Rheumatoid Arthritis Isn’t Really Arthritis. And Other Things You Didn’t Know About RA
When you hear the word arthritis, what do you think of?
Many of you probably associate that word with the type of arthritis that affects the cartilage and joints. This is Osteoarthritis—a common form of arthritis found in older adults. What many people don’t know is that arthritis comes in many forms, over 100 of them actually.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an often misunderstood form of arthritis, even though it affects nearly 1.5 million Americans. In fact, some are even arguing to have it renamed Rheumatoid Disease, because common arthritis is really just a symptom of RA. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the joints and other parts of the body. RA can cause -
- Arthritis pain
- Brain fog
- Skin rashes
- Digestive problems
Living with RA can be incredibly difficult. Pain and swelling in the joints make everyday tasks, such as climbing the stairs or retrieving a package from the mailbox, feel impossible.
Fortunately, as more people are being educated about what RA really is, and what it isn’t, awareness of the disease is growing and, therefore, so is community support for those who are suffering. In 2016, the American College of Rheumatology even named September the official Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month, giving those who suffer a bigger voice, and helping distinguish RA from other arthritic diseases.
One way we here at HYDRALIEFTM are doing our part in raising awareness about RA, is by helping with a common, though often overlooked, symptom of the disease: Dry Mouth. Dry Mouth, or Xerostomia, occurs when the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva. Chronic Dry Mouth can make it difficult to chew, swallow and digest food. It can also lead to a number of oral health issues like gingivitis and tooth decay.
Things like prescription medication and the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome can both cause Dry Mouth in those diagnosed with RA.
Prescription Medications and RA
More than 500 prescription medications can cause Dry Mouth. Because most RA patients are on medications to either suppress their immune system that is attacking their joints, or to manage a number of other symptoms that come with having RA, they are at an increased risk for getting Dry Mouth.
Sjögren’s Syndrome and RA
If you have been diagnosed with RA, you could also develop an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s syndrome. Sjögren’s is a chronic, autoimmune, inflammatory disease that damages moisture-producing glands, and can lead to a variety of symptoms. The most prominent of these symptoms is chronic dry eyes and Dry Mouth due to damage in the tear ducts and saliva-producing glands.
Whether Dry Mouth is caused by prescription medications or potentially Sjögren’s syndrome, it’s important for RA patients to consult with their physician if they’re experiencing Dry Mouth so that it doesn’t lead to further health complications.
We created HYDRALIEFTM with those who suffer from autoimmune diseases like RA and Sjögren’s in mind. In fact, some of our first case studies were with Sjögren’s patients! Our line of Dry Mouth products conditions the mouth and helps promote healthy saliva flow—something no other Dry Mouth product on the market can do. It’s a small way we can help RA patients get through their day with one less health concern.
As of now, RA is a chronic disease; There is no “cure.” But scientific advancements are greatly improving the quality of life for RA patients, allowing them to live more normal lives and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. We hope HYDRALIEFTM will become a daily part of RA patients’ lives who suffer from Dry Mouth, not only providing comfort for their symptoms but helping improving their overall health.
For more information about HYDRALIEFTM and our products, visit our web-page here.
For more information about RA, visit the American College of Rheumatology at rheumatology.org.