Rheumatoid arthritis can be a devastating disease. We don’t know why or how people get the autoimmune disease but we do know that it’s difficult to adapt to lifestyle changes forced by the symptoms of inflammation, pain and stiffness. You may feel incredibly alone in the period leading up to and immediately after diagnosis. No one else knows what it feels like, your family and friends may not even know much about the disease and what it could mean for your life. With many other people affected by rheumatoid arthritis, you aren’t alone—so don’t face it alone. With an increasingly social digital world, the connection is at your fingertips. You can discuss with others, learn from someone else’s experience, and read others’ stories whenever you need a reminder that you aren’t alone.
Rheumatologists are experts on rheumatoid arthritis. They know the ins and outs of treatments and medications for rheumatoid arthritis. They can address your concerns from a place of knowledge and offer you some valuable advice in how to manage and live with the disease.
In our digital age, there are all kinds of accessible methods of support for people living with rheumatoid arthritis. If you’re old-fashioned, there are in-person support group meetings. Talk to your rheumatologist who can put you in touch with local support groups in your area. Blogs can provide education and can also give you an inside look at what the disease looks like for other people. Some of Healthline’s favorites include Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior and All Flared Up: An Arthritis Blog. There are numerous apps to check out as well with tools like MyRA to help you track your symptoms with your Apple or Android device in order to show your doctor exactly what you’ve been going through. RheumaTrack allows you to monitor your rheumatism by logging pain levels and includes a helpful timer to remind you when to take your medication. The experts at Arthritis Foundation created app Track + React which helps you track pain levels in relation to diet, exercise, sleep , nd other activities. Facebook features numerous rheumatoid arthritis support groups which can be a wonderful resource in connecting individuals who live with the disease as well as loved ones looking for insight and answers. Squeaky Joints, Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis Forum are some good ones. With numerous posts each day with topics ranging widely, it’s a great way to feel supported in your experience.
The Arthritis Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of people with arthritis. They host an online community called RA Connect which includes a forum where you can discuss, share, and learn about the disease.
Learn more about the disease, lifestyle suggestions, and current advances in treatment. Arthritis Today is a magazine available digitally or in print. Arthritis & Rheumatology is an academic journal offering research and review articles. The Rheumatologist is published monthly and offers a look at research and treatment options.