Arthritis Pain Relief Update (cont.)

MEMBER QUESTION:
I am 57 and have had RA for over 12 years. I am currently on no meds and exercise regularly. Can you mention any solutions to the ever-present fatigue?

KLIPPEL:
That's a very interesting question, particularly in RA. Fatigue, or simply being exhausted or running out of energy early, is a common complaint with this disease. In general, the fatigue is a marker of the activity of the arthritis, and one often finds that better drug treatment of the arthritis results in improvement of the fatigue. I think it's also important, particularly for someone with progressive fatigue to make certain that there is not another explanation for the fatigue. Typical examples might include hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone) or anemia or low blood count, both of which can be seen in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

"We very much appreciate the interest and the Arthritis Foundation is here to help and better serve every man, woman and child in this country with arthritis."

MODERATOR:
How effective are NSAID creams?

KLIPPEL:
There continues to be controversy about the use of NSAID creams in arthritis. These are available in other countries, particularly European countries. However they are not available in this country.

MODERATOR:
On the Arthritis Foundation web site, do you have a listing of scams people should watch out for or avoid?

KLIPPEL:
We actually, on the web site, attempt to provide people with information that will make them better consumers of health care. We've been particularly proactive in the role of informing people about drugs, so annually we offer an updated drug guide. The 2005 drug guide was just produced last month. We are also very active in educating the consumer about alternative therapies, so people can find what we hope is useful information on the web site as well as publications from the Arthritis Foundation.

MODERATOR:
We are almost out of time, Dr. Klippel. Before we wrap things up for today, do you have any final words for us?

KLIPPEL:
We very much appreciate the interest and the Arthritis Foundation is here to help and better serve every man, woman and child in this country with arthritis. Thanks for the interesting questions and I hope everyone has benefited from the questions. Thank you.

MODERATOR:
Our thanks to John H. Klippel, MD, for joining us today. And thanks to you, members, for your great questions. I'm sorry we couldn't get to all of them.



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