Will New Medication Guidelines For Rheumatoid Arthritis Improve Patient Satisfaction With Treatment?

Will New Medication Guidelines For Rheumatoid Arthritis Improve Patient Satisfaction With Treatment? By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Despite the advances and diversification of disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a recent report surveying current RA patients showed that the majority are not satisfied with their treatment experience. In a study of 258 patients, all of whom were taking at least 1 DMARD, only 26% were satisfied with the results of their treatment. In fact, 43% reported taking pain relievers daily or almost daily, and 44% said that they were currently having a flare.1 [...]

Patient Perspectives on an Invisible Disease: Lupus and Lupus Nephritis

Patient Perspectives on an Invisible Disease: Lupus and Lupus Nephritis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Imagine going to see a doctor when you are exhausted and enduring multiple kinds of pain, and they recommend a “psych” evaluation. When they “can’t find anything,” the medical professional you looked to for help decides you must be making it up. Many patients with conditions that mimic other disorders describe facing this challenge. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is one such condition. Members of the LupusConnect Support Community on Inspire describe going through Herculean efforts to find help, only to [...]

Promising New Therapies for Treating Atopic Dermatitis

Promising New Therapies for Treating Atopic Dermatitis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH People who do not have atopic dermatitis (AD), also called eczema, can have the simple experience of having an itch relieved by scratching. For people with atopic dermatitis, this is a heavenly fantasy. For AD sufferers, the symptom most of them have in common is areas of skin with unrelenting itching, burning, or otherwise painful discomfort. I am absolutely miserable with eczema on my face. ... I think I have it under control, and then ,bang, there it goes again - the unbearable itching, stinging, [...]

Eosinophils: Friend or Foe? Eosinophilic Disorders

Eosinophils: Friend or Foe? Eosinophilic Disorders By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Eosinophils are amazing, power-packed cells of the innate immune system. Loaded with granules of cytokines, chemokines, RNAses, cationic proteins, growth factors and more, these leukocytes were thought to be the body’s primary tool to destroy parasites. Now, however, eosinophils are being understood as regulators of inflammation and tissue regeneration. They are also involved in maintaining the defensive structure of the epithelium, residing in mucosal tissue that interfaces with the environment. Additionally, they act as antigen presenting cells (APCs), communicating between the innate and adaptive immune systems. [...]

Treatment Discussions of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Inspire

Treatment Discussions of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Inspire By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH When someone says “arthritis,” do you imagine an elderly person? When joints deteriorate through age and use, that’s osteoarthritis. But patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are fighting being actively crippled by their own immune systems, a disease that is unrelated to age. According to the Global RA Network, 1 in every 100 people gets RA. Both the disease and its treatments entail widespread consequences.1 It’s not surprising that patients and caregivers discuss RA-related symptoms and treatments across Inspire, but especially in the Arthritis Support Community [...]

Video Vignettes: Through Their Own Eyes: Autoimmune Diseases

Video Vignettes: Through Their Own Eyes: Autoimmune Diseases The Autoimmune Diseases Support Community on Inspire created over 25,000 posts this past year. One of the over 21,000 members shared her experience with the community in a video. JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI1NjAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzMTUlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnd3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbSUyRmVtYmVkJTJGUS1WSTcwQ1QzZlUlMjIlMjBmcmFtZWJvcmRlciUzRCUyMjAlMjIlMjBhbGxvdyUzRCUyMmF1dG9wbGF5JTNCJTIwZW5jcnlwdGVkLW1lZGlhJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dmdWxsc2NyZWVuJTNFJTNDJTJGaWZyYW1lJTNF According to the NIH, there are over 80 diseases caused by the immune system attacking the body.1 Some of the more common include type 1 diabetes, lupus, inflammatory bowel diseases, celiac disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms that first appear - like fever, fatigue and muscle aches - describe a number of ailments. Getting a diagnosis can [...]