If you suffer from a chronic condition and experience pain on a daily basis, you’ll likely do whatever it takes to feel better. Today, more than 1.5 million Americans have rheumatoid arthritis — and 1 in 5 of them have reported that they want better treatment options to manage their condition. If you happen to fall into that category, you could be in luck. There are some promising new options that you can explore to help treat your rheumatoid arthritis. We’ll break them down for you.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you likely don’t need someone to define it for you. But if you’re newly diagnosed or think you might have rheumatoid arthritis, here’s a quick explanation of the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes the cartilage in your body to become inflamed and break down. This can result in severe discomfort and pain, as well as swelling and stiffness. Complications from rheumatoid arthritis can also affect major organs in the body, such as the heart and lungs.
Rheumatoid arthritis has a whole host of symptoms, ranging from minor to life-disrupting.
This is the hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis, and the symptom most people associate with the condition.
Rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes feel like having the flu.
This is another hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis.
When the body begins to break down, many key functions cease to operate normally.
This may cause shortness of breath.
There are many treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis, and each patient responds to them differently. What works for you may or may not work for another person.
Traditional treatment options include anti-rheumatic drugs (often abbreviated as DMARDS) that can help slow the progression of the disease. These anti-rheumatic drugs can also be combined with steroids and anti-inflammatory medication.
Along with medication, there are many lifestyle adjustments that people living with rheumatoid arthritis can make, which can help make their condition more manageable. These adjustments include physical therapy, stretching, heating pads, meditation and joint replacement surgery. As you can see, they run the gamut — if you have rheumatoid arthritis, talk to your doctor to come up with a plan that can work for you.
Many people who live with rheumatoid arthritis find it hard to juggle the combination of various medications and other lifestyle adjustments. And now, there’s a once-a-day medication that could change everything. The catch? It’s still very new, so most doctors are still figuring out how it can fit into their patients’ treatment programs.
However, the benefits that have emerged so far sound promising. This new drug is called RA-BEAM. It was developed in 2017 and only needs to be taken once a day, orally. It keeps things simple, manageable and doesn’t interfere as much with daily life. It can also help with early intervention — this drug could slow the progression of the condition.
Sound interesting to you? Do your research and talk to your doctor about how RA-BEAM or other treatment options could become part of your plan to manage your rheumatoid arthritis.
Smith, Howard. (2018, June 5.) Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment & Management. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/331715-treatment
Swift, Diana. (2018, October 29.) Are 'Jakinibs' the Future of RA Treatment? https://medpagetoday.com/clinical-challenges/acr-rheumatoid-arthritis/75987