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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Arthritis
Severe Osteoarthritis and Weight Loss
Answer: Yes, get a referral to a physical therapist to show you.
Arthritis? [posted 1/12/99]
Answer: It's called Raynaud's Phenomenon. This is spasm of the arterioles of the hands (or feet) to cold, vibration, trauma etc. Sometimes seen in association with connective tissue diseases, but often seen by itself. It can be blocked by use of calcium channel blockers, especially nifedipine. Usually only a nuisance, but can lead to ulcers or gangrene in severe cases.
Arthritis [posted 1/5/99]
Answer: Not usually connected.
Arthritis [posted 1/5/99]
Answer: Usually not with the NSAIDS, get this checked with your doctor.
Arthritis Medication for GERD
Patient [posted 12/08/98]
Answer: You would have the same reaction in different amounts to all the NSAIDS. This pretty well eliminates most of the treatments. You might try glucosamine or topical Zostrix cream.
Arthritis or Something Else [posted
Answer: Reactive arthritis is almost always symmetrical. Having inflammation on one side would be very unusual, see a Rheumatologist.
Could Arthritis Be Exacerbated by
Iron Medication [posted 11/25/98]
Answer: Wouldn't think so, but, it is an pro-oxidant and you could make a case for an interaction.
Possible Arthritis [posted
Answer: Is it one wrist or both? Inflammatory arthritis is usually symmetrical(both wrists). Asymmetrical arthritis would usually be gout, pseudogout, or osteoarthritis. Carpal tunnel can also give these symptoms.
What is Post-Viral Arthritis [posted
Answer: This is an autoimmune attack of your bodies immune system against your joints. Apparently triggered by infection which turns on the immune system. They usually last a week or so;but, in unusual cases can last for significant periods of time. Severe ones like Lyme Arthritis can be permanent depending on the agent that causes the infection (Lyme is not a virus;but a spirochete).
Rheumatioid Arthritis & Daypro [posted
Answer: You should probably take it every day. It is an anti-inflammatory as well as a pain medication and belongs to the class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. General side effects of this class of drugs are mainly GI, heartburn, gastritis, bleeding ulcers, diarrhea. However, usually used if your GI system can handle it as the first line treatment for RA. If your doctor didn't/can't explain this to you, explore another physician. This is usually a disease that needs treatment over many years and you will be better off having someone you can communicate with.
Osteoarthritis & Depression [posted
Answer: Are you on estrogen? Probably would help if you are not. Secondly, antidepressants such as amitriptyline are regularly used with fibromyalgia and chronic pain syndromes. If you haven't tried these, might be worth a try.
Arthritis - Glucosamine/Chondriotin
Answer: There is a best selling book which touts this as a solution. Suffice it to say that it may work, but is untested scientifically. I don't think that it does you any harm (other than financially) and I do have some patients who think that they are better. Your other statements of the effect of NSAIDS are correct. Currently there is little data on long term side effects. From my clinical experience it is minimal/none, but not rigidly tested.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Antibiotics
Answer: There is an upcoming school of thought that says that Rheumatoid Arthritis is triggered by an infection. Consequently, treatment with antibiotics may help. This has been done and certainly isn't a big deal. The results are generally negative. This is because the process is triggered by an infection, but not sustained by it. I suspect that many inflammatory arthritis have different triggers. However, once the trigger is pulled they have a life of their own. Consequently, treating the initiating cause won't help. An example where this is very clear is Lyme Disease. The arthritis is started by an infection. Early treatment is helpful in preventing the arthritis. However, after a time, antibiotics will not affect the course of the arthritis. If you desire a course, big deal. Try a drug like Biaxin which is broad spectrum and would get organisms like Lyme agent. I assume you have been tested for Lyme, etc.?
Arthritis [posted 7/23/98]
Answer: I'll need some more information-like did the bone scan show anything else? What joints were involved? What does the physician say he/she is treating?
Arthritis and Knuckle Cracking
Answer: Osteoarthritis is due to overuse of any joint. To the extent that "cracking" does this, the answer is yes. However, for practical purposes, no.
Arthritis and Serum accumulation
Answer: Has she had an intraarticular injection of steroids? If this really helps then she has some sort of inflammatory process. Also, has she had a sedimentation rate checked? This is a non-specific measure of inflammation and will be normal for osteoarthritis but elevated for most other types of inflammatory arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis with Cerebral
Answer: Actually, the sequence of drugs is the usual one we try with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Other than advance the dosage of methotrexate you face increasingly more toxic drugs. Some people have tried Cytoxan or Immuran-- both initially anti-cancer drugs like methotrexate. You might want to get a second opinion from a national level figure. Your rheumatologist can arrange this consultation.
