Living Contraindicated Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Miracle Cure Cocktail For Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers?

November 23rd, 2009

Have I Discovered A Miracle Cure Cocktail For Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers?  No.  But I have found a relatively guilt free cocktail treat that is relatively healthy for you.

A long time ago I used to be addicted to cigarettes and Dr. Pepper–which at that time had the highest caffeine level of any soft drink on the market.  I weighed 95 pounds soaking wet, and generally looked as skeletal as walking death.  I have never been a big eater, and still, in fact would probably survive quite well on a liquid diet overall.

I had tried to quit the cigarettes–off and on–for most of my adult life, but the fact of the matter was I was severely depressed and except for brief periods of light in the darkness–and mostly during my two pregnancies–I had no real long-term success.

It has now been over 15 years since I last smoked a cigarette so I guess that finally qualifies as long-term success.

The final impetus that allowed me to give cigarettes up was the fact that I loved my kids. One day my oldest son came home from elementary school and told me that the DARE officer said I was a dope addict…so I  resolved to change my ways–once and for all–for their sakes.  I continued to smoke for a short while, but I started with a plan and stuck to it until I quit for good. 

I stopped smoking Menthol cigarettes cold turkey that first day.

Then I stopped buying cigarettes by the carton.  I changed brands with every pack, and each of those packs was the nastiest, cheapest, most disgustingly tasting brands on the market.  So for the last few months, I could smoke all that I wanted, but I can’t say that I enjoyed it  at all. 

By this time both of my boys were in elementary school at our local college’s teaching school, so in my quest to provide them with a better life, I had started attending college classes on the same campus, while they were in school during the day.  One day during Thanksgiving week, and coincidentally near the end of my Stop Smoking Plan’s six month’s mark, someone is the student life center asked me to make a pledge to give up something for one day for AmFam,and donate the money I would have spent to feed the world’s hungry. I pledged to give up my Dr Pepper.  However, when the fateful morning came I decided that I could live without my cigarettes easier than I could my Dr. Pepper.  So I quit smoking and to this day I have never again smoked.

A few months later I became deathly ill with the flu and couldn’t eat or drink, or really do anything at all but weakly sip a bit of water for three days.  When I dragged myself out of bed to take a final exam on the fourth day I decided that since I already had the caffeine out of my system, I might as well give up the Dr. Pepper too…and so I did.

After that I drank only caffeine free soft drinks such as Sprite and 7Up.  I was lucky that I inherited my Dad’s high metabolism, and remained more of an eat to live rather than a live to eat person.  I gained up to 125 pounds which was pretty much low-end perfect for my height, and more or less stayed there for years.  The fact that I also finally got a divorce and miraculously cured my depression and my fingernail biting habit in one fell swoop probably also helped with that.

Then I finally got a great job, and hit my mid-forties and suddenly the pounds started to creep up. 

I gave up the Sodas and lost eight pounds in one month and decided I could live without them.  Then I started to date a guy who carried them around in his truck in a cooler because he lived in a resort area and didn’t want to pay resort prices when he was out during the day.  So I started the soft drinks again and the weight started to creep up again, but that was ok, he liked me soft and fluffy, and I was happy and didn’t care. In fact, though, my weight had crept up to the point that I was getting dangerously more voluptuous than thin.

Once again fate stepped in to save me. I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but I gotten involved in a wonderful project that was dear to my heart, which unfortunately also opened the door to allowing someone to make my life a living hell for three years.  The depression returned with a vengeance, and I dropped one-third of my body weight over the two year period while this was going on and before it finally ended.

If before, I had looked like walking death, now I looked like the walking dead. I barely ate at all.  I barely slept, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had Rheumatoid Arthritis and can’t drink alcoholic beverages I would probably have discovered the charms of drinking yourself into oblivion. Instead I just went back to drinking water. Everyone watching from the outside either knew what was really going on, or thought I was dying of cancer or some dread disease.

During those same two years I gave up the boyfriend with the soft drinks in the cooler in his car not because he had anything to do with the living hell I was being put through, but more because of the disappointment I felt in him because he couldn’t do anything to help etc. etc. etc….

To save money and help recoup from the financial reverses during this period of my life, I started drinking Kool-aid but then as the pounds started to pile back on I realized that my metabolism would no longer allow me to drink sugary drinks.  So again I went back to water, but that really wasn’t very satisfying,  especially for someone who drinks more than she eats in the first place.

I starting drinking a Dark Grape and Cranberry Juice combination for the antioxidants.  The weight kept creeping up so I starting cutting the juice with water, and then I switched to the lite version of the juice with only 40  calories and cutting it with water.  It all worked out ok, but the consistency really wasn’t very satisfying.

Then one day my Mom wasn’t feeling well and I picked her up a bottle of diet ginger ale at the grocery store to settle her stomach.  Mom is a diabetic and only drinks diet drinks.  I hadn’t had ginger ale in years, and to the best of my knowledge I never in my life had a diet drink before, or if I had I didn’t like it much and avoided them thereafter.

But I liked this 0 calorie, 0 sugar (artificially sweetened with Splenda) glass of diet ginger ale, and thought for a second that I had found the perfect solution to my craving for something to drink.  Then I remembered that I had gone from water to juice because I wanted to add antioxidants to my daily dietary intake.  So I added the lite cranberry grape juice to my diet ginger ale and finally I had the almost perfect drink at an average of only about 15 to 20 calories per glass.  I even drink it out of a crystal wine glass so it looks like I am very sophisticatedly drinking wine. :)

Why  do I say the almost perfect drink for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers? Because RA is an auto-immune disorder which is creates dangerous and painful inflammation in the body and ginger has natural anti-inflammatory, healing properties. Real ginger has compounds called gingerols, which have been used since ancient times in various concoctions as a remedy for tummy aches, and other aches and pains, but also for its healing anti-inflammatory properties.  And in modern times clinical studies have shown that ginger can provide significant pain relief to people who suffer with degenerative or rheumatoid arthritis and/or chronic pain in their muscles.

