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


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

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH ARTHRITIS Tips for who live in USA… What about European?



Hello Everyone,

making my on line search I faced the SATH website  Society of Accesible Travel & Hospitality a Non Profit organization in USA.

I’m here reporting a chapter dedicate to  people  with arthritis. I wish you a good reading.

And I hope this can help you ….

How To Travel with Arthritis
People who suffer from arthritis are not a single group, but they do have certain characteristics in common resulting from their disease such as pain in the areas affected, frustration due to limitations of movement, and the inconvenience of not being able to move about freely. Some of those affected have localized pain and inflammation in their hands, hips, knees, etc., while others have more generalized symptoms which require them to use a wheelchair or a scooter. However, whatever his or her condition, anyone with arthritis can today expect to be able to travel, so long as they make practical plans well in advance.*

*Note: Since 1990, all handicapped travelers in the United States are protected by law from discrimination with respect to travel, accommodations, and most other travel arrangements.

It is important for people with arthritis to come to terms with the limitations resulting from their condition and to plan their travel so as to avoid stress and physical fatigue. By finding a travel agent who understands their condition and will work with them to make all arrangements, they can get the professional help they need at a very small cost since travel agents receive commissions from airlines, hotels, etc. However, special services, expensive phone calls, fares, etc. will have to be paid for.

Making Travel Arrangements
First, choose your vacation destination with care, ensuring that the hotel is accessible even if you are not in a wheelchair, so as to avoid unnecessary steps and other obstacles. Also make sure that its environment is suitable, with plenty of shade and pools and other outdoor facilities which are not too far for you to get to. If you intend to take excursions, make sure that there will be transportation available (with lifts or ramps if you are in a wheelchair) and that there are no steps or steep paths to climb.

Air Travel. Your travel agent will make all your travel plans and advise you on the most suitable flights. If possible, take a flight which is either nonstop or direct (where you can stay on the planle at any intermediate stops), since changing planes at a hub airport can be very stressful and physically taxing.

Make sure your travel agent enters all important details in his reservation computer so as to avoid misunderstandings, and check the computer printout of your itinerary. Include the following information, if relevant:
–If you need a wheelchair for transport to and from the plane. Remember that if you have to change planes en route, you will need to arrange for a wheelchair then, as well.
–If you are travelling with your own wheelchair, make sure that the type is noted. If it is electric, a gel or non-spillable battery is best (lead/acid batteries call be dangerous and require special handling which means being in the airport at least 3 hours before flight times and a delay on arrival). Remove any projecting removable parts from the wheelchair and keep them with you. Carefully label the chair with your namne and address and destination airport. Ask for the chair or scooter to be loaded “last on/first off” to avoid delays.
–If you have a crutch or cane, you can take these aboard the plane with you. They must be carefully stowed for takeoff and landing but can be used in flight.

Transfers. Check whether there is suitable transport between the destination airport and your hotel. If not, check for special taxi or van service whiich is available at many large resort areas.

Rail Travel. All Amtrak trains have at least one accessible car (usually near the dining car). Details on their handicapped services and facilities are provided in their free booklet, Access Amtrak. When booking, make sure the company knows you have a disability and, if necessary, request a wheelchair to take you to and from the train. Your travel agent can make these arrangements. Otherwise, contact Arntrak at (800) 872-7345. With regard to dining on board, the train attendant will bring you a meal if you require it and cannot walk in a moving train.

Note: Trains other than Amtrak may not have special accessible cars, so check before departure about boarding and seating.

Bus Travel. If you intend to travel by bus, Greyhound, the only remaining nationwide carrier in the U.S., will give you every assistance, but does not have buses with lifts. For a copy of their brochure for handicapped travelers, Greyhournd Travel Policies, call (800) 752-4841 or (800) 345-3109 (TDD). To arrange assistance, they ask that handicapped passengers notify them 48 hours in advance. Those traveling without a companion should call the above toll-free numbers. Anyone requiring a companion (who travels free of charge) should ca11 (800) 231-2222.

Medication. If you use prescription drugs, take a supply adequate to the length of the trip. Pack them in your hand baggage in the event that your checked luggage is lost or delayed. If you need to keep medication refrigerated, the aircraft crew or the dining car staff on a train will put them in their refrigerator. But make sure you retrieve them at the end of your journey. It may be better to place them instead in a vacuurn flask or similar container. Finally, take copies of your doctor’s prescriptions with you in case of accidental loss or to show Customs’ officials if you are going abroad.

Clothing. If you are going to a resort area which is hot, take light, loose, long-sleeved clothing to avoid discomfort and a light hat with a wide brim. You should also take a warm coat for the evenings, as many places are hot during the day and cool at night. Check the climate and seasonal temperatures before packing.

Source SATH.org