5 Tips to travel this summer for people with rheumatic diseases

woman meditating on tropical beach in the caribbean

Vacation for  everyone is relax, for us with our diseases must be only  relax…. is that true?

The truth is  that a vacation has to be spent  at the best, no matter if  we go  to the beach, to the mountain, to visit nice  cities  around the world.

What  do we have to remember:

  • Don’t forget  your medication and  have a certificate that state you have to take them. There are some airlines specially low cost that can give you problems in case you carry biologics treatments. Remember  your medications and all your papers must  travel  with your carry on.
  • If you  book a long trip make  sure you can reach your final destination maybe in more than one step ( i.e. I had to go  from south Italy to Guam I decided to have  a stop over in South Korea so I rested and I visited Seul and follow  my trip) Instead  to travel more than 26 hours  I traveled half.
  • If you travel by plane or by train choose an aisle it will be  easier  for you to stand up and move. You know  you cannot be in the same position for long.
  • Ask  for  assistance at the airport at the train station, where ever you are and you go  is your right they will make your  trip easier and help who is traveling with you do not  get stressed during  the vacation.
  • Make plan before  to enjoy every single day of your free time. ( make sure all the opening and closing time, what to see, where to eat).

Ok then so now  you only need  your ticket and you are ready  to go… Enjoy your summer!

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A new challenge to live together. Rheumatic diseases explained to children

Dear friends,

I know for the past  2 years I wasn’t present that much, is my fault my busy life with my AS.

Today I’m so happy to share with you this italian project with subtitles in english.

Enjoy and spread .

Thank you

Adriana

Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 2

If you liked my last post … let’s follow :

Keep Moving

moving

Your number one defense against spondylitis pain and stiffness is to get moving. Rest and couch-potato inactivity allow your joints to start fusing together, which is what you need to avoid with ankylosing spondylitis. Ruth Kadanoff, MD, professor of rheumatology at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago, says, “The type of movement is not as important as the frequency. You need to be doing some type of exercise twice a day. The best exercise is a low-impact type of exercise like walking.” Make simple exercise a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth, and you’ll be well on your way to relieving lower back pain.

Get Physical

physical

The next step after correcting your posture is to follow a more comprehensive physical therapy program for ankylosing spondylitis relief. “We now know that spondylitis also includes an increased risk for osteoporosis and heart disease. That means you can really benefit from a complete program that includes aerobic exercise, range of motion exercise, and strength training,” says Papchristos. Besides targeting lower back pain, bone health, and heart health, a physical therapy program may include deep breathing exercises to prevent your rib cage from stiffening.

 

Take to Water

Gym

Exercises that are good for lower back pain and spondylitis on land are usually even better in a pool. Swimming is a great low-impact aerobic exercise for ankylosing spondylitis. “Studies consistently show that water exercises are the best types of exercise for spondylitis pain and stiffness,” says Papachristos. A survey published in the Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology illustrates this: Researchers found that the most common exercise for people with spondylitis is walking, but the most effective for relieving pain and the most enjoyable is exercising in a pool. Many gyms offer water exercise classes, or you can ask a doctor or physical therapist for suggestions of exercises to do in a pool.

 

Learn a Mind-Body Exercise

tai

If you’re mostly familiar with cardiovascular and strength training, exercises like tai chi and qi gong may seem foreign at first, but these wellness disciplines could help you find a better balance between mind and body. Mind-body exercises can help you learn to listen to your body, reduce the stress of spondylitis pain, and avoid injury. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, these exercises have been shown to improve bone health, balance, prevent falls, and make your heart and lungs stronger — all good things for anyone with ankylosing spondylitis pain and stiffness.

Thanks to : Chris Iliades, MD

Ways to Ease Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain Chapter 1

 

If you like me are living with ankylosing spondylitis, you know the back pain and fatigue that are hallmarks of the condition can be unpredictable. But fortunately, there are many approaches — besides simply relying on medications — that you can take to ease spondylitis pain and stiffness and move more freely. Most of these ideas are free or inexpensive, and even enjoyable to boot. You’ll find that the emotional boost you get from taking these steps can be as great as the physical improvement.

Make Mornings More Manageable

morning

If you’re like most people with ankylosing spondylitis, your lower back pain and stiffness is worse in the morning. “When joints are stationary for a time, the joint fluid actually thickens a bit, like ketchup,” says Sturdy McKee, MPT, physical therapist and CEO of San Francisco Sport and Spine Physical Therapy. “You can shake or stir your joints through repeated movements — any repeated movements.” Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to create a morning routine of gentle motions that can lessen spondylitis pain and get your joints moving.

Hit the Showers

Shower

When the fluids in your joints get thick and stiff, spondylitis pain gets worse. A great way to get those fluids moving is to warm them up with a warm bath or shower, which loosens up your muscles and makes it easier to exercise. In fact, you might find that doing some exercise in the shower can help get you going in the morning. You may also find that doing your posture training for ankylosing spondylitis after a warm bath or shower, when your body is warmed up, is easier for you.

