What is RA, plasmapheresis and how can it help me?

If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, you may be wondering what you should do next. It is helpful to speak with a medical professional to discuss the progression of RA and lifestyle changes that need to be made. A rheumatologist is a specialist who is specially trained in diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disease and autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

RA is a progressive disease and symptoms may appear and disappear over time. Symptoms should never be ignored or untreated because of the risk of damage to joints. A rheumatologist can help patients determine what stage their RA has reached and suggest a treatment plan. A rheumatologist can also prescribe medications they should be taking. If a person is having difficulty with painful symptoms, a rheumatologist can suggest actions that will help alleviate the pain such as exercises, diet changes and supplements.

There are several blogs that are kept by people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. The authors use the blogs to share their struggles and to reach out to other members of the RA community.

Some patients/participants who donate plasma have expressed that they tend to feel better in the short term from donating plasma because they are donating their plasma that contains the RA antibodies.  Therefore, during the loss of the antibodies until the time the body reproduces them they have expressed/experienced some comfort in the short term there after doing plasmapheresis.

What is Plasmapheresis?

Plasmapheresis or plasma exchange, is a procedure which involves the removal, treatment, and return of blood to the body to remove antibodies, thereby preventing them from attacking their targets. This blood purification procedure is used to treat several autoimmune diseases.

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