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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Medications

There are 5 different categories of medications that aybe prescribed or suggested by Rheumatologists to assist in the management of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS):

  • Non-Steriod Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) - Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenicac (eg Voltaren), Indomethacin,  Piroxicam, Sulindac & Celecoxib.
  • Disease Modifing Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARDs) Traditional Non-Biological Methotrexate & Sulfasalazine.
  • DMARDs Biological/TNF blockers - Adalimumab, Etanercept, Golimumab & Infliximab.
  • Steriods/Corticosteroids - Prednisone, Prednisolone & Triamcinolone. 
  • Analgesic - Paracetamol, Opiod Analgesics (contains codeine), Tramadol & Morphine

NSAIDs & Steroids are used to reduce inflammation. While Steroids are strong and generally used for short term treatments, NSAIDs are more used for a longet term, though can have side affects.

DMARDs work on the autoimmune system rather then directly on the inflammation. The TNF Blocker DMARDs work better then the Traditional, for spinal specific inflammation.  

Analgesics are used only for pain relief, because they have no anti-inflammatory effects.

Always consult with your Rheumatologist or General Practitioner regarding drugs and supplements to manage your AS or other medical conditions. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Good Grief Process

Throughout the diagnosis process and management process of your AS you, your partner and family & friends will experience grief at & in different stages.

Whether it be yourself having difficulty accepting or understanding the diagnosis, your partner getting frustrated that you can't do the things you used to, or your friends not understanding why you can't attend their dinner after a day's work.

But experiencing grief is normal and a needed process in human psyche. Thus why I call it "The Good Grief Process".

You probably already have come across K├╝bler-Ross' 5 stages of grief. The four stages that can be experienced before the last stage of Acceptance are:
Deniel, Anger, Bargaining & Depression.

They are not necessarily all experienced, nor necessarily in that order. But the needed part is to get to the Acceptance stage. When you, your partner or family are stuck in the previous stages you may need to seek counseling assistance.

Part of the grief process can be actually recognising you are experiencing it in the first place. Actually realising what you are experiencing and how you are reacting, is normal, sometimes helps you move out of that stage.

Are you in one of the four pre-acceptance stages?
Are you experiencing frustration and anger at the Doctors because they can't fix you?
Are you frustrated or upset because you can't do the same things you used to? Or your current medication doesn't seem to be working?

People experience AS in different ways, at different levels. Therapies/Medications/Diets that works for some, may not work for others. But there are a lot of things out there to try, support groups to listen and help, and heaps of research material.

Yes accepting is hard. We aren't in Kansas anymore Toto. We all generally have to adjust our life style and accept we have limitations now. Once we, the AS Shaker, reaches the acceptence stage, we begin to feel we can manage it better. Yes! We might even get to still have a life and enjoy it too!

I will write more on how to help others go through the good grief process.