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I’ve come across some funny comments that people make when they learn I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, some comments are just simple while others I find more frustrating. So here are some myths to illuminate the facts.

Myth #1- Rheumatoid Arthritis can be cured.
Oh, how I wish this was true. Right now there is no known cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. However there are a lot of successful treatments and procedures to slow it down and put the disease into remission, and increase the quality of life of a sufferer.

Myth #2- Rheumatoid Arthritis is an old person’s disease.
Some days I do feel like I’m 90 years old, but I’m only 33. RA can strike at any age. Children, young adults and middle aged people can be affected, and this condition doesn’t care whether you’re male or female.

Myth #3- “You felt fine yesterday, why are you feeling so terrible today?”
This is one of the frustrating myths. Although sometimes I do get a bit of a warning when a flare is going to hit, but that doesn’t happen all the time. Some mornings I wake up feeling like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck!! I may feel tired and achey, or in a lot of pain. No real explanation other than RA involves periods of flare ups and remission, and you roll with the punches.

Myth #4- Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by the wet cold.
While I am personally affected by the weather, not all other sufferers experience the same thing and the cold and wet not the cause of the onset of the disease. Pain is caused from inflammation and the deterioration of cartilage in the joint. For me, warm baths, and other heat sources are very soothing for sore joints, and I feel pretty good when the climate is warm and dry.

Myth #5- Rheumatoid Arthritis only consists of minor aches and pains.
Yeah, another frustrating myth. I hate those commercials that say “Pop a couple aspirin or Advil and all your arthritis pain will be gone!” I’d love to scatter their chickens! All arthritis sufferers know that this is a crock of….(you fill in the blank)! RA hurts and it hurts a lot, and it’s more than aspirin, extra strength Tylenol or Aleve can handle. A regimen of diet, exercise, supplements and other medications is usually the best way to overcome RA pain.

Myth #6- Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by poor diet.
Sure, I believe that diet greatly affects a Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferer’s life, but it’s not the cause of the disease. I feel that the digestive system plays a major roll in the immune systems function and since RA is an autoimmune disease, I like to keep an eye on what I’m putting into my body, and I keep track on how I feel after I eat something, especially if I’ve never had it before or haven’t had it in a long time.

Myth #7- “If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis you can’t do…..”
Wow, not something to say to a stubborn person! There are some things I’m  not able to do, and some things I probably shouldn’t do, but most are because I’m a woman, not that strong, and I’m an incredible klutz. A certain amount of help is likely to be required when fatigue and pain are at their worst, but some try to do too much for a sufferer and it can limit them. Certainly RA interferes with some physical activity but it doesn’t mean that someone becomes an invalid because of their diagnosis. Emotional and physical stimulation is an important part of Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment.
Have you come across some odd or absurd comments about Rheumatoid Arthritis? Share them! I’d love to hear them!

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