Don’t Take Those Meds for RA or Juvenile Arthritis

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funny pillsThere is often pressure upon patients with rheumatological diseases to not use current disease treatments. This type of pressure is less common for patients with other serious diseases such as diabetes or cancer. We all try to laugh about our sister-in-law who insists we’d be better off with cherry juice than a disease modifying drug. But it can get more significant than that.

  • An RA patient recently said her dentist told her to try a more natural treatment for RA.
  • One massage therapist swears that the best treatment for RA is “Tylenol Arthritis.”
  • When my MD was out of town, his fill-in tried to convince me to quit trying different biologics and take an anti-depressant instead.

Then there is the article by Dr. Lee on Juvenile Arthritis in the Santa Ynez Valley News which was passed around last week via Facebook and Twitter. Dr. Lee has several interesting theories about the causes and treatments of Juvenile Arthritis.

Here are some things Dr. Lee says may cause Juvenile Arthritis:

  1. Stress, anger, medications, emotional problems, drinking, or drugs during conception or gestation.
  2. “Negative response to the child’s conception.”
  3. “Parent’s imbalanced energy being passed to the baby.”
  4. “The proper weather on the day of conception plays a part.”
  5. Radiation from electricity, poor nutrition, or pollution in the household.

And here are some things Dr. Lee says can treat Juvenile Arthritis:

  1. “Best treatment is daily massage, better nutrition, reduced stress… added love.”
  2. “Parents and baby should play games.”
  3. Joint exercises and heating the affected areas.
  4. “Positive thinking also plays a big role in the speedy outgrowing of JRA.”

Other errors about Juvenile Arthritis in the Lee article

  1. JRA is usually temporary.
  2. JRA disappears due to the strengthening of the child’s immune system.

As a mom of a JRA patient (with several complex diagnoses), Danielle wrote a good rebuttal, Addressing the Inaccuracies. However, since this article by Dr. Lee is only one example, I think this problem goes farther than Juvenile Arthritis. I believe that more progress will be made in treating these rheum diseases when there is greater understanding about what they really are. None of these diagnoses are the patients’ or the parents’ fault. None of them are preventable, curable, or are easily treated.

Kick-off for Rheum Blog Carnival #3

Not only as a response to the statements of Dr. Lee, but also as a general statement about the need for acceptance and availability of current and even new medical treatments for rheumatological conditions, this will be the topic of the next blog carnival to be posted February 25, 2011. NOTE: Carnival date moved to Monday Feb. 28th.

Here is the official subject for the blog carnival:

Are rheum patients pressured not to take medical treatment? Have you ever read an article that sounds like it discourages medical treatment for rheumatologic conditions? Whether the alternative offered is Eastern medicine, non-prescription medicines, or dietary changes, or spiritual advice, what would you like to say to anyone who would tell patients to forgo medical treatment?

Note: The Rheum Blog Carnival on rheumatology topics is open to patients, doctors, caregivers, and organizations. We welcome the input of various opinions and viewpoints concerning different autoimmune arthritis diseases. If you’d like to have a post included in the carnival, please email the link to your post to me Kelly @

Edit: Blog Carnival 3 is up – here’s the link to come read all the great posts.

Recommended reading:

NOTE: Your comments are an important resource for future readers of this post in the months to come. Please find the comment link below each post.

Click here to read all the comments or add yours!

Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 6:00 am and is filed under Treating RA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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