Rheumatoid Arthritis: Stuff you should know

Our book, Stuff You Should Know about Rheumatoid Arthritis, is intended as a resource to help you understand what your rheumatology team is thinking. 
And perhaps, one that will better help you appreciate aspects of rheumatoid arthritis so you can have better conversations about your management with family, friends and your health support team.
On this page, we’ve collated the links to the posts highlighted in the book, which attracted answers and comments from readers, many of whom also have chronic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. We think you’ll find these comments enriching.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis is

How would you explain what rheumatoid arthritis is? In terms that I can understand and comprehend.

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Rheumatoid arthritis doesn't need to start with hands Rheumatoid doesn't need to start with hands

Rheumatoid Arthritis can start in many joints. The forefeet, typically at the metatarsophalangeal joints, is a common area. Where did your RA start?

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12 ways rheumatoid arthritis hurts you 12 ways rheumatoid arthritis hurts you

Like most of the autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis has wider, systemic effects.  It’s not just a joint problem. The disease itself can cause other symptoms, apart from joint pain, swelling & tenderness.

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Fatigue in rheumatology? What to do about overwhelming fatigue in rheumatology?

It's fair to say that most of us rheumatologists find it very hard to deal with the fatigue our patients have to deal with.  As a result, many of us tend not to ask about it or we gloss over it.  And yet, for our patients, it's often a very major issue.

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Diagnosing rheumatoid through ultrasound Will a pretty picture change your mind about your rheumatoid?

Once you diagnose a patient, it can be difficult to highlight why treatment is necessary. Ultrasound machines are a powerful tool for this.

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Rheumatoid arthritis education window Rheumatoid arthritis and the window of opportunity

All rheumatologists need a good follow-up system for patients who don't return. Failing to have one puts them at risk of rheumatoid progression.

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Methotrexate Ridiculous things said about methotrexate

Methotrexate is a serious drug and doctors will only prescribe it when the potential benefits outweigh the risks. This makes misguided information from well-intentioned friends and family an issue for patients.

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Methotrexate chemical compound How I prescribe Methotrexate step-by-step

Here are the key things I say to patients when prescribing Methotrexate. I continue to write about Methotrexate to demystify and debunk myths.

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Methotrexate chemical compound Arthritis treatment: 6 reasons why I stop Methotrexate

Methotrexate is considered the cornerstone for effective treatment of rheumatoid athritis. However, not everyone can tolerate it. 

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Time for Action Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: WHEN is more important than WHAT

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment makes a huge difference to a patient's life. This is true for both the short and long term.

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Thinking to choose Rheumatoid arthritis treatment: How do you choose biologics?

Every patient response varies with different therapies.
Here are some factors we take into account when prescribing.

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DMARDs and biologic medication If you need to fail two DMARDs before going onto a biologic, is that not missing the window of opportunity?

Effective treatment has a better success rate during the early periods of rheumatoid arthritis onset. Whilst there are treatment limitations by the Australian system, good results are achievable.

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Biologic DMARDs medication Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment: Can we use biologic DMARDs early then take them away?

A durable remission following medication withdrawal remains a holy grail in treatment. This trial could pave the way for us to use biologic DMARDs more strategically.

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Biologic DMARDs medication Rheumatoid Arthritis treatment: Biologic DMARDs have to get cheaper: here's how

The debate about Triple Therapy vs Methotrexate exists due to cost disparities. These price headwinds which can close the gap. 

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Balancing Rheumatoid arthritis treatment: Balancing odds of drug working vs chance of side effects

Any treatment decision is a balance between the probability of a good result vs the possibility of a side effect. The statistics behind 'success' rates are not black and white - there are many gray areas for consideration.

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Needle Injection What to do for that TNF-inhibitor injection site reaction?

These are the strategies patients should use if they experience rashes from treatment.

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Dream goals and vision for achievement I can't cure Rheumatoid Arthritis but here's what we'll achieve

Today's treatments can achieve improved outcomes for rheumatoid arthritis patients. And they'll continue to improve.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Resources

Rheumatoid Arthritis Explained

For those who prefer to learn by videos, Dr Irwin Lim has a Youtube channel explaining Rheumatoid Arthritis A-Z. 

Learn more about Rheumatoid Arthritis from our videos

Third Party Resources

Rheumatoid Arthritis Xplained Rheumatoid Arthritis Xplained

An illustrated flip-through story explaining rheumatoid arthritis.

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Empowered banner Empowered.org

More detailed videos including stories of people living with inflammatory arthritis.

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Giving Voice book Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood

A great book on this difficult subject.

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