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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ask, And It Will Be Given

"People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have a high risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures, particularly if they are treated with oral steroids such as prednisone. The American College of Rheumatology has issued guidelines for the prevention of steroid-induced osteoporosis, but previous studies have shown that these guidelines are not routinely followed in clinical practice. This study, supported by an Arthritis Foundation grant, was undertaken to help determine how rheumatologists follow recommendations for bone density testing and osteoporosis medications and to obtain information to help improve the quality of osteoporosis management.

The study:
The research team reviewed the medical records of all patients with RA who were seen within a two-month period in a large, academic rheumatology practice. Of the 623 patients with a diagnosisof RA, 236 were taking oral steroids. The treating physician notes, laboratory and imaging tests and medication information were reviewed for a two-year period.

Study results:
The 236 RA patients on oral steroids were treated by 29 rheumatologists. The researchers found that only about 25% of the study patients had the recommended bone density testing or tookcalcium or vitamin D supplements. As well, over half were not receiving any medications to reduce bone loss. Men, premenopausal women, and those with another condition such as heart disease, were less likely to undergo bone density testing or to be prescribed osteoporosis medications.

The relevance to people with arthritis:
This study highlights the importance of continued monitoring of physician practices and patient outcomes. As explained by the lead investigator, Dan Solomon, MD: “Persons with rheumatoid arthritis who also use oral steroids are at a significant risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Effective treatments are available for osteoporosis but they are underused by many physicians. Greater attention to dissemination of information about effective treatments would help alleviate sub-optimal care of steroid-induced osteoporosis.”

My advise: Next time you visit your doctor... ask, ask, ask! Anything that comes to mind, no matter how futile it may seem. You may be glad you did and prevent future health-issues. After all, a doctor is human too and just like me (and you?), can't remember everything:-)

Luke 11:9
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

14 Comments:

Blogger Pilot Mom said...

When I was at my internist last week he told me he wanted me to have another bone density test since I had been on prednisone a number of times this year. (It seems like at least once a year I have to take it--this yr was just a doozy.) So glad to see my doc is on top of things! :)

January 19, 2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Claire:

How are you? I pray you are doing better and your mom too!

I am grateful for your doc as well. It's a consolation to know you are being taken good care off.

God blessed us with my rheumatologist, she is on top of things too. We wouldn't know what to do without her:-)

God's Grace.

January 19, 2006 4:48 PM  
Blogger Pilot Mom said...

Corry, thanks for asking. I'm doing better and mom is about 2 weeks behind me. However, my ankles and legs have swollen a LOT! So, I've been off of them, keeping them elevated and he changed my diuretic, so I hope it helps soon. Other than that I am improving every day.

January 19, 2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Claire:

I guess our comments crossed. I was just on your blog:-)

One thing after another, huh? I hope it will help soon and you will be back on your feet, literally:-)
Your mom still got some ways to go. May God bless her with a quick recovery. And you as well!

God's Grace.

January 19, 2006 5:06 PM  
Blogger An Ordinary Christian said...

God bless you.

January 19, 2006 7:51 PM  
Blogger Lenise said...

My (now retired) rheumatologist would often mention the bone-density side effects of steroids when I was having problems, and we almost always decided I could do without, since I've got a long time ahead of me to accumulate steroid damage (Lord willing!). Of course, I'm on prednisone now for my rash... one more day!

January 19, 2006 9:23 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Andea:

Thank you so much:-)
God bless you and yours as well. We keep praying for y'all.

Lenise:

Keep it in mind though. Better safe then sorry. Oh...and FIND YOURSELF A RHEUMATOLOGIST!!! (grin)

Girl, I pray you get well soon.

God's Grace.

January 19, 2006 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My advice is that talk to your rheumatologist about the drug Enbrel. I know it has drastically changed many people's lives in facing RA.

January 19, 2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Anonymous:

Thanks for the visit and your comment and advice is highly appreciated.

Enbrel, Humira and Remicade were all discussed and I even compared them here.
I am sure all of them work for the best and make a significant difference in the lives of people with RA. If it is feasable, health-insurance wise, then I would definitely recommend everyone with RA to at least try one of them.

God's Grace.

January 20, 2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Gina Burgess said...

Thank you, Corry, for this advice. It will prove so valuable, I'm sure!

January 20, 2006 1:36 PM  
Blogger Corry said...

Gina:

I hope so!
Even if it was already known, a reminder is always useful:-)

God' Grace.

January 20, 2006 2:24 PM  
Blogger audrey` said...

May our Almighty Father comfort you Corry.
Please take care.
Love You!

January 21, 2006 2:54 AM  
Blogger Pia said...

when i was pregnant last year, i was asked to take prednisone to contain the lupus i was diagnosed with. my calcium intake was increased to avoid the risk of osteoperosis. when i was seven, i was diagnosed to have arthritis. i have had the habit of asking questions when i'm prescribed whatever medecine before i take it.

you're always in my prayer, mamu.

God bless.

January 21, 2006 7:31 AM  
Blogger Corry said...

Audrey:

Thanks girl, you are so sweet:-)
Yes, I will take care and God already blessed me with y'all!

Pia:

Sorry to hear all that girl, but I am grateful they took good care of you.
I think it's a good habit to ask for what you need/want to know, after all it's your body and your health.

We keep praying for you too and we are happy for you and Jec to be together again, even if it is not where and how you expected but God works in mysterious ways:-)

Love you, girl!

God's Grace.

January 21, 2006 1:56 PM  

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