Correct Poor Posture

posture

Poor posture ramps up spondylitis pain and stiffness. Minimize lower back pain with what medical experts call “posture training:” Think tall by keeping your head balanced and your back straight at all times, and practice standing with your back against a wall and prone lying, which is lying face down on a firm surface. A physical therapist can show you the ropes. “Posture training should be done for about 30 minutes every day, but you can break this time up into 10- or 15-minute sessions,” says Angelo Papachristos, a physiotherapist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Special thanks  to : Chris Iliades, MD

Food/ Diet & Ankylosing spondylitis

index

 

Whether a person is affected by a chronic illness or not, there are some straightforward guidelines that if followed, would lead to improved health and well-being for almost everyone. Both calcium and alcohol affect the strength of the bones, and it is a well known fact that people with spondylitis are already at higher risk for osteoporosis, a dangerous thinning of the bones that can lead to fractures. Following a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Alcoholic beverages can also weaken bones. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases a person’s chances of developing weakened bones. In addition, alcohol mixed with certain medications can cause serious side-effects to the gastrointestinal tract and to major organs such as the liver and the kidneys. It is important to find out from your doctor whether any of the medications that you take affect how your body uses what you eat. For instance, some medications cause a person to retain sodium, while others cause potassium loss. Methotrexate can lower folic acid levels causing a variety of adverse symptoms which can be offset by taking additional supplements. Whatever you decide, expert agree that there are basic guidelines to good nutrition, which are: Eat a variety of foods that make you feel good – avoid those that do not. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products. Use fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products), cholesterol, sugar, and salt in moderation. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. Most people receive daily requirements of vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced diet, but others need to take vitamin supplements. Avoid alcohol or foods that can interact with your medication. Talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential interactions.

 

What Is Ankylosing Spondylitis?

Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of progressive arthritis due to chronic inflammation of the joints in the spine. Its name comes from the Greek words “ankylos,” meaning stiffening of a joint, and “spondylo,” meaning vertebra. Spondylitis refers to inflammation of the spine or one or more of the adjacent structures of the vertebrae.

Ankylosing spondylitis belongs to a group of disorders called seronegative spondyloarthropathies. Seronegative means an individual has tested negative for an autoantibody called rheumatoid factor. The spondyloarthropathies are a family of similar diseases that usually cause joint and spine inflammation. Other well-established syndromes in this group include psoriatic arthritis, the arthritis of inflammatory bowel disease, chronic reactive arthritis, and enthesitis-related idiopathic juvenile arthritis.

Although these disorders have similarities, they also have features that distinguish them from one another. The hallmark of ankylosing spondylitis is “sacroiliitis,” or inflammation of the sacroiliac (SI) joints, where the spine joins the pelvis.

In some people, ankylosing spondylitis can affect joints outside of the spine, like the shoulders, ribs, hips, knees, and feet. It can also affect entheses, which are sites where the tendons and ligaments attach to the bones. It is possible that it can affect other organs, such as the eyes, bowel, and—more rarely—the heart and lungs.

Although many people with ankylosing spondylitis have mild episodes of back pain that come and go, others have severe, ongoing pain accompanied by loss of flexibility of the spine. In the most severe cases, long-term inflammation leads to calcification that causes two or more bones of the spine to fuse. Fusion can also stiffen the rib cage, resulting in restricted lung capacity and function.

The cause of ankylosing spondylitis is unknown, but it is likely that both genes and factors in the environment play a role. The main gene associated with susceptibility to ankylosing spondylitis is called HLA-B27. But while most people with ankylosing spondylitis have this genetic marker, only a small percentage of people with the gene develop the disease.

 

 

Thanks to : N I H

Diagnosing Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Ankylosing spondylitis has often been considered more of a man’s disease, yet the reality is that it affects some women, too.

The genetic marker for ankylosing spondylitis, HLA-B27, is found equally in men and women. However, ankylosing spondylitis is two or three times more common in men than women, said Rodney Tehrani, MD, a rheumatologist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.

Ankylosing Spondylitis Diagnosis in Women: Why the Difference?

Many experts believe several factors may explain why it’s harder to reach an ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis in women. Some women may have milder symptoms, so ankylosing spondylitis symptoms may not be as obvious. Progression also may be slower, and symptoms can seem like other ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia. The area of discomfort also can interfere with making the correct diagnosis. Along with back pain, women also might experience soreness in the neck and peripheral joints, in contrast to men who mainly tend to note back pain.

When to Suspect Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Getting the correct diagnosis is critical to getting started on the right treatment. “Clinicians should suspect the disease in women who complain of back pain, particularly when associated with any or all of the following: morning stiffness or stiff back after resting, psoriasis, inflammation of the eyes, frequent canker sores, irregular nails, swelling of the joints, painful joints, particularly shoulders and hips, and frequent abdominal pain and diarrhea,” said Ali D. Askari, MD, chief of the rheumatology division at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.

Symptoms also should be carefully studied. For example, back pain from ankylosing spondylitis typically lessens with movement and exercise and gets worse with rest — a feature that sets it apart from some other ailments, like degenerative arthritis.

The Progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women

Anyone with an ankylosing spondylitis diagnosis is naturally concerned about what comes next, but “there is no set course for this disease,” Dr. Tehrani explained. “It is variable in every individual, whether male or female.”

Most often, people with ankylosing spondylitis experience flares — painful episodes — mixed with times of remission when symptoms lessen. As the disease progresses, some of the vertebrae in the spine may fuse together, which makes the back more rigid and at greater risk for fracture.

How Ankylosing Spondylitis in Women Is Treated

Treatment options are similar for women and men. Medications for ankylosing spondylitis symptoms include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as the first line of attack to help address stiffness, neck pain, and back pain in women. When something stronger becomes necessary, most doctors turn to disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs like corticosteroids and sulfasalazine. Biologics or TNF blockers are the latest additions to the treatment option arsenal.

Exercise also is important to retaining flexibility and keeping pain at bay. For example, Pilates has been shown to improve physical capacity and endurance in ankylosing spondylitis. A physical therapist can offer other suggestions.

Maintaining good posture, using heat to reduce soreness and using cold to lessen swelling also can help. Those with very serious cases might need to consider surgery.

Regardless of your symptom level, it’s important for women — and for men, too — to see a rheumatologist at least once a year to make sure you aren’t developing any other issues

Source Everyday Health