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Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability among Americans over age 15 and one of the most prevalent chronic health problems, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Joining Andrew on this episode of Patient Power to discuss arthritis is Dr. Carin Dugowson. Dr. Dugowson is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Learn exactly what arthritis is, the body parts affected and how the disease is treated. You’ll hear about the different medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that are helping to relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation for those living with this condition and how these medicines work. Dr. Dugowson also explains how the pain associated with arthritis can be lessened without medication and how the disease can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, such as weight loss and strength training.

In this very informative program, Dr. Dugowson answers a variety of questions from callers on topics ranging from psoriatic arthritis to a connection with inflammatory bowel disease. You’ll learn why Dr. Dugowson is optimistic about arthritis treatment for the future and how clinical trials are aiding this progress. Dr. Dugowson states “I think the last ten years have been unbelievably productive, and patients with arthritis have a really much better outlook than they ever had. So yes, I'm very encouraged.” Hear more about arthritis and become encouraged yourself when you listen to this Patient Power program.

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Produced in association with UW Medicine


Andrew Schorr:

Good morning, Western Washington and everybody out there. I am so far away. I'm in the Sunshine State. I'm in Orlando, Florida, back where I was a few weeks ago. But our guest is back in Seattle, and we're going to be talking about arthritis today, which is really probably one of the most very common chronic conditions that affects, as I just said, about one out of every three adults. And on Patient Power, as you know, we discuss chronic concerns that you or a loved one has and what you can do about it so you can take back control of your own healthcare and get the best care you can. And in today's healthcare system, just pick up the paper, whether you have Medicare, health insurance, you don't have health insurance, you have a doctor, you don't have a doctor, it's really hard to figure out what to do. So my job every week is to help you do that.

Now, what we're talking about is arthritis, and there are lots of different conditions under that. Osteoarthritis, and that's where they advertise all those over-the-counter pain medicines and the ones that have been on the market and some that were recently pulled, those COX-2 inhibitors that were in the news so much a couple of months ago. And then also there's rheumatoid arthritis. There's ankylosing spondylitis, which is inflammation around the spine. There's juvenile arthritis, there's scleroderma and lupus and even fibromyalgia.

Well, as you know, every week I have an expert on, and this week it's Dr. Carin Dugowson who is an associate professor of rheumatology at the University of Washington. So she's one of the specialists that you can get referred to when you're dealing with arthritis.

So Dr. Dugowson, welcome to Patient Power. Thanks for being with us. Thanks again to the University of Washington for providing us with a top expert. Welcome to Patient Power.

Dr. Dugowson:

Good morning.

Andrew Schorr:

Thank you so much for being with us.

So arthritis, it sounds like it is something that all of us will either is have or know somebody who does and something that will cause pain and maybe in many cases some disability. It's a big health problem, isn't it?

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