Answer: Psoriatic arthritis is a painful and disabling condition. Fortunately, only about 5 % of patients with psoriasis develop this progressive, destructive arthritis. There are several treatment options. Methotrexate seems to be one of the better options. I suspect that his sexual problems are due to prozac. Different anti-depressants might be of use. Fibromyalgia is often seen in people with chronic pain from any source. It seems to be related to the inability to sleep (or get deep sleep) due to the pain. It really is a separate problem from the psoriatic arthritis. Massage therapy and acupuncture are occasionally of great help.
Answer: Treatment of osteoarthritis is mainly directed at pain relief. Start with acetaminophen (Tylenol or equivalent), add aspirin (preferably coated or buffered; watch your stomach), and finally in severe cases small doses of codeine or equivalent. Topical treatments like capazein cream and salicylate creams are also helpful. Taking the medication before activity is often of help. There are many patent remedies, most of which appear to be of little help. However, occasional people swear by copper bracelets, zinc tablets, etc. Try them with skepticism.
Answer: Degenerative arthritis refers to the arthritic changes that occur with wear and tear or trauma. This leads to a degeneration of the cartilage surface of the joint, leading to pain. Have you had x-rays to determine if it is degenerative arthritis and do you have osteoporosis or osteomalacia? What was the trauma that led to this arthritis? - or was it merely time. Don't accept a diagnosis of osteoarthritis without a through evaluation. This would usually include a plain CT of the spine and possible bone density measurements depending on your age.
Answer: Osteoarthritis is the loss of articular cartilage brought on by "wear and tear" or repeated use over years. Traumatic arthritis refers to a similar process initiated by damage to the cartilage. I suspect this is the problem with your injury. However, the treatment is similar. That is, focus on pain relief. This can be Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories(Motrin, Aleve, many more), acetaminophen(Tylenol), local remedies like Ben-Gay, heat and lately capeszin cream. The back is harder to get to than joints on the hands, knees, etc. Focus on exercise regimens to strengthen the muscles around the back as well as stretching and analgesia as needed. With this kind of problem, you need to focus on daily exercises.
Answer:There are many different types of "arthritis medication". The most common drugs belong to a class called Non-sterodial anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS). This class of drugs can be found on pharmacy shelves as well as by prescription. The most common and usually the most serious side effect of this class of drugs is gastritis. Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach and can progress to ulcers and bleeding. Caution should always be used with these drugs concerning the stomach. A previous history of ulcers or gastritis is a relative contraindication to using these drugs.
Vinegar and Bees Honey
Answer:Arthritis comes in two basic types-inflammatory and "wear and tear". The inflammatory type of arthritis are systemic lupus, rheumatoid, and about fifty others. These are treated with specific treatments depending on the type. Diagnosis of these is important since treatments really do vary. Wear and tear or osteoarthritis is by far the most common. It usually occurs in the forties and early fifties and is accelerated with joint damage or trauma. There are as many treatments as there are people. This is because there really is no cure for the loss of cartilage which lines the joints. There are many touted "folk" remedies. My advice concerning these is to try those that do not seem toxic or risky. If it works keep using it. We all have patients who get major relief from some "folk" remedy for arthritis. Unfortunately, these are not reproducible in numerous patients.
Neck "Pops and Cracks"
Answer: Probably calcium buildup from previous neck trauma(falls, whiplash, etc.). Building up the muscles in the back of the neck might help. Consult Jane Fonda's 1st video workout for the upper body workout(light weights). Do these 3-4 times a week.
Answer: News to me-try to get some more information.
Golfing & Arthritis
Answer: Clearly arthritis compounded with trauma to the joints. Ensure that your grip is correct. Also, taking a NSAID like motrin, Aleve etc. prior to playing may help.
Golfing & Arthritis
Answer: This belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There are many prescription and non-prescription drugs in this class. They essentially have the same side effects. That is GI trouble(ulcers, gastritis, diarrhea) occasional rashes, occasional hypersensitivity(causing wheezing, asthma) etc. Long term if used on a regular basis(10 years or so) they can decrease renal function and cause premature renal failure.
Answer: I'd check with your local NBC affiliate and get the correct spelling. I can't guess offhand what this is.
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