My colleagues and I on the NRAS helpline come on here regularly to check the posts to see if there’s any useful information that we can add. In looking at some recent posts, we are a little concerned about some of the questions that are being asked on here, which are basically asking for advice on very specific medical queries.
Responses on this forum can be extremely useful in offering support and reassurance and discussing personal experiences or answering general queries, but questions of a more medical nature (especially if it’s a very specific query) should always be directed to a healthcare professional, and ideally to your own healthcare team (such as GP, rheumatologist or rheumatology nurse).
As you will probably have seen to the right of the posts on here, the guidelines state that: ‘Content on this site does not replace the relationship between you and doctors or other healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them.’ It is important when phrasing a question to remember that this forum is used by patients, rather than healthcare professionals so answers will be based on their experiences, and this may not be relevant to your own personal situation. With this in mind, if for example you were concerned about a medication that had been prescribed, it would be better to ask about other people’s experiences of this medication rather than to ask people if the medication is safe.
On the whole, where medical queries have been posted, the responses have been worded with care and consideration, and they usually suggest seeking medical advice. However, unfortunately this is not always the case.
Talking about your personal experiences is important and we encourage this, but please bear in mind the individual nature of RA and encourage people to talk to their health professionals about their concerns.
I hope this all makes sense. Overall the questions, blogs and responses are all very positive and supportive, and we hope this will continue. If you have any questions about the above, please feel free to contact me either by replying to this post or sending a private message if you prefer.