Although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in many situations, immunocompromised people may feel safer continuing to wear them. If someone tries to give you a hard time for that decision, here’s how to de-escalate the situation and continue to protect yourself.
People who are immunocompromised may be interested in COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as they may be less protected against the coronavirus than a fully vaccinated person with a healthy immune system. Learn more about what we know — and still don’t — about vaccine booster doses.
The news is reassuring for arthritis and rheumatic disease patients who have been concerned about the potential risk of post-vaccine disease flares.
On the other hand, study authors did not find an association between using other biologics — such as TNF inhibitors, IL-6 inhibitors, and abatacept — and worse COVID-19 outcomes.
Supermarkets may soon loosen rules about mask wearing and other COVID-19 precautions. But is shopping in person safe for immunocompromised people, even if they’re vaccinated? Here’s how to decide what’s right for you and expert advice on staying safe.
From stretching before your workout to sitting while you do arm exercises, here are some ways to reduce arthritis pain and discomfort during exercise.
One of the largest studies to assess COVID-19 infection risks among people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) found that they were 25 percent more likely than non-RA patients to develop COVID.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, nearly all immunocompromised patients said they would continue to wear masks in indoor public spaces as well as indoor events. They are, however, more willing to go without masks indoors if socializing with people they know and trust.
The 2021 wedding boom is underway after couples rescheduled ceremonies due to COVID-19. But are larger gatherings safe for immunocompromised people, even if they’re vaccinated? Here’s how to decide what’s right for you and expert advice on staying safe.
Experts say the news shouldn’t stop you from getting vaccinated, but you should continue to follow precautions like wearing a mask.
Eileen Davidson used to have a flair for the dramatic when it came to hair, clothes, makeup, and clubbing. Now her definition of flair — or rather, flare — is much different.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, 50 percent of respondents said they feel more comfortable doing activities in public this summer compared to last summer when there was no COVID-19 vaccine. That said, they will still be taking precautions like wearing a mask and keeping group gatherings small.
Clinical psychologist Laurie Ferguson, PhD, Director of Education Development at the Global Healthy Living Foundation, provides tips to help you move on from the “meh” you’ve been feeling lately during the pandemic and find the joy in life again.
Although new CDC guidance says that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear face masks in most settings, the ‘rules’ are different for people who are immunocompromised.
Here’s how to talk to your boss about flexible work options, and how to stay safe if you do return to the workplace.
Most people haven’t heard of ICD-10 codes, but they impact all aspects of your health care, from the bills you pay to the science that seeks to understand your condition.
India is experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections, with daily cases in the hundred thousands. Here’s how you can raise money and awareness for the country.
Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), which is used to treat rheumatoid and other inflammatory arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and other conditions, may be in short supply. Here’s what to know about the issue and what to do if you can’t get your sulfasalazine prescription.
A new, small study found that patients taking biologic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) had a positive antibody response after receiving both doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in 12- to 15-year-old children. Should your child get the vaccine if they are immunocompromised? Here’s what parents of children with juvenile arthritis should know.
If you’re immunocompromised, it’s important to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and to be surrounded by people who are vaccinated as well. This can lead to difficult conversations with loved ones who are hesitant or unwilling to get the vaccine. Here’s advice on how to handle it.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, the vast majority of respondents said they have not had caregivers attend in-person or virtual medical appointments during the pandemic.
Experts hope these effective treatments will be used more frequently by high-risk patients, including those who are immunocompromised.
As people rush to return to “normal” Laurie Ferguson, PhD, clinical psychologist and Director of Education Development at the Global Healthy Living Foundation, shares her advice for rethinking your priorities in a post-pandemic world.
The recommendations for mask wearing are becoming more lax, but people with compromised immune systems may need to continue standard mitigation efforts.
Preliminary research from Israel has indicated that a small number of patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases developed shingles after getting the COVID-19 vaccine, but more research is needed to prove causation. Here’s what you should know.
Many comparisons have been made throughout the pandemic between the coronavirus and the flu. Now, a new study shows that people with autoimmune diseases who were admitted to a hospital for COVID-19 were more likely to deal with respiratory complications and death than those who were admitted for the flu.
Experts believe the research into this topic will lead to a better understanding of autoimmunity.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, the vast majority of respondents said they believe virtual and social distance options will remain available as society enters a new “normal,” but they are concerned that there will be fewer of them.
In a new study that analyzed the records of more than 230,000 COVID-19 patients, researchers found that one in three COVID-19 patients experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness, including anxiety, insomnia, and stroke.
From expert-backed tips to must-have assistive devices, here are some ways to reduce arthritis pain and discomfort when you’re getting dressed for the day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way rheumatology patients communicate with their doctors and manage their health. But it’s important to know when to use a telehealth visit vs. when you need to see the doctor in person.