So if you mix Diet Ginger ale  (made with Real Ginger) with Lite Dark Grape/Cranberry Juice Cocktail, you get anti-inflammatory and pain relief from the Ginger, antioxidants from the Dark Grapes, Urinary Track Health From The Cranberries, 100% or more of your daily supply of Vitamin C (if you use the right brand ) i.e. an almost perfect cocktail for Rheumatoid Arthritis Sufferers.

My quest now is to find a purple grape/cranberry juice diet ginger ale that are both sweetened with something healthy for Rheumatoid Arthritis suffers and others….

But that is a story for another day.

Smiles and Good Fortune,
Teresa Thomas Bohannon

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Complementary And Alternative Therapy For Rheumatoid Arthritis Suffers with Chronic Fatigue

June 2nd, 2009

Complementary And Alternative Medicine For Rheumatoid Arthritis Syndrome

Controlling the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis syndrome is not restricted to changes in lifestyle, medications and behavioral therapies. There are several current treatment regimens that make use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.  However, seek your Rheumatologist’s advice before attempting any new therapy because when it comes to illness  and medicine, what you don’t know–especially when it comes to alternative therapies–can often be deadly.

Since many conventional treatments do not guarantee absolute success, alternative medicine, for most people, prove to be very attractive treatment options. Below are some of the most common complementary and alternative treatments used in relieving patients from the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis Syndrome.

Ginseng In Asia, ginseng is a popular herbal treatment for fatigue as well as in increasing energy which to a large extent is precisely what many early stage sufferers of RA need. It turns out, the claims around this ancient energy booster herb hold water even when tested through contemporary research. Based on the study conducted by the University of Iowa,  ginseng is among the more reliable and effective herbs for the chronic fatigue often suffered by victims of RA. An independent study conducted in California further proved that ginseng is a powerful herb for treating the chronic fatigue which often results from a diagnosis of Rheumatoid

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH) In a pioneering study conducted among chronic fatigue patients, it was proven that Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, more commonly known as NADH, helps in providing extra energy for patients with chronic fatique, including those suffering with RA.

Carnitine is a substance found in almost all living cells, and has the main function of transporting fatty acids to the powerhouse or the mitochondria of cells. This substance, in a way, is instrumental in the production of cellular energy. Carnitine supplements can be helpful to Rheumatoid Arthritis suffers who need to cope with chronic fatigue since it is found out that among these people, Carnitine levels are very low which is linked to some types of pain, muscle fatigue and decreased tolerance to physical exertion. Supplementation, therefore, can help fix low Carnitine levels.

Carnitine supplements, in general, work well with patients of Rheumatoid Arthritis Syndrome. However high dosage of these supplements may lead to side effects such as diarrhea, rashes, increased appetite and body odor.

Coenzyme Q10 or Co Q10 This is another compound that is found in the energy-producing organelle of the cells- the mitochondria. It is known to play roles in the production of ATP, a chemical compound which produces energy used during muscle contraction.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) DHEA is a type of hormone that is released by the adrenal glands. Small quantities of DHEA are also found in the testes and the ovaries where it is converted into testosterone and estrogen. This hormone plays a great deal in the regulation of sleep, moods and memory. With Rhemautoid Arthritis, this hormone is sometimes found in abnormally lower levels. In these cases, supplements are therefore needed to normalize these levels.

However there are downsides to using DHEA supplements. Since this hormone is converted into testosterone and estrogen, conditions that are controlled by these hormones may be affected. It is therefore very important that DHEA supplements are used only with doctor’s prescription and supervision.

The alternative treatments and therapies discussed above are potentially helpful in relieving or ameleoriating the chronic fatigue often suffered by those diagnoised with Rheumatoid Arthritis. However, it should be remembered that although these come from natural sources, the “natural” factor does not guarantee that the
substance is safe. These substances can potentially interfere with other medications and may pose serious danger to the health of individuals who are taking them without sufficient professional assistance.

So once again, I cannot stress strongly enough.  Rheumatoid Arthritis can be a deadly serious degenerative disease, if you are diagnoised with RA find a reputable Rheumatologist and follow his advice to the letter.  Your life–or at the very least–your quality of life can depend on it!

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us scroll down to check out all the latest news, information, and tools for living a long healthy life once you have been diagnosed  with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

Contraindications and being Vaccinated for the Swine Flu

April 30th, 2009

Contraindicated.Org was originally created in 2002 when then President George Bush planned–as a preventative anti-terroism measure–to universally innoculate all of America’s citizens with the smallpox vaccine within one 30 day time period. This plan, with it’s swift and universal implementation pretty much meant that no one in the US could avoid being exposed–whether their personal health could withstand exposure or not. This meant that the plan had the potential to be an “isolated house arrest” and/or “potential disfigurement or death” sentence for a large segment of American citizens for whom the vaccine was “contraindicted.” Because of my Rheumatoid Arthritis which is an auto-immune disorder which in turn compromises my immune system and makes me more susceptible to infection and diseases I was one of those American citizens whose health and well-being were considered acceptable losses under this plan.

I created Contraindicated.Org out of anger and frustration.  It was my intention to have a site where people could go to light a virtual candle for everyone whose lives were lost through this plan. Then the plan was abandoned and the domain sat unused for many years. I revived it to provide a place where people could come to understand and talk about living with Rheumatoid Arthritis…and then the swine flu came along and suddenly contraindications to vaccines once again became an important consideration for the very young, the very old, the very frail, pregnant women, and people with auto-immune disorders. The difference between then and now is, that was a conscious decision made by the US government in response to a potential threat, and this is a reaction to a known threat–a fine, but very important, point of distinction.

