February 2nd marks the fourth annual Rheumatoid Awareness Day -- established by RPF in 2013 as a way to spread facts and increase awareness of what rheumatoid disease really is. With so many misconceptions and myths perpetuated by the media, and with a common name of rheumatoid "arthritis," it can be difficult to break through with the truth about RD. For Rheumatoid Awareness Day this year, we have chosen seven facts to help show the world what The Real Rheumatoid Disease looks like -- not the way it's portrayed on TV ads or in the media -- but what it's like for real people. To that end, we are challenging you to help us show #TheRealRD to the world. We've included the facts below along with simple images that can be easily shared on social media. Help us spread the word and use the hashtag #TheRealRD when posting on social media.
The Real RD Blog Challenge!
If you have a blog -- whether it's health related or not -- we are challenging you to take things a step further, to pick one fact and write a blog post about it -- sharing how the fact relates to your own story or a loved one's story of living with Rheumatoid Disease. Use the hashtag #TheRealRD and let's take the blog world by storm! If you don't have a blog, but would like to contribute - send us your story via email and we can post it here on our blog for you. Choose one of the facts below to serve as a writing prompt and we encourage you to use and share the images, as well:
1. Rheumatoid Disease is not a type of arthritis; arthritis is just one symptom.
RD is a systemic disease related to immune function that can affect any part of the body including the heart, lungs, eyes, skin or joints.
2. Available treatments are not adequate for many people with moderate to severe Rheumatoid Disease.
About 1/3 of patients don't respond to available biological disease modifying drugs.
3. Rheumatoid Disease is different in each person -- and even in the same person over time.
Some people experience constant pain; some have a series of "flares" and periods of lower disease activity. Symptoms can vary greatly from day to day.
4. RA Research is severely underfunded in the U.S.
RD is funded at about 1/12th the per-patient rate of similar diseases with comparable impact.
5. Rheumatoid Disease is often an invisible illness.
Just because someone with RD looks good doesn't mean he or she feels good.
6. Early, aggressive disease treatment has been shown to provide the best outcomes.
Those whose disease has been treated early have the best chance at achieving remission or low disease activity.
7. Remission is rare. Pain is not.
Remission rates have been reported as low as 6% in the average clinical environment. Most people with RD experience pain every day.