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  • Writer's pictureValerie Smith, APRN

A Shout-Out to Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month!

September is Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month and we want to join together with you to raise awareness about this important topic.

Rheumatic diseases are life-changing. Receiving a rheumatic disease diagnosis is a difficult experience and can create feelings of anxiety, anger, and even grief. If you have been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease, you know that gut-wrenching feeling all too well.

Rheumatic diseases are far-reaching. Maybe you live with a rheumatic disease, or perhaps you have a friend, partner, son, or daughter that has been diagnosed with a rheumatic disease. With rheumatic diseases becoming more and more common, most of us have been impacted by a rheumatic disease in one way or another.

Rheumatic diseases are relentless. Living with a rheumatic disease interrupts life. It is a constant battle of managing symptoms - symptoms that must be monitored to be able to track disease progression. Even then, flare-ups will still occur, creating times of pain and stress.

Rheumatic diseases are prevalent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “About 1 in 4 US adults (23.7%) or about 58.5 million people have doctor-diagnosed arthritis … By the year 2040, an estimated 78.4 million adults aged 18 years and older (25.9% of the projected total adult population) will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis.”

Rheumatic diseases are expensive. The CDC states: “In 2013, the national arthritis-attributable medical costs were $140 billion … Total national arthritis-attributable lost wages were $164 billion in 2013.”

Rheumatic diseases are lifelong. While following a treatment plan is a critical component of managing a rheumatic disease, it won’t cure a rheumatic disease. Rheumatic diseases go through periods of activity and remission, but never disappear entirely.

In the month of September, we extend a challenge to share with others how a rheumatic disease has affected your life.

Raising awareness about rheumatic diseases can be as simple as talking with family and friends about your experience living with a rheumatic disease.

You can also consider raising awareness in other ways too.

  • Create a social media post about Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month

  • Join a support group to connect with others impacted by rheumatic diseases

  • Participate in studies or clinical trials that research rheumatic diseases

  • Donate funds to an organization that supports rheumatic disease awareness

  • Show care and concern for a friend or family member living with a rheumatic disease

  • Advocate for government policies, health coverage, and workplace accommodations that better support individuals managing a rheumatic disease

  • Encourage others living with rheumatic diseases to share their experiences

Let’s raise awareness about rheumatic diseases!

Also, if you need help managing your rheumatic disease, we are here for you.

Our healthcare team is committed to providing individualized care focused on the specific needs of our patients.

Send in a physician referral, then give us a call at 270-408–6100 to set up your new patient appointment.

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