The good news appears to be that the H1N1 virus doesn’t appear to be as naturally fatal as some of history’s prior pandemic creating flu strains.  True, the swine flu does appear to spread easily; but it doesn’t appear thus far as if its mortality rate will have as high a mortality rate (36,000 average) as generally occurs during a typical flu season. That, of course is small comfort to those who have and will lose loved ones to the swine flu. At this time there are really no contraindications to the Swine Flu vaccine because there really isn’t a dedicated swine flu vaccine available at this time. Nor, unfortunately is there any already built in immunity to this strain of swine virus. Also, unless some new miracle drug suddenly appears that will combat this new strain of swine flu while alleviating any issues with the time-honored standard vaccination formulary the old standard contraindications will probably apply–a fact which really can’t really be helped. However, the good news–as such–is that is in most cases the risks of being vaccinated are not severe enough be life threatening, or at least not any more life threatening than getting the swine flu itself when one is already in a weakened condition such as extreme youth, extreme age, frail health, pregnancy and auto-immune disorders.

Standard and probably any Swine Flu vaccines in general are to some degree contraindicated for the following groups of people–however in the case of a swine flu pandemic you are likely damned if you do and damned if you don’t, so you might very well be better off to go with the vaccination and hope for the best. However, do not make that decision without discussing it with your Doctor first! Remember, the vaccine contains a low level dose of the actual “flu virus” itself. The vaccination will not stop the flu from occuring but hopefully give you a mild case of it that will cause your body to start creating the necessary anti-bodies to stave off a more severe or even lethal case of the flu.

A flu vaccine may be contraindicated in some people, including:

* People who are severely allergic to chicken eggs

* People who have had a severe reaction to a prior influenza vaccine

* People who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a previous flu vaccine

* Children under 6 months of age

* People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get a flu vaccine

People With the following diagnosed conditions

* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

* Asthma

* Children who have previously been admitted to hospital for lower respiratory tract disease

Chronic Heart Disease

* Congenital heart disease

* Hypertension with cardiac complications

* Chronic heart failure

Chronic Renal Disease

* Chronic renal failure

* Nephrotic syndrome

* Renal transplantation

Chronic liver disease

* Cirrhosis

* Biliary atresia

* Chronic hepatitis

Chronic Neurological Disease

* Stroke

* Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)


* Type 1 diabetes

* Type 2 diabetes requiring insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs

* Diet controlled diabetes


* Rheumatoid Arthritis

* Immunosupression due to disease or treatment

* Patients undergoing chemotherapy leading to immunosuppression

* Asplenia or splenic dysfunction

* HIV infection

* Individuals treated with or likely to be treated with systemic steroids for more than a month at a dose equivalent to prednisolone at 20mg or more per day (any age) or for children under 20kg a dose of 1mg or more per kg per day.

Note: Some immunocompromised patients may have a suboptimal immunological response to the vaccine

The Frail Elderly and Their Cargivers

* Those living in long-stay residential care homes or other long-stay care facilities where rapid spread is likely to follow introduction of infection and cause high morbidity and mortality (this does not include prisons, young offender institutions, university halls of residence etc.)

* Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. This should be given on an individual basis at the GP’s discretion in the context of other clinical risk groups in their practice.

Meanwhile you can do the following to prevent your exposure.

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Wash your hands with soap or an alcohol bases germicidial gel.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available you can use the alcohol bases germicidial gel in the squirt bottles, or pre-packaged moistened wraps or even pen-sized spray tubes to carry in your purse or shirt pocket.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.


Is Massage Therapy an Expensive Luxury for Arthritis Suffers Or a Complimentary Alternative Medicine

March 30th, 2009

I will start out by saying that I live my life on the cheap side of the street. I consider many things that other people cannot seem to live without silly luxuries. For example, I would rather have the peace of mind brought by a little extra cushion in the bank than a designer purse hanging from my arm. I say that to say this, if you suffer from Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis—massage therapy is not in…any way, shape, fashion or form…a luxury. In fact, I would even venture to say it is one of life’s bare necessities!

Perhaps not every week or even every month, but there are times in every arthritis sufferer’s life when it just plain hurts to be you, this could be triggered by activity level, changes in the weather, worry and stress that lead to greater tensing of your musculature, or just your particular condition; but on those days and times—exercise therapy can literally be a saving grace.

It it makes you feel better about it, think of it as a spoonful of sugared medicine and ask your doctor to prescribe it, or if you are strong willed or truly sensible enough to not play the martyr, think of it as a gift you give yourself to help ease the physical burdens so often imposed on the life of an arthritic sufferer.

True, massage therapy sounds like an expensive luxury that brings up visions of mud baths and spas, however it is actually a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of procedures and methods of pressing, rubbing and manipulating muscles and other soft body tissues such as tendons, ligaments, skin and connective tissues. The main objective of massage therapy is to relax the soft tissues while promoting an increased delivery of blood and oxygen to the areas being massages and, therefore, to decrease tightness and pain. Massage therapy is most often accomplished by utilizing the massage therapist’s fingers, hands, arms, elbows and/or feet. Occasionally, however, mechanical and electronic devices may be also used.

Also I just want to note here that recently I was watching the show Dirty Jobs hosted by Mike Rowe, and one of his dirty jobs was preparing a hot mud bath which he then immersed his entire body in…and I have to say that ever since that show I have been fascinated by the idea of a hot mud bath, and I assure you it has very little to do with Mike’s impressively handsome naked chest :)   I really want to try a hot mud bath myself, I imagine it would be better than a hot bubble bath on steroids!  Now that might be considered an expensive luxury, but that is something I am willing to risk. Anyway, all jokes and wistful thinking aside. I do have a home model hot paraffin bath that allows me to immerse my hands into heated wax and I cannot recommend this home therapy enough. It makes my arthritic hands feel wonderful, and it makes my mother’s hands and nails, which dry and crack from age feel even more so. (Just make darn sure you use a special heating unit that will not heat the was too hot! Do not just heat the wax in a pot on your stove top.)

