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A local group of the National Rheumatoid  Arthritis Society


16th July 2015 - Self Help forum - Group discussion on living with RA

It had been some time since our previous ‘group forum’ type meeting so, this month we shared our experiences of living with RA. There were a number of examples given… disappointment with the prescription ordering and collection service from their chemist, rheumatoid nodules, biologics and the problems these bring, opening bottles, PIP process. An interesting topic was that raised by one attendee was their decision to manage their RA through diet rather than prescription medicines. This was met with extreme interest from those at the meeting with consideration as a topic for a future meeting. Thanks to all those who attended and their participation. See you at our next meeting.

19th March 2015 - Guest Speaker - Dr H Sari-Kouzel, Consultant Rheumatologist - The use of Ultrasound in RA

An interesting insight on how ultrasound is becoming a new tool for the early diagnosis of RA.

Dr H Sari-Kouzel, Consultant Rheumatologist, here on the Fylde coast,  described how it can be used, primarily for the smaller joints of the body, especially in the hands and feet.

It will be used, initially as a tool, to aid in the early diagnosis of RA. Just like the ‘scan’ that prospective mothers have of their baby, it will give an image of the inflammation or damage to the smaller joints of the body, that it is currently unavailable with present technology.

Its new within the area of RA, and whilst it was envisaged its use will become common, it is still early days and the training required in its use was great for both consultants and nursing staff.

A question and answer session followed.

Thank you doctor for this insight in how new technology may help all new RA patients in the early diagnosis of this disease..

19th March 2015 - Guest Speakers - Vicky, Occupational Therapist and Angela, Nurse Practitioner - Self management of RA

Vicky and Angela gave us an interesting talk, explaining about RA and the effects of the disease on our joints and body. Angela explained about the wide variety drugs - from pain relief medicines to the latest biologic drugs - and Vicky stressed the importance of taking our prescribed medication regularly. She went on to explain and educate us on how, in our everyday lives, we can make small changes that would help us to protect our joints from daily tasks. An example was in holding a cup - by supporting the cup in the flat palm of of our other hand, the joints of our fingers holding the handle of the cup would be under reduced strain. An important message from the talk was the need for us all to ‘listen to our body’ - not to ‘do it all in one day’, but to take time and plenty of rest between tasks. There was no point in doing all the hoovering in one go and then suffering the rest of the week with ‘flare ups’ and tiredness.

An important message we need to heed. Vicky and Angela answered a variety of questions raised and were then thanked for their helpful talk by our group coordinator, Lyn.

15th January 2015 - Guest Speaker - Dr S Jones - Consultant Rheumatologist - Development in RA

Dr Jones’s talk to our group was about the Developments in RA. Dr Jones informed the group that he had attended, in September 2014, the worlds largest convention on RA , The American College of Rheumatology conference, held in Boston. With 25,000 attendees from across the world, it was the leading event on RA. With lots of presentations available, Dr Jones was spoilt for choice day and evening on the speakers he wished to hear. One of the presentations he attended was on the development of the world first line therapy drug for RA, Methotrexate. Designed in the early 1950’s, it was originally designed for the treatment of child Leukaemia. Then further developed for the treatment of Psoriasis, it eventually became, in lower doses, effective in the treatment of auto-immune diseases, including RA.

There was a lot more scientific detail in Dr Jones presentation, but it helped us to have a better understanding of how newer drugs, including biologics, over a period of time, sometimes by accident, to become effective in the fight against RA.

There was so much information in Dr Jones presentation, that we will be asking him to come back and speak with the group soon, to continue this topic. - One not to miss!

After answering questions, Lyn thanked Dr Jones for his talk and the group showed their appreciation.

20th November 2014 - BADRAG 4th Birthday

Has it been four years since BADRAG was formed? We have had so many interesting and informative speakers to our meetings. So for this months meeting, we had a ‘Birthday Party’. With bingo, raffle, nibbles and plenty of our friends and supporters, the evening was a great success. With the donations and participation in our raffles, our friends and supporters have allowed us as a group to make a donation to NRAS that allows them to continue their support to all those living with RA, now and in the future.

See pictures from the party by clicking here and do come along to our meetings in 2015.

17th September 2014 - Guest Speaker - Sue McAusland - Podiatrist - Podiatry & the treatment of RA

This was the second visit to our meetings for Sue and once again she gave another informative talk on how podiatry can provide help to those with RA. With guidelines set by NICE, the Podiatry team follow the ‘Doing the right thing, To the right patient, In the right way, At the right time’. With an explanation of how RA affects the feet, Sue went on to explain how the expertise of the Podiatry team can help those of us with RA.. From the help available from the team, to what makes a ‘good’ shoe, the information provided in her talk was really useful. Sue then explained if we needed the help from the Podiatry team, then how to make contact with them. Sue then answered many questions from the group and gave practical demonstration of how to select the correct size of footware.

Thank you Sue for providing another interesting talk. Have a look at her presentation by clicking here.

17th July 2014 - Guest Speaker - Helen Jones - Pharmacist - Your RA Drugs

Helen was joined with Emma and gave us a most interesting talk on the drugs used by those with RA. Pain relief medication and how they should be taken and the effect on the body. Drugs prescribed for the management of RA, from Gold through to the newest biologic drugs. Why is Folic Acid prescribed when on Methotrexate? Why you should not mix certain drugs? How did Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate become to be used in the treatment of RA. What are the side effects of Sulfasalazine or Codine, based drugs? How do we report unexpected side effects? These questions were answered in a most informative and down-to-earth talk. Helen and Emma did a good job of putting across, in an easily understood manner, a difficult scientific topic. Pharmacy is definitely a talk to have again in the future. So do keep an eye out on our calendar of events for Helen’s return visit. Thank you Helen and Emma.


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