more detail is that my grandmother suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for many years. Her life, I believe, could have been much easier if there was greater awareness of the realities of RA.
As you may know the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis come in to three main categories: –
a) Symptoms affecting the joints,
b) Systemic symptoms or those symptoms which impact the whole body
c) Other symptoms affecting specific organs.
Today we will focus our attention on joint symptoms. Which are the most common symptoms (and indeed sign) of rheumatoid arthritis or RA; as it is often called.
Just by way of information a joint id defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “A structure in the human or animal body at which two parts of the skeleton are fitted together.”
The most common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is stiff painful and swollen joints. Typically these develop over time in joints on both sides of the body. In many cases the joints of the hands or feet are affected first. Often other joints are affected which include knees, elbows, wrists and shoulders among others.
The pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis is often described as “deep and aching”.
Often at its worst after periods of rest (i.e. after a long drive or waking from sleep). It can be helps by gently moving the affected joint. Disrupted sleep is common in people with RA because of regular waking due to pain. This is one of the causes of fatigue in RA patients.
In the morning, after sleep, the affected joints can also feel very stiff. This may last for some hours after waking. The time that the stiffness lasts is often used as an example of the difference between RA and osteoarthritis.
The joint inflammation means that they, the affected joints, become “swollen, red and hot”. As RA progresses both cartilage and bone are destroyed. This again limits mobility and in many cases leads to deformities.
One of the aims of blog posts like this is to give our readers the opportunity to share their stories and learn from the experiences of others in the rheumatoid arthritis community! To facilitate this it would be great if you would use the comments box below to talk about the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis. You might care to think in terms of the following questions:-
a) Have you been diagnosed with RA? For how many years have you been diagnosed?
b) What were the first signs of rheumatoid arthritis?
c) What are now your main symptoms?
d) What one piece of advice would you give to somebody who think they may have RA?
Many of us around my age can remember the term “yuppie flu” from the eighties. In fact for many of us this was the first time many of us came across the medical condition ME or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Also called CFS or Chronic fatigue Syndrome. It also is a common partner of fibromyalgia.
This week is dedicated to raising our awareness of ME and the excellent work conducted by Action for M.E.
They have produced the brilliant graphic above which we would love if you could like and share to show your support for the week and the need to spread CFS awareness.
On their excellent web site’s (and you can’t say that about many medical sites) media center they have written this great introduction to M.E. which we have reproduced. The links are to their site so we can recommend them.
10 key facts
1. M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a chronic fluctuating illness, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or CFS/ME). It is sometimes diagnosed as Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).
2. M.E. affects around 250,000 (1 in 250) people in the UK, including men, women and children of all social/ ethnic backgrounds. The youngest person diagnosed in the UK became ill aged two. As many as 25,000 young people and children may have M.E.
3. Our Time for Action campaign, launched in February 2012, is fighting to end the ignorance, injustice and neglect of M.E., once and for all.
4. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline on the treatment and management of CFS/ME (2007) acknowledges that the physical symptoms of M.E. can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and congestive heart failure.
5.Symptoms vary from person to person but may include persistent exhaustion (‘fatigue’), muscle and/or joint pain, sleep disturbance, headache, sore throat, painful lymph nodes, dizziness and/or nausea and problems with memory and concentration.
6. The article, How common is M.E., by Professor Derek Pheby, discusses the prevalence of the illness.
7. The cause of M.E. is unknown but certain viral infections are thought to be among the potential triggers.
8. M.E. is a long term illness. Most people with M.E. will improve over time and resume normal activities but not everyone recovers to pre-illness level. Others continue to experience symptoms or relapse and some people with severe M.E. may remain housebound for many years.
May 12th is International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (also called CINT). The conditions which make up the CIND family often include Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Gulf War Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.
To make this day we have produced a new awareness raising picture. It would be great if you could like and share with your friends and family so more people know of the day.
If you are involved in any of events to commemorate the day please tell us about the in the comments box below.