Now, back to massage therapy. There are more than eighty official types of massage therapy treatments but some of the most widely known are the following:

* The Deep Tissue Massage. This technique uses a combination of strokes and deep finger pressure applied way down under the skin and into the muscles at the painful sites in order to breakup knots and loosen tightness.

* The Trigger Point Massage. This procedure is also known as the Pressure Point Massage and it is more focused on specific myofascial trigger points with a stronger force than the Deep Tissue Massage. The goal here is to dissolve the painful knots that were formed in the muscles as well as to relieve additional symptoms in more remote areas of the body.

* The Swedish Massage. This system utilizes oblong smooth strokes, kneading and friction of the muscles as well as movement of the joints to increase their range of motion and flexibility.

* The Shiatsu Massage. Using altering rhythmic pressure, tapping, squeezing and rubbing along the meridian and on various other parts of the body, the main objective of this Eastern massage therapy is to enhance the flow of a fundamentally important energy called gi. And this energy, in the ancient Chinese medicine is believed to be the life force that regulates a person’s spiritual, emotional, mental and physical wellness that is easily affected when subjected to the rival forces of yin and yang.

Whether the four most often practiced massage therapies I mentioned above are used as complimentary alternative medicine (also known as CAM) or any one of the other recognized eighty which are available to a lesser or greater extent, there are important points to be considered:

* No massage therapy should ever be used in place of regular or ongoing medical care.

* Massage therapy should not be the cause or the excuse to postpone visiting a medical professional for existing medical issues.

* The massage therapist’s schooling and credentials must be verified as well as his or her experience with specific health and medical conditions.

* Any additional complimentary alternative medicine (CAM) such as herbs, supplements, special diets or other treatments which are suggested by the massage therapist must first be reviewed with a medical professional.

* Although the subject of massage therapy (how it works and why) has been studied for many years and continues to be studies, much of it still remains within the realm of a mystery.

* If and when massage therapy is performed by a well training and experienced professional, few risks are involved and the worst of them may be temporary pain or discomfort, bruising, swelling or an allergic reaction to the massage oils. The small number of serious injuries which have been reported were triggered by untrained hands that were not aware that certain medical conditions should not be massaged. It is, therefore, essential to consult a medical professional before undergoing massage therapy, particularly under the following circumstances:

* Deep vein thrombosis

* A bleeding disorder or when taking blood thinners

* Damaged blood vessels

* Weakened bones from osteoporosis, a recent fracture or cancer

* The presence of high body temperature

* Open or healing wounds, tumors, damaged nerves, an infection, a severe inflammation or fragile skin

* Pregnancy

* Heart problems

    * Dermatomyositis or any other skin disease

    * History of physical abuse

So there you have it, sometimes in life we owe it to ourselves to treat ourselves, and one of the most commonsensical luxurious ways for a Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis sufferer to treat themselves is with an occasional massage. Try it! You’ll thank me and you’ll thank yourself.

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

What is the Difference Between Arthritis and Fibromyalgia

March 25th, 2009

Do you suffer from unexplained aches and pains? Are you uncertain if they are just a side effect of over exertion , or maybe a harbinger of old age, or a symptom of disease? Then you need to know the three most common causes of aches and pains and your treatment options.

Do you or someone you know suffer from arthritis?  It is a common disease, you likely do.  What type?  Only a doctor can tell, but there are over 100 different types of arthritis.  Despite this large number, they typically fall into two categories.

1 – Osteoarthritis

This disease is most commonly found in men and women over the age of 65.  It is also known as degenerative arthritis.  This name comes from the progression of the disease.  It beings with cartilage breakdown.  The cartilage covering the bones degenerates and wears away.  Essentially, sufferers have exposed bones.  These bones then rub against each other, causing severe pain and discomfort.  Many also experience difficultly moving.

The most noticeable symptom of osteoarthritis is joint pain.  Stiffness is common the morning and after movement.  All joints can be impacted by osteoarthritis, but the most common are the hips, feet, back, knees, and fingers.  Those with arthritis problems in the hands and feet may find it difficult to walk without a limp and grasp otherwise easy objects.

As with most types of arthritis, there is not just one cause for osteoarthritis.  There are many contributing factors.  These include body weight, previous injuries, and genes.  Although osteoarthritis typically affects the elderly, athletes who repeatedly use the same joints and suffer injury are at an increased risk.  As for body weight, the joints and muscle surrounding them carry most of the body’s weight; more weight applies more pressure.  Although rare, there are defects that can lead to osteoarthritis.  These include a lack of protein that makes up cartilage and the poor fitting of bones and joints.

2 – Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis affects over one million people in the United States.  It does not discriminate, as individuals of all ages are susceptible to the disease.  In fact, there are three types of rheumatoid arthritis for juveniles alone.  The cause?  The immune system is supposed to protect our body, but in some cases it does the exact opposite.  With rheumatoid arthritis, it attacks the joint lining membrane.

The most noticeable symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is pain.  If untreated, other complications can arise.  The most common is disability.  To prevent this from happening, all patients are urged to exercise their joints and muscles, even though it may be painful at first.  Another common symptom of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation.  The swelling can be mild to severe.  In most instances, this is what separates rheumatoid arthritis from other forms.  Swelling and inflammation is likely, but it is much more prominent and debilitating.

Luckily, rheumatoid arthritis suffers rarely experience constant pain.  The disease flares up from time to time.  These flare ups are trigged by joint overuse and certain foods.  As for the cause, it is currently unknown.  There are however many theories.  One being genes.

3 – Fibromyalgia

Although not always classified as a form of arthritis, fibromyalgia is an arthritis related condition.  This disease affects over three million people in the United States.  That number is actually higher, but some patients are misdiagnosed.

