Monday, August 10, 2009

Is This the Best Time to Have Rheumatoid Arthritis? Part 3: Response to RA Mortality Gap

How should we respond to the mortality gap?

Responding seriously

Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease. The progressive toll it takes upon vital organs is well documented. Science Daily: “Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with a high risk of early death.” Rheumatoid Arthritis requires the same serious response as breast cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Response by physicians

Physicians should not neglect to follow up symptoms in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients because they are “chronically” ill and have many ailments. RA-ers may be viewed as having recurrent and persistent complaints. Health care providers can begin to view them as whiners and neglect to investigate every complaint. However, high blood pressure, anemia, osteoporosis, and pneumonia are just as critical in patients who already plagued with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Response by everyone

At this point, there is so little general knowledge about Rheumatoid Arthritis that RA-ers themselves must go through a period of learning about RA after diagnosis so that they can pursue proper treatment. Family members and society in general must also be educated about RA and the needs of those who have it. Too often, there are no modifications of expectations for those who are suddenly disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis. That can make it difficult for RA-ers to obtain the assistance that they need.

Responding with research

Rheumatoid Arthritis also requires the same serious research attention as breast cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Here are a few suggestions to use research to fight the Mortality Gap and make this a truly better time to live if you have Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Research ought to begin with a focus upon actual patients.

  • The target of most research ought to be a cure instead of symptom improvement.

  • The other goal of research should be learning to recognize early Rheumatoid Arthritis so that it can be diagnosed at an earlier stage.

Post blog personal note: I was thinking, it’s not like we hold anyone hostage and make these ransom demands. In fact, we are the ones who are held hostage – by RA! We feel pretty helpless. I also remember that Jesus said our response to the least in our world represents of our response to him.

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