If you’ve been worried about going to a doctor’s office in person, it’s important to know the steps that rheumatology practices are following to keep patients safe from coronavirus exposure.
Although telehealth rheumatology has improved appointment attendance rates among patients with inflammatory arthritis (IA) during the pandemic, researchers found that virtual care may lead to delayed diagnoses and treatment.
A new study found that patients with COVID-19 who had high blood sugar levels were more likely to be admitted to need intensive care and have a higher risk of dying than those with normal blood sugar levels.
Although a thorough safety review has determined that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is safe, people with certain chronic diseases may still have special concerns, given their medical history and risk factors for blood clots.
Is it safe to travel if you’re fully vaccinated but have an autoimmune or inflammatory disease or take immunosuppressant medication? Here’s what experts say, plus tips for staying safe if you travel.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently asked states to temporarily stop using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after receiving reports of rare but serious blood clots. We curated insights from experts to help shed light on what this news means.
As people rush to return to “normal,” Laurie Ferguson, PhD, clinical psychologist and Director of Education Development at the Global Healthy Living Foundation, shares her advice for handling the mix of emotions you may be feeling.
A new study looked at antibody levels in people with inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, after they received the COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what patients need to know.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, more than 75 percent of patients who received the COVID-19 vaccine feel hopeful about the future. But anxiety still looms, as well as for people who have not yet received any doses of the vaccine.
Although telehealth could greatly benefit people in rural areas who have less access to doctors, telemedicine care during the COVID-19 pandemic was commonly used among people who have high incomes and/or live in metropolitan areas.
Most rheumatologists and public health experts urge people with axial spondyloarthritis (which includes ankylosing spondylitis) to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
There are risks in trying to interpret these antibody tests yourself, because even doctors aren’t sure what the results could mean.
It’s not okay to ignore the concerns of immunocompromised people throughout the pandemic — and then turn around and claim to have a chronic illness in order to access the vaccine.
In one of the first studies to look at the impact of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines on people with chronic inflammatory diseases, researchers found patients were able to produce a sufficient amount of antibodies with relatively minimal side effects.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, more than 40 percent of respondents said they will continue social distance and wear masks around other fully vaccinated loved ones.
It’s not a reason to start using aspirin or to stop following standard COVID-19 mitigation efforts, but it does call for future studies to investigate the role aspirin plays in COVID-19.
Most rheumatologists and public health experts want people living with rheumatic diseases like psoriatic arthritis (PsA) to get the vaccine as soon as they can.
Most rheumatologists and public health experts want people living with rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to get the vaccine at the soonest opportunity.
Although people with asthma should still exercise caution when it comes to COVID-19, new research suggests that asthma alone is not associated with COVID-19 complications.
The main message: Get whichever vaccine is available to you first.
In the Global Healthy Living Foundation’s latest COVID-19 Patient Support Program poll, more than 40 percent of patients surveyed said they wear two masks at the same time for better COVID-19 protection. Most started doing so within the last two months.
It may not be time to ease up on your COVID-19 mitigation efforts quite yet.
This finding adds more to a growing body of evidence that people should keep taking their autoimmune and rheumatic disease medications throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Rheumatologists and public health experts are urging most autoimmune and immunocompromised patients to get vaccinated as soon as they can. If you have concerns, consider discussing these questions with your doctor for reassuring answers.
The key takeaway of this study is really that rheumatic patients with lower disease activity seem to fare better than those in high disease activity if they contract COVID-19.
Texas is my home and has my heart — so why can’t it use common sense and work harder to keep chronic illness patients like me safe during the pandemic?
Here’s what rheumatologists and other specialists are telling their patients about getting the vaccine even during higher than usual disease activity.
The second dose appears to have less of a booster effect on these individuals, studies show.
Public health experts and doctors want most people with autoimmune conditions, who are immunocompromised, or who take immunosuppressant medication to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what you need to know.
The real-world results from the first 14 million vaccine doses administered in the U.S. are reassuring for patients, especially those who have concerns about side effects.
The Global Healthy Living Foundation regularly polls the members of our COVID-19 Patient Support Program to understand the perspectives of chronic illness patients during the pandemic. Here is data about patients’ ability to access the COVID-19 vaccine so far and whether they believe the process has been fair.
Experts say the most important thing is to simply get the COVID-19 vaccine if it’s available to you.
Researchers are finding more evidence that many recovering coronavirus patients go on to experience symptoms that last for months and may need additional long-term treatments.
Your level of risk may have less to do with your autoimmune disease and more to do with the type of medication you take for it, according to a recent study.
Pausing methotrexate after getting a COVID-19 vaccine may help increase your immune system’s response to the vaccine, but this decision should be made on a case-by-case basis with you and your doctor.
