Joint and muscle pain is often the first sign of lupus, which is hard to explain in an image, but what about the butterfly rash that's associated with Lupus? What does Raynauds, the swelling & darkening of fingers, look like?
Here are several free and low-cost health care resources that may be helpful. If you know of any in your community and want to share the URL (web address) please go ahead and post them here in this thread.
Together, we can help one another through these difficult times.
HRSA.gov --Have you heard of HRSA-supported health centers? They care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. These include dental, immunizations, and mental health care resources.
BenefitsCheckUp.org -- "Many older people need help paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. Ironically, millions of older Americans — especially those with limited incomes — are eligible for but not receiving benefits from existing federal, state and local programs."
Free Clinics-- Use the search to find state and local free clinics and see if one is near you.
NeedyMeds.org Clinics--You do not have to provide any documentation to validate your income. You do not have to provide any other form of identification, such as proof of citizenship or "green card."
Other--Please make sure and check local resources for tests PAP smear, mammograms, pregnancy testing, prostate cancer screenings, cholesterol screenings, bone density tests, and blood pressure checks. Drug stores, grocery stores with pharmacies, Planned Parenthood, community health centers, local hospitals, senior centers and women's clinics will often have these tests/exams available at low cost or even free. Keep your eyes peeled!
Note:None of these are WebMD sites, so we cannot guarantee content. Clinics may change requirements and/or services offered. Please contact them directly to find current information.
More than 130 million people live with chronic illness. Award-winning journalist Richard M. Cohen is one of them, and he writes about what it means to be your own health care advocate and how to claim your own voice.
Here he is giving us a day in the life of someone who suffers from Chronic Pain, on WebMD TV.
Researchers are exploring a possible link between low levels of vitamin D and chronic pain.
Many Americans are running low on vitamin D. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 showed that vitamin D levels have plummeted among all U.S. ages, races, and ethnic groups over the past two decades.
But does not having enough vitamin D cause pain? That's not yet clear. But here's what you need to know about vitamin D and chronic pain....
Researchers Say Increased Use of Some Birth Control Pills Could Be a Factor
A study says the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis in women has risen by 2.5% from 1995 to 2007. Researchers believe that environmental factors like cigarette smoking, vitamin D deficiency, and lower dose synthetic estrogens in oral contraceptives may be the reasons for the increase. However, incidence in men is declining.
Why It Matters:
One to two million Americans suffer from RA. The increase of RA incidence follows a period of decline in the four decades prior to.