The most noticeable symptom of fibromyalgia is muscle pain.  There are also tender spots in the muscle and body that are more susceptible to pain and pressure.  Additional symptoms include headaches, bladder problems, difficulty thinking, fatigue, and sleep difficulty.

While researchers have yet to determine a connection, a good percentage of those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis later develop fibromyalgia.  It wasn’t bad enough that your joints hurt, but now the muscles in your body too?  Additional causes may be related to prior injuries.  Some studies have shown that those with previous injuries are more likely to develop the disease.  Many experts believe the change in muscles, due to injury, can later lead to chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

Now that you are familiar with some of the most common types of arthritis, what comes next?  If you or someone who you know suffers from arthritis, medical care is important.  A proper diagnosis is important to developing the best treatment option.  Low impact exercise can loosen the joints and strengthen the surrounding muscles.  This not only eliminates joint stiffness, but it can later prevent disability and deformities.

Finally, some pain can be treated, but it will reoccur.  Those suffering from arthritis need to learn how to manage their pain.  This involves not focusing too much on it, eliminating stress, asking for help, getting a good night sleep, and learning how to calmly relax.

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What Me Worry? The Alfred E. Neuman Philosophy of Life and Arthritis

March 2nd, 2009

What Me Worry?  The MAD Magazine Alfred E. Neuman Philosophy  of Life and it’s effect on Osteo or Rheumatoid Arthritis

Both Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis are painful and degenerative and should be treated by a Doctor, but there is at least one home remedy that will help to reduce and relieve pain, and it will not cost you a dime….

Of how many persons can it truthfully be said they never worry?  How many are truly perfectly happy, contented, serene? It would be interesting if each of my readers were to recall his acquaintances and friends, think over their condition in this regard, and then report to me the result. What a budget of worried persons I should have to catalog, and alas, I am afraid, how few of the serene would there be named. When John Burroughs wrote his immortal poem, Waiting, he struck a deeper note than he dreamed of, and the reason it made so tremendous an impression upon the English-speaking world was that it was a new note to them.  It opened up a vision they had not before contemplated. Let me quote it here in full:

Serene I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, or tide or sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me,
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it has sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height,
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high
Can keep my own away from me.

I have been wonderfully struck by the fact that in studying the Upanishads, and other sacred books of the East, there is practically no reference to the kind of worry that is the bane and curse of our modern world. Indeed there is no word in many ancient languages to express our idea of fretful worry. Worry is almost purely a modern product, the outgrowth of progress and materialism, our eager striving after place and position, power and wealth, our determination to be housed, clothed, transported, jeweled and entertained as well as our neighbors… and a little better if possible–i.e. an untempered lust for material goods!

In fact, it comes from our failure to know that life is spiritual not material; that all these outward things are the mere “passing show,” the tinsel, the gee-gaws, the tissue-paper, the flash and dazzle, the mock heroes and heroines of stage and screen, rather than the real settings of the real life of real men and women. Think about it…. What does the inventor, who knows that their invention will help humanity truly care about the newest entertainment craze, or the latest style in clothing or automobiles or high-tech gagetry; what does the woman whose heart and brain are completely engaged in relieving suffering or living a life emotionally secure really care if she is not familiar with or bedazzled in the latest runway fashions? Life is real, life is earnest, and this does not mean unduly solemn and somber–but that it deals with realities rather than the false worlds so glamorously and imaginatively presented in the media and in the doings of iconic celebrities.

That worry is a curse no intelligent observer of life will deny. It has hindered millions from progressing, and never benefited a soul. It occupies the mind with that which is injurious and thus keeps out the things that might benefit and bless. It is an active and real manifestation of the fable of the man who placed the frozen asp
in his bosom. As he warmed it back to life the reptile turned and fatally bit his benefactor. Worry is as a dangerous, injurious book, the reading of which not only takes up the time that might have been spent in reading an instructive missive or participating in an activity of value; but, at the same time, poisons the mind of the reader, corrupts his soul with disturbingly evil images, and sets his feet on the pathway to destruction.

Why is it that creatures endowed with reason distress themselves and everyone around them by worrying? It might seem reasonable for the wild creatures of the wood–animals without reason–to worry as to how they should secure their food, and live safely with wilder animals and men seeking their blood and hunting them;
but the fact that men and women, endued with the power of thought, capable of seeing the why and wherefore of things, should worry, is one of the strange and peculiar evidences that our so-called civilization is not all that it ought to be. The spiritual hermit of the simple home, the desert, forest, or canyon seldom, if ever, worries. He–or she–is far too great a natural philosopher to be engaged in so foolish and unnecessary a business. He has a better practical system of life than has his more sophisticated brethren who worries, for he says: Change what can be changed; bear the unchangeable without a murmur. With this philosophy he braves the wind and the rain, the sand, and the storm, the extremes of heat and cold, the plethora of a good harvest or the famine of a drought. If he complains it is within himself; and if he whines and whimpers no one ever hears him. His face may become a little more stern under the higher pressure; he may tighten his waist belt a hole or two to stifle the complaints of his empty stomach, but his voice loses no note of its cheeriness and his smile none of its sweet serenity.

Once you have experienced pain and suffering of Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis or any other degenerative disease in your everyday life, worrying about trivial things becomes just as hopelessly trivial as the things which you previously worried.  Worry is a demon that will only increase your pain and debilitation.  Refusing to allow worry to take over your life is one trick of self-medication which you can safely provide for yourself once you have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Yes, of course, that is easier said that done; but the fact of the matter is…worrying will only make things worse, and a good book, or movie, or some other mentally stimulating entertainment will keep you from concentrating on the pain, and thereby make the pain itself more bearable.  You may not be able to wish away your Osteo or Rhematoid Arthritis but you can subject it to a healthy dose of Mind Over Matter.  That decision my friend, is all up to you.

