Rheumatoid Arthritis and COPD

Rheumatoid Arthritis and COPD

NRAS has been asked to produce an article for the Guardian newspaper winter supplement looking at the impact of winter climate on rheumatoid arthritis.

The supplement will primarily be focusing on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) but they would like to include a feature on RA due to the comorbidity link between the two conditions, and also because many people talk about the effect cold weather has on their RA.

Any article we produce is always better when it is backed up by a case study showing the personal side of the story so if you have both RA and COPD and have a story to tell about how they have impacted on your life then please let me know - andrew@nras.org.uk.

This is a great opportunity to help raise awareness of RA and demonstrate that it is an autoimmune disease, not old age wear and tear, and that it has a far greater impact than most people think.

15 Replies

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  • Hi, so glad RA is going to get more exposure. Seems a shame if the article sticks rigidly to RA as other forms of inflammatory arthritis seem to impact on lives in just the same way and factors such as weather seem to affect IA sufferers generally in similar ways too. As an RA charity are you able to at least mention PsA etc.?

  • I agree with you feather. Also so glad that other conditions relating to RA getting prime exposure.

    PsA. Top of the list.

  • While I agree that the focus should be on inflammatory arthritis it wouldn't do to frighten the media off when they show interest by giving them too many different initials at this stage would it Christina? All the good publicity might go down the drain if they are bombarded with the various forms of IA at this stage - especially as the focus of the article is on COPD ? After all you are using a site with RA in it's title and are happy to see RA as the main umbrella disease here. If people in the press do appear to know a bit more than we expect them to then this would be the time to add detail and provide initials and info about the various inflammatory diseases under the arthritis label surely?

    Incidentally Arthritis Care already does this job of umbrella organisation for the various diseases so perhaps we shouldn't put too much onto NRAS each time there is press interest in RA. I feel sure that all publicity for RA will help the other less common forms of inflammatory arthriits too. Perhaps just describing them all as Rheumatoid Autoimmune Diseases is the best solution in the long term though? Tilda

  • I was just thinking along the lines of a single sentence that educates in passing e.g. 'the coming of winter can aggravate the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis and, indeed of other forms of inflammatory arthritis such as Psoriatic Arthritis...' Just to show that RA is not the one & only as many people think it is (myself included till recently.)

  • Andrew I have had RA since the age of 7 (now in my 40's) and diagnosed with interstitial lung disease a few years ago which is all linked to the RA. The cold weather affects me in more ways than one. I certainly have a story to tell if you need one!

  • Hi! Gilliam. That would be great. Could you send me an email - andrew@nras.org.uk - saying a little bit more about how the cold weather affects you. Many thanks!

  • HI GILLIAM.LIKE YOU I HAVE HAD RA OVER THIS PAST 20YRS.ALSO JUST DIAGNOSED 3WKS AGO WTH COPD LIKE YOU I COULD ALSO TELL A STORY ALL REL TO RA.........

  • Problem with this site which destroyed my reply just now. This will be brief but contact me if you want more. Bad weather, slippery pavements means I stay in as I'm afraid of falling and breaking a bone. Broken bones could compromise my anti tnf treatment. So I lack exercise and fresh air during winter

  • Hi! Cathie. That's actually a very interesting point worth mentioning in the article. Could you also send me an email - andrew@nras.org.uk - talking about how you have to stay indoors to avoid the risk of falling and the possible consequences if you were to go out and fall. Many thanks!

  • i have both my other reply didnt go through the weather affects terribly even from hot then to drop a few degrees is awfull feet wrapped up all time last year with copd the winter absolutley knoked me for six on both counts the pain and the difficulty breathing was scary very scary

  • Hi Andrew

    Good the media are focusing on respiratory disease and inflammatory arthritis. I would have been very happy to help, but as this article is restricted to RA and I have inflammatory arth without the r factor and Bronchiectasis and not copd, I guess that counts me out.

    Hope you get a good response.

    X

  • When investigating COPD it would appear that smoking can be a main cause, and health may improve if people abstain.

    Fibsosing alveolitis is associated with RA and I feel very strongly that this should be made clear as the inflamation in the lungs reduces elasticity and as the name implies makes the lungs fibrous like a dried sponge instead of soft like a damp sponge so gas exchange is much reduced.. (Talking natural sponge here)

  • HAVE TO DISAGREE WTH YOU.I HAVE HAD REALLY SEV.RA OVER THIS PAST 20YRS NOW TRIED ALL THE TREATMENTS BIOLS DRUGA AS WELL.NOTHING HAS WORKED.NOW ON HIGH DOES OF STERIODS.TO SE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN .I AM A NO SMOKER..MY DRUDS OR RA HAS CAUSED THIS .SO IT IS A REAL NASTY ILLNESS.OF WHICH I WISH SOMEONE WOULD FINE A CURE???????????????

  • i have copd and was diagnosed sept last i alo have rheumatoid athritis . the cold weather is excruciating for me ,even from hot to a few degrees drop i feel it bad ,and if the humidity is high also .i struggled in the cold last winter with the breathing vary scary indeed i had stopped smoking and still have and am just about to start pulmanory rehab next week hope this helps , the weather is a definate factor and damp , my husband took me away on the nolfolk broads been many times before but this times i was in agony ,too near the damp i expect would go agian good luck with all you do x#

  • I was suffering with COPD but my breathlessness got worse and I could hardly walk 5 yards before I was coughing so badly I was unable to move for over half an hour. I have had Rha for over 40 years and had half a lung removed 8 years ago. I was too ill even to talk, walk or even move from my chair for ages. Everything made me cough and wheeze. I went to my GP who was so concerned he wanted me to go to hospital. I couldn't do s I would have nothing of the things I needed around me to have a less than terrible day. He referred me to a chest clinic and despite everything they did they could not find an answer. They suggested that it could be a digestive problem. They prescribed morphine so, what with one thing and another I was discharged from the clinic. I still have the same problem but I try to do the things that lessen it. I rest when it gets too bad but I still didn't know what I had. Iam bemused that a chest clinic would or could not put the two things together and vaguley annoyed at the outcome. I do feel that I shouldn't ahve been discharged until they had found a cause but they stuck with indigestion so I didn't fight it. Now I know that I am not aloone, thank you.

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