Tighter-fitting masks offer more protection against coronavirus germs, research shows. And doubling up on masks is a good way to ensure your face masks fit more snugly to better prevent COVID-19.
The Global Healthy Living Foundation regularly polls the members of our COVID-19 Patient Support Program to understand the perspectives of chronic illness patients during the pandemic. Here is data about patients’ main questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, especially those related to being immunocompromised.
If you have a form of autoimmune or inflammatory arthritis or take immunosuppressant medication, chances are you’ve had questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some answers from a new resource from the American College of Rheumatology.
New research shows the psychological impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having on those with rheumatic diseases.
COVID-19 has raised awareness of the risks of complications for immunocompromised people, but it’s not the only infection risk we need to watch out for.
The coronavirus can cause considerable neurological, cognitive, and psychiatric problems. Here’s what you need to know about these consequences.
A new small study underscores the importance of researching autoimmunity and its potential role in long-hauler symptoms.
From navigating delays in vaccine rollouts to monitoring for more severe side effects after your second shot, here’s your guide to the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
A new study found that obese patients most likely to become infected, and that COVID-19 increased the risk for flares.
The Global Healthy Living Foundation regularly polls the members of our COVID-19 Patient Support Program to understand the perspectives of chronic illness patients during the pandemic. Here is data about whether people have asked their health care providers about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
The rule of thumb is that even if you’re immunocompromised or living with chronic disease, you don’t necessarily need to take more or different precautions against the new variant — but it’s more important to follow the precautions you already know.
In a recent study, the biologic medications tocilizumab (Actemra) and sarilumab (Kevzara) benefited very sick COVID-19 patients. But other research is conflicting.
This winter, we’re facing an intersection of several potential mental health risks — all of which may be exacerbated if you’re living with chronic illness.
However, researchers note that it’s still imperative to be vigilant to avoid getting COVID-19 if you have a rheumatic disease.
People with severely weakened immune systems may be involved in the spread of new coronavirus variants. Here, experts explain what this means and what to know if you have an autoimmune condition.
New research showed that women with type 2 diabetes or obesity who were taking metformin had a lower risk of dying from COVID-19.
Here’s what you need to know about the current guidance and potential risks of getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you’ve had allergic reactions to infused or injectable medication.
Is it safe to have knee, hip, or other joint replacement surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s what to expect from orthopedic surgeons and fellow patients who have been through these procedures.
The Global Healthy Living Foundation regularly polls the members of our COVID-19 Patient Support Program to understand the perspectives of chronic illness patients during the pandemic. Here is data about participants’ thoughts on getting a COVID-19 vaccine now that they are rolling out across the U.S. and around the world.
From the steps to take immediately after your COVID vaccination to how to protect yourself for months beyond, here is your plan of action.
“Getting the vaccine was the best choice for my personal circumstances,” says Kristen Schlichting, who acknowledges that the level of COVID-19 risk she is exposed to as an eye surgery nurse certainly influenced her decision to get it sooner rather than later.
Rituximab is a biologic medication that treats rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions by depleting B cells, which are an important part of how the immune system responds to vaccines.
It may feel like every day is blending together, but some easy strategies can help you stay on track with your pills or injectables.
The coronavirus may initially affect your respiratory tract, but COVID-19 can have serious cardiovascular consequences. Here’s what you need to know to keep your heart healthy.
Although people who are on immunosuppressant medications were not included in clinical trials for the vaccines, we’re going to have more insights soon about how patients with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions fare after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
“For me, it goes back to trusting science and knowing that this is the only way we’re going to get our life back,” says Brenda Kleinsasser, who lives in the coronavirus hotspot state of North Dakota.
“We tend to shy away from talking about our challenges, especially when we know others out there are doing far worse,” says rheumatoid arthritis patient Eileen Davidson. “But I am a firm believer in self-expression and speaking up about our troubles. We shouldn’t suffer in silence.”
The Global Healthy Living Foundation regularly polls the members of our COVID-19 Patient Support Program to understand the perspectives of chronic illness patients during the pandemic. Here is data about loneliness and how people are coping with it.
When compared with patients taking acetaminophen and/or codeine, those taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were not more likely to become infected with the novel coronavirus.
“I signed up for the shot before I even Googled anything,” says Sarah Islam, a fourth-year medical student on immunosuppressant medications, who was eager to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“After nine months of this, I’m finally figuring out truths about my body I never knew before and because of that knowledge, I’ve stopped overreacting,” says rheumatoid arthritis patient Dibs Baer.
If you really want to see someone outside of your household in person, this list can help you determine if it may be okay.
In a year of many Ps — a pandemic, protests, and politics — members of the Global Healthy Living Foundation and CreakyJoints community reflected on another: the positive. Here’s what they had to say about the silver linings of a very challenging year.