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

Dealing With Rheumatoid Arthritis Using Endorphins the Happy Hormone

February 21st, 2009

Will endorphins cure Rheumatoid Arthritis or the more run of the mill Osteoarthritis for that matter? Nope, but it believe it not–endorphins will make your condition much easier to live with and actually reduce the pain and other symptoms….naturally and for free!

WOW! If you suffer with Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis that would be a true deal at a million dollars or more. So how do you get this all-natural wonder drug for free…wait fori–here comes the dirty word…exercise.

That’s right the wonder drug is one your own body manufactures and it does it for free. Endorphins are natural hormones that your brain releases when it senses happiness. These endorphins give you a sense of happiness, satisfaction and well-being; they tell you all is well with your body and you can achieve this endorphic enduced euphoria just by induling in a good meal, a good workout, a good laugh or great sex.

Endorphins are produced in the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus gland.  These powerhouse all-natural wonder drugs are actually and an opioid-like secretion that masks pain with a natural analgesic and tells the body that all is fine with the world.

If you are one of those people that actually are–or absolutely certain that you are–incapable of exercise, acupuncture has been found to have the ability to release these miraculous compounds and relieve pain, at least for the short term, and to leave you with a wonderful sense of wellbeing.

Moderate exercise, extreme happiness, good food and orgasm all release natural endorphins, and it is these all-natural endorphins that make you feel happy and satisfied with life which in turn helps to decrease your pain…or at least act to convince your brain that the pain is reduced, which, when all is said is done is pretty much the same thing.

Regular excersie is the key to making this euphoric pain-free state more permanent. The more often you can stimulate your brain to release these natural hormones, the better you will feel, and the easier it will be to put and keep yourself in this happy state of being.

Endorphins cannot be purchased over the counter, or by prescription, or on your local dark street corner, or induced by any scam artist proporting to create a miracle for a price, they can only be achieved through your own efforts….  Think of endorphins as a precious gift from whatever God, or gods or fates or powers that be, that you believe in.

They really cool part about endorphins is the fact that they do not come with any long list of disclaimers…there is no downside to putting yourself into the position of happiness, either through laughter, sex, food or exercise…unless you overdo them.  Well, I guess that is actually a disclaimer, so we shall play it safe and call it the all-natural disclaimer “Use common sense, and do not foolishly and ridiculously or obsessively overindulge in endorphin-creating sex, eating exercise or happiness!”

Finally, keep in mind…happy creates happy; it is a cycle that you should never break.  Once you set the chain of events in motion, keep it going.  Utilize every opportunity to spur these hormones on. Encourage their release and let them do what they do naturally…make you feel good and reduce your pain.  The benefits of utilizing all-natural endorphin therapy are yours to reap, all you have to do is begin.

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

Does Cayenne Pepper Really Work For Arthritis Relief

February 20th, 2009

Does Cayenne Pepper Really Work For Arthritis Relief

Most arthritis sufferers turn to their medicine cabinet to seek relief.  A medical professional typically offers this suggestion.  If you suffer from arthritis, your physician does have your best interest at heart.  They truly believe over-the-counter or prescribed pain medication is best for you.  It may be, but many natural remedies relieve pain too.  One of them is cayenne pepper, also know simply as red chili pepper.

As great as it is to know that some individuals are able to seek arthritis pain relief from red chili peppers, you likely have many questions.  What type of red pepper?  What format should I opt for?  How much should I consume?  Do I eat it or apply it to the skin and how often?  If you have these questions, please continue reading on for answers.

Cayenne pepper is available in many different formats, including capsules, oil, creams, and pepper.  Where you purchase yours will depend on the remedy selected.  For example, if you wish to try a topical cream, head to the drug store.  If you wish to increase your cayenne pepper intake naturally, head to your local supermarket or organic food store.

Cayenne Pepper Remedy #1

Mix a small amount of red pepper with a small amount of castor oil.  Use a paper towel or cloth to soak in the mixture.  Apply the damp paper towel or cloth to the painful area.  Some recommend applying and leaving on overnight.  Castor oil has many health benefits, although it is not right for everyone.  Try this home remedy for a couple of hours during the day first.  If you notice a decrease in pain with no reactions, aim for overnight relief.

Cayenne Pepper Remedy #2

Purchase the cayenne pepper spice.  This is the dry mixture.  Add to your food.  If you have digestive problems, you may notice a few complications at first.  For many, their body needs to adjust to the pepper, as it can be difficult to digest.  Start slow, like with 1/8 tablespoon.  Overtime, work your way to two teaspoons a day.  You can scatter this dosage out over different meals.  Red pepper can be added to most foods.

Cayenne Pepper Remedy #3

Purchase hot sauce that is made from cayenne pepper.  The hot sauce label should state the main ingredient is “aged cayennes.”  Apply to the painful areas of your body at least two times a day.  Many report this home remedy does work, but there is the possibility of stained clothes.

Cayenne Pepper Remedy #4

Purchase an over-the-counter topical cream with capsaicin as the main ingredient. This is an alternative to using the above mentioned hot sauce.  Many creams use capsaicin, which is derived from cayenne pepper.  If on a budget, try the above mentioned hot sauce remedy first.  If it does not work, try this alternative.

As with any natural and home remedy, it is important to consider the risk and speak with a trusted medical professional.  The active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin.  It can interact with a number of drugs, including acid reducers, aspirin, blood thinners, and ACE inhibitors.  If taking these medications, hold off.  First, speak to your primary care physician or a pharmacist.  He or she can inform you of the dangers or the risks of mixing with your current medications.

With all natural and home remedies, it is important to remember variance.  Our bodies process food differently.  Cayenne pepper may provide relief from some, but not others.  It is best to experiment to find the best pepper remedy and dosage.

