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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Birth Control for people with rheumatic diseases

 

MiracleBirthControl

Someone  in private messages asked my opinion on birth control and  rheumatic  diseases.

As a patient as a woman this  question make me think a lot.

If I have to follow what is published online  i get lost, the only thing i can say and this is just my opinion is trust the Rheumatologist  and  the the Gyno, that sometimes can work together  and advise the patient for the best.

Probably these 2 Docs can advise  on the best birth control for us without give us others comorbidities.

If you want to comment or give me your personal opinion please  do it!

I will be happy to publish your comments.

I wish you a flare free week.

 

Family Planning and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Although anyone can get rheumatoid arthritis, women with RA outnumber men by about three to one. Many women with rheumatoid arthritis are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, just when marriage and family start to take life’s center stage.

With pain, fatigue, and medication side effects to consider, there’s no question rheumatoid arthritis makes family planning more complicated. But RA doesn’t have to put your dreams of having a family out of reach. If you’re thinking about starting a family while living with rheumatoid arthritis, consider these tips.

1. Don’t Worry That Rheumatoid Arthritis Could Hurt Your Baby

Rheumatoid arthritis itself doesn’t seem to harm the developing baby, even if RA is active during pregnancy. In fact, 70% to 80% of women with RA have improvement of their symptoms during pregnancy. Although some women with RA may have a slight risk of miscarriage or low-birth-weight babies, the vast majority of women have normal pregnancies without complications.

However, many drugs for rheumatoid arthritis — including methotrexate and leflunomide — can cause birth defects. These same medications may also cause birth defects if they are taken by men who father children. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your doctor about altering treatment several months before you or your spouse try to get pregnant.

With the right treatment and prenatal care, babies born to moms with rheumatoid arthritis are as healthy and happy as any.

2. Have Patience As You Try to Get Pregnant

Experts disagree whether rheumatoid arthritis reduces fertility in women or men. It’s true that many women with RA take longer to conceive than women without rheumatoid arthritis. Inconsistent ovulation, decreased sex drive, or having sex less often due to pain and fatigue are possible explanations.

For men, acute flares of rheumatoid arthritis temporarily reduce sperm count and function, and can cause erection problems and decreased libido. For both men and women, effective treatment for RA improves sexual symptoms and function. In well-treated rheumatoid arthritis, fertility in most men and women is probably normal.

3. Know That the Future Looks Bright for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

New biologic drugs for RA have created a new era of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, according to rheumatologists. With early and aggressive treatment, most people with RA can avoid joint deformities and major disability.

For most women, that means being present and active throughout your children’s years at home. While bad days from RA symptoms may be unavoidable, doctors believe most women will keep their independence for decades, and possibly their lifetimes.

4. Alter Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment Well Ahead of Your Pregnancy

As soon as you’re considering starting a family, see your rheumatologist. Some drugs need a months-long “washout” period before trying to conceive. And that goes for men as well as women; although unproven, methotrexate might result in sperm problems that could cause birth defects.

If you’re taking leflunomide for RA, even more advance planning is necessary. Due to its long half-life, leflunomide needs to be stopped two years before trying to conceive a baby, although there are ways to “wash” it out of your system quicker.

5. Work With Your Doctor on Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment During Pregnancy

Your rheumatologist will help you decide on a treatment plan that includes both control of your RA symptoms and safety for your baby.

Low-dose prednisone, for example, is generally considered safe during pregnancy. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) and sulfasalazine are also considered safe. While evidence is limited for biologic medicines like Enbrel and Remicade, many rheumatologists are confident in their relative safety during pregnancy.

One way to avoid the risk of pregnancy problems from RA medications is to simply not take any. Under a doctor’s supervision, some women quit RA drugs “cold turkey” when they begin trying to conceive, through delivery and breastfeeding.

This method has its own risk, of course: possible progression of joint damage from flares during the time when you are off treatment. In certain women, though, some rheumatologists endorse the approach, with close monitoring for disease activity.

6. Expect Improvement in Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms During Pregnancy

Interestingly, pregnancy usually has a positive effect on rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, albeit temporary. About 70% to 80% of women experience improvement in their RA symptoms during pregnancy.

In many of these women, drugs for RA may be safely reduced or even eliminated during pregnancy. For about one-quarter of women, though, rheumatoid arthritis activity continues during pregnancy, or gets worse.

Unfortunately, the respite from RA symptoms during pregnancy is short-lived. Most women relapse after delivering their babies.

7. Until You’re Ready to Get Pregnant, Use Contraception

Again, remembering the potentially harmful effects of some rheumatoid arthritis drugs on the fetus, it’s essential to avoid pregnancy until you’re ready. Experts say that used properly, a variety of methods are appropriate and effective, such as:

  • Condoms
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Vaginal ring
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)

Although controversial studies have suggested oral contraceptives might prevent rheumatoid arthritis in some women, there is no evidence that they help control RA symptoms.

Thanks to webmed

9 -Tips for Traveling With Arthritis

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, you know arthritis is one thing you can’t get away from. But it doesn’t have to derail your travel plans.

Try these tips for taking care of your Arthritis and avoiding joint pain while you’re on the road.

Traveling With Arthritis: Before You Go

1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about your destination and plan all the details you can ahead, including what places you’ll go, how you’ll get there, and what your travel companions can do when you need a rest.

2. Time it right. Choose a time when you are most likely to be feeling your best. If you are prone to flares during the heat of the summer or the hustle and bustle of the holidays, for example, try to avoid traveling during those times.

3. Don’t rush. Although vacations can be fun and restful, they can also be stressful. Try to plan an extra day at the start of your vacation to prepare and another at the end to rest and recuperate before going back to work or regular activities.

4. Ask about immunizations. If you will be traveling overseas, ask your doctor about any immunizations you may need. Keep in mind that some immunizations are not advised if you are taking medications that suppress your immune system.

What to Pack

5. Select the right suitcase. Purchase a suitcase or carry-on with wheels, and push instead of pulling it. Use both hands. Doing so will conserve energy and avoid strain on your hands and shoulders.

6. Pack light. A lighter suitcase is easier to push — and lift, if necessary. If you find that you must lift your suitcase — into your car trunk or the overhead bin on a plane, for example — find someone who can help.

7. Don’t forget your health info. Write out a brief medical history and list of medications you take. Include contact information for your primary care doctor and rheumatologist, as well as your health insurance information.

8. Mind your medications. Pack more medicine than you think you will need and divide your medications among your different bags. If one bag is lost, you should still have enough medicine to get by. Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or family member. If you lose your medications or are gone longer than expected, have them fax you your prescription.

On Your Way

9. Don’t just sit there. Sitting for hours in a car, plane, bus, or train can lead to stiff joints. When driving, stop once an hour to stretch and walk. When flying or riding a bus, try to get an aisle seat so you can stretch and get up and walk.