By now you’ve read our Patient Guidelines (and if you haven’t, there’s no time like the present!) and may feel a bit overwhelmed. Whether you’re newly diagnosed or a patient for years, there’s a lot of information to take in. In my case, I’ve had rheumatoid arthritis for five years- I’ve been on quite a few medications, tried a few exercise plans, and worked on making some slight diet changes. As I read the guidelines, I found myself highlighting and writing all over my copy. There are so many things I want to do- for example, I want to be a better advocate and I want to really explore some more integrative medicine and complementary therapies.

The patient guidelines are overflowing with information and we want to help you notice some key takeaways from other patients, just like yourself. So without further ado..

Introducing, Patient Guidelines ProTips.

How are others using the guidelines? Did they notice something that you overlooked? Over the next month or so, we’ll be sharing some tips and tools from our guidelines super users. To start things off, here are some tips from one of our CreakyJoints bloggers, Rick Phillips.

Rick’s tips regarding Chapter 3, Treatment Guidelines:

After diagnosis, the biggest mystery for most RA patients is how a doctor may treat the disease.

ProTip: The patient guide links to the American College of Rheumatology treatment guidelines.  I suspect most patients have never seen these guidelines and only slightly more know they exist. Yet these guidelines inform many treatment decisions offered by rheumatologists in the US. 

ProTip: The patient guidelines includes updated links to the guidelines so no matter how they change the you can always find a fresh copy by going to the online version of the patient guide. 

ProTip: The patient guidelines translates clinical information in a user friendly way. It is a resource that helps make us educated patients.