Speaking of relief, what will happen if this remedy works?  You will notice a decrease in pain.  The longer you take these home remedies, the less pain you will experience.  As previously stated, the active ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin.  It is found in many medications and has aspirin like qualities.  The pepper improves blood flow and circulation and releases natural endorphins, which help combat pain and discomfort.

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Osteoarthritis And The Winner Is Light Exercise

February 16th, 2009

Rheumatoid Arthritis Versus Osteoarthritis…No Matter Which One You Have The Winner Will Be The One Who Exercises Daily…Even For Just A Little While.

Recent research has shown that doing intensive exercise–such as spinning–for just 30 seconds, three times a day, every other day for two weeks can have dramatic benefits for your health.  So don’t fall back on that old standby that “I don’t have time to exercise.”  That’s bull and we both know it.  I am willing to guarantee that there is not an arthritis sufferer out there–at least those who live in a modernized country–that does not waste at least five minutes out of every hour that could be used to do a few exercises.  And if you are an arthritis suffer or prone to become one, I promise you that walking a few short laps around your workplace and doing a few stretches here and there will pay huge benefits in decreased pain and stiffness.  I know, because I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years ago, and I can tell a huge difference on those days when I honestly cannot find the time…or worse yet do not bother to make an effort.

What Is The Difference Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis?

Your bones hang out in a lot of joints. Knee joints. Hip joints. The joints in your fingers and the joints in your toes.

Wherever bones meet, there is also cartilage, a rubbery, protective layer that ensures your joints bend smoothly and painlessly. But even cartilage cannot do this tremendous job alone. A thin membrane called the “synovium” provides fluid that lubricates the moving parts of the joint. When the cartilage wears out of the synovium becomes inflamed, the result is generally a case of “osteoarthritis” or “rheumatoid arthritis.”

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage can be eroded so much that bone does rub on bone. Thos type of arthritis develops gradually over a lifetime as a simple result of the wear and tear placed on your joints over the years. Very few people escape some degree of osteoarthritis, though the severity varies a great deal.

As a matter of fact, if you are over the age of 50, you are likely to have at least one joint affected by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis affects men and women equally and is by far the most common type of arthritis, with almost 16 million Americans in the list.

In rheumatoid arthritis, damage to the synovium is at the source of trouble. Doctors and researchers are not absolutely sure what causes it, but most think that rheumatoid arthritis is a disease in which the immune system actually attacks certain tissues in the body, including those that connect the joints and the synovium.

Rheumatoid arthritis begins with swollen, red, stiff, and painful joints, but it may progress until scar tissue forms in the joint or, in extreme cases, until the bones actually fuse together. Almost 75% of the 2 million people with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States are women. The disease can hit as early as teen years.

Whether You Have Rheumatoid or Osteoarthritis Exercise Equals Both Prevention and Alleviation of Pain.

Investing a little time in developing a good weight-bearing low-impact exercise and stretching plan can add up to great results when it comes to staving off arthritis pain. Strong muscles help protect the joints from wear and tear, and the movement keeps joints flexible.

That is why you need to give up the couch potato style excuses and begin your quest for fitness, even if you are 50 years and over and never exercised a day before in your life. However, most Americans over 50 are still right where they always were sitting back and watching others jog by. Most of them contend that that is just for people who have been athletic all their life, or some say exercise is for young people and engaging into exercise will do them more harm than good.

There are still some that insist on excusing their selves in exercise routines because they do not just have time or they have less energy than ever before. These are all lame excuses. Hence, it is time to start to get rid of those pains. Start exercising.

Preventing arthritis is not an exact science, but physicians have discovered a few ways to lower your risk. Here is how:

1. Do not weight around

The single most important measure anyone can take to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee is to lose weight if they are overweight. Extra weight puts extra stress on your knees. If you are 10 pounds overweight, for example, you put 60 pounds per square inch of extra pressure on your knees every time you take a step. That extra pressure can slowly but surely erode the cartilage in your knees, leading to arthritis.

A study has clearly supported the theory that weight loss weighs in on the side of prevention. In the study, overweight women who lost 11 pounds or more over a 10-year period decreased their risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knee by 50%.

2. Stretch those muscles

Any kind of stretching is good as long as you do not bounce, which can lead to a muscle pull. This is according to some of the professors of clinical medicine in New York City.

Try to hold a slow, steady stretch for 15 to 20 seconds, then relax and repeat. It is best to flex up by stretching before any exercise, especially running and walking. But it is also a good idea to stretch each day. Ask your doctor to teach you stretches that focus on potential arthritis trouble spots, such as the knees or the lower back.

3. Walking is always the best exercise

Take a good long walk at least three times a week or participate in a step-aerobics or low-impact exercise routine maximum results. There is no proof that running is bad for the joints, but remember, it may aggravate an injury if you already have one. Just remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

The bottom line is that of all the healthful habits, exercise is the most important. This is because people are designed to be active. Hence, it is really important for people to exercise in order to stay healthy and keep those joints free from wear and tear.

Just keep in mind that the unexercised body, even if free from the symptoms of illness or problems like arthritis, is not at its full potential. Hence, start exercising right now!

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..

How I Almost Killed My Husband With Kindness…A Valentine’s Story Gone Bad.

February 14th, 2009

This actually has nothing at all to do with Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Valentine’s Day, but it does have to do with the unknown consequences of a well meaning and completely innocent act.  This particular incident occurred when my children were young and I was trying to ensure that their father lived a long and healthy life. This little story just goes to prove that even the best intentions can be rife with danger when it comes to chemicals.

My (now) ex-husband was a hard working man who did sheetrock for a living and had the dark haired olived skinned coloring of the black Irish (A legacy from the sailors of the sunken Spanish Armada that managed to swim to Ireland’s  shore and decided to stay.) He also had the broad shouldered build of the Viking Invaders that often visited those shores as well–i.e. a 54 inch chest, and the weight-lifter muscled gut to go with it.

