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For people with RA who feel good today ?

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When you have rheumatoid arthritis, it's important to celebrate your good days as the gifts they are. Try not to look over your shoulder in anticipation of an RA flare. Instead, go forward with the things that help you stay healthy.

Are you continuing to get regular checkups?

Even when you’re on the upswing, it’s important to have regular check-ins with your doctor and continue with your RA medications. After all, they're working! The Arthritis Foundation recommends you see your doctor at least once a year to monitor your RA. Be sure to keep your lab appointments, too. Everyone with RA needs regular blood tests to monitor the disease and possible side effects of treatment.

Are you eating right for RA?

Folic acid, or folate, is a B vitamin that helps lessen the side effects of methotrexate. It’s available in foods like leafy vegetables, beans, and whole grains. You can also take it as a supplement.

Also, make sure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D, especially if you take corticosteroids (like prednisone), which can cause bone loss.

And don't forget about omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish like salmon and tuna. Omega-3s can help your body fight inflammation. Try to eat fish twice a week, or take a fish oil supplement.

Do you protect yourself from flu and other infections?

The drugs used to treat RA can weaken your body’s defenses and increase your risk of infections. Make sure you are vaccinated. Get a flu shot every year. Check with your doctor to find out when you should get vaccines for these other infections:

Are you staying active and fit?

With your doctor’s OK, get 20 to 30 minutes of low-impact aerobic exercise on as many days of the week as you can. Walking, water aerobics, swimming, and bicycling are good joint-friendly exercises. Avoid anything that puts a lot of stress on your joints, such as running. A couple days a week, do some strength training to strengthen the muscles that support your joints. Also a couple of days a week, do stretching to improve flexibility. Take it in moderation, though. Don’t overdo it.

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RA Checklist Challenge

Want to take better care of yourself? See how many things you can check off the list in the next 30 days!

I ordered salmon instead of a burger when I went out to eat today.

I took a walk 5 days this week.

I didn't let my RA stop me from having fun today.

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You Are Not Alone

  • 1.3 million Americans are living with RA.
  • 75% of people with RA are women.
  • 3 in 5 people with RA try to stay active.
  • 91% of people with RA are able to keep working.
  • 3 in 5 patients are satisfied with their doctors.
  • 80% say they hope for new, innovative treatments.
  • 75% want to feel better in 3 months of treatment.
  • 80% want treatment to resume full social lives.
  • 2 out of 3 say friends don't understand their RA.
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