Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 29 Mar, 2017
Author/Blogger Reggie Simpson
  • 06 Dec, 2015

A High Risk Foot Issue

If you’ve been suffering with the joints in your feet, these may be indicative of a more serious underlying issue, such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a condition that results in your body’s immune system weakening and turning on itself. As a result, your immune system will produce substances that attack your joints rather than protect them, resulting in inflammation, discomfort and pain.

The symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis may include joint pain, general stiffness, swelling, tiredness, fever, loss of appetite and/or sudden weight loss.

What are the known causes of the condition?

While the exact cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is currently unknown, there are a number of factors that place certain individuals at higher risk of developing the condition.

Some may find that they are genetically more likely to experience it throughout their lifetime while others have developed it after exposure to certain chemical or environmental triggers.

What makes Rheumatoid Arthritis a high-risk issue?

There are several risk factors that can lead to the development of Rheumatoid Arthritis - as well as being genetic in many cases, so it’s important to take notice of these and keep track of your joints to catch the condition developing in its early stages.

Factors include:

•   Gender. Women are more likely to develop the condition.

•   Age. It occurs mostly in those aged 40 – 60.

•   Family history.

•   Poor environmental factors. By living an unhealthy lifestyle, you are at higher risk of developing health conditions as a whole, including RA.

What preventative measures can be taken to lower the risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis?

There are currently no preventative measures that can be taken to directly prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis; it is worth considering the risk factors involved.

While some people may be genetically predetermined to develop Rheumatoid Arthritis, others may find that simple lifestyle changes can lessen the risk of developing the condition.

Smoking, for example, is a known risk factor, so that’s yet another reason to try giving up if you haven’t already.

How can people who already have the condition properly deal with the effects?

There is no cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis; however, there are things sufferers can do to make the impact of the disease more manageable.

By getting support from health professionals, medication, supportive treatments or surgery, it is possible to reduce inflammation and significantly alleviate pain, slow damage to the joints, improve mobility and enable you to live a healthy lifestyle.

If you are at risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis or have noticed any changes in your feet that may be a sign of the condition, it’s important to pay your podiatrist a visit as soon as possible for an evaluation. They’ll be able to suggest the best method of treatment and ongoing care to ensure your health and comfort.

Contact Betafeet Podiatry today to book your appointment and take a step towards healthier joints.
By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( www.renniegrove.org ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: http://www.renniegrove.org/support/our-shops/online-shop/page/2/ .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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