So here I was married to a big burly, hard-working man who loved his sweet tea…by the gallon. One day I decided that he needed to lose some weight so that he would live to see his sons grow into men.  Every day I had to fix him a couple of gallons of sweet tea to take to work and drink when he got home at night…. It had to be heavily sweetened with sugar, nothing else would do–not unsweetened, nor sweetened with honey, saccharin, or any other healthy (so we thought back then) low calorie sweetener.  His main objection to these additives was the fact that they do not mix well with cold tea and just sink to the bottom of the glass no matter how much you stir.

Then one day I got the bright idea to trick him, by making his tea just like I normally would with sugar but to sneak in artificial sweetener instead.  So I dumped about a dozen packages of the newly introduced latest and greatest wonder sweetener Aspartame also known as Equal into his hot tea and put it into the refrigerator to cool.  Well lo and behold, he drank it by the gallons without even noticing the difference…for a day or two.  Within a week this huge man who had never complained with a headache in his life came home from work, too weak to move and in such pain from a blinding headache that tears actually poured down his cheeks.

This went on for three days with him refusing to go to the doctor because we didn’t have much money and couldn’t afford health insurance.  By the fourth day, he thought he was dying and finally agreed that if the headache wasn’t gone by morning he would give in and go to the emergency room.

I was scared, all of this was so unlike him. Then suddenly it hit me…the tea!  I rushed downstairs and poured the latest batch out and made a new batch using good old-fashioned sugar instead of the Aspartame and switched out the glass at his bedside with a tall fresh glass filled with ice and put the remainder of the new batch into the refrigerator to cool. Within 24 hours the killer headaches were gone never to return.

I confessed my foolish trick and he being the good natured soul that he was, forgave me.  I later mentioned the incident in a writer’s club where I was a member and one of the doctor’s who was there, told me to quit beating myself up over it.  He said that it was probably just a coincidence.  However, years later I learned that Aspertame when heated to over 86 Fahrenheit (30 Centigrade) forms free Methanol which, when ingested breaks down into the same stuff they embalm corpses with, i.e. formaldehyde, both of which are deadly poisons that have killed people, and caused blindness and other deadly and irreversible long term health problems.  And if that wasn’t bad enough I was literally dosing him with something like twelve times the amount even the FDA said was OK to use.

So the moral of that story is…when it comes to ingested foods and drinks even the best intentions can have deadly consequences. So if you don’t know what you are doing…do a little research before using your loved ones…or anyone else as a guinea pig.

Smiles and Good Health,

Teresa Thomas Bohannon

PS Be sure to visit us daily to check out all the latest news and information on living with Arthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis..


Rheumatoid Arthritis News and Information From Around The World

Biosimilar 'Knockoff' Drug May Quell Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms - Healthline


Biosimilar 'Knockoff' Drug May Quell Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
Biosimilars have been in the news for the past couple of years, but it wasn't until recently that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a rheumatoid arthritis biosimilar drug. The drug, called Inflectra, is a “knockoff” of the popular RA drug ...

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Research into Biologic Effects of Combo Treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis Is Topic of 2 Webinars - Rheumatoid Arthritis News

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Dr. Ernest Choy, FRCP, head of Rheumatology at Cardiff University's Institute of Infection and Immunity, will lead two webinars examining how the biologic effects of combination treatments can be investigated using an in vitro phenotypic profiling ...

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According to news reporting originating from Chicago, Illinois , by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "Appropriate vaccinations are important for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), who are often treated with highly immunosuppressive ...

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Heart Disease: What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You - Newsmax

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Dr. Jon T. Giles, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University School of Medicine, says that rheumatoid arthritis patients need to focus on not only reducing overall inflammation but controlling traditional risk factors for developing heart ...
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Medical Marijuana for Rheumatoid Arthritis: What Your Doctor Isn't Telling You - Newsmax

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The survey found that 3 of 4 rheumatology doctors in the sample group "lacked confidence in their knowledge of cannabinoid molecules," and that nearly half — 45 percent — "believed there was no current role for cannabinoids in rheumatology patient care."

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Rheumatoid Arthritis support group to start at Westmorland General - Cumbria Crack

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A new support group aimed at people living with Rheumatoid or Inflammatory Arthritis will be launched on 18 May 2016 by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) and the rheumatology team at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH). The South ...

Coronation Street star Claire King reveals how magnets are helping her to beat rheumatoid arthritis -

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Blocking the immune system in rheumatoid arthritis - The Pharmaceutical Journal

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Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system attacking the body. It afflicts about 1% of people in the UK and is now treated with a variety of biologic drugs that dampen the immune system in different ways. Show Fullscreen. Infographic showing ...

Critical to screen patients with rheumatoid arthritis for hearing impairment - Science Daily

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Possible pathologies are including: Synovial destruction of incudostapedial and incudomalleolar joints, rheumatoid nodules, auditory neuropathy, destruction of the cochlear hair cells and drug-induced ototoxicity. "Elderly Patients and those with long ...

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Rheumatoid Arthritis: Risks and Benefits of Yoga - Newsmax

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The center points out that research suggests yoga provides improvement in physical, emotional, and mental well-being for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis sufferers may even enjoy yoga more than traditional types of exercise.

Supportive Gifts and Tools For People With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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See The Official Center For Disease Control Influenza Vaccine Contraindications Guide

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When swine flu offends and challenges ISIS - Outbreak News Today

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Swine Flu, Avian Flu, Ebola, the Zika Virus and Workers' Compensation - Insurance Journal (blog)

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The illness or disease must be “occupational,” meaning that it arose out of the course and scope of employment; and; Ultimate compensability of an illness or disease is dependent upon the work or occupation of the employee; the illness or disease must ...

See The Center For Disease Control's Official Influenza Vaccine Contraindications Guide
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