How to Travel with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) with Dr Grace Wright and Maria

TRAVEL PLANS THIS SUMMER? DON'T LET RA SYMPTOMS STOP YOU Summertime may bring new adventures, including travel for business or pleasure. But having a chronic disease may require extra planning to help keep you comfortable, wherever you go. That's especially true with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

Experts recommend keeping stress in check and moving regularly to help avoid joint stiffness while on the road. Other travel tips for people with RA include:

• Taking a lightweight bag with spinning wheels

• Checking your bags

• Bringing heat wraps and cold wraps

• Staying hydrated

In advance of National Arthritis Awareness Month in May, our guests, rheumatologist Dr. Grace Wright and Maria, a person living with RA,, offer tips to help make traveling easier for those with RA during this informative interview. Facts about RA:

• In RA, the immune system attacks the tissues of the joints, causing inflammation, pain, and eventually joint damage and disability if not treated appropriately

• RA affects approximately 1.3 million Americans, with nearly 75 percent being women

• It most often strikes people between 30 and 60 years old; however, it can occur in adults at any age QUESTIONS COVERED: Doctor - What is rheumatoid arthritis and how common is it?

Doctor - How can the demands of travel affect someone with RA? Doctor - What can patients with RA do when preparing for a trip to help address RA pain? Doctor - What types of treatment are available to people living RA? Patient -How do you manage the pain you experience when you travel? Doctor/Patient - Where can we get more information? Dr. Grace Wright Bio Dr. Wright is a rheumatologist who has been practicing rheumatology for more than 20 years.

She currently practices as an independent private rheumatologist in her own clinical practice, Grace C Wright MD PC. She is also an Attending Physician at NYU Langone and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone School of Medicine in New York, New York. She is a founding member of and president of the Association of Women in Rheumatology, an organization for women dedicated to promoting the science and practice of rheumatology and advocating access to the highest quality health care and management of patients with rheumatic diseases.

She is also a certified fellow and member of the American College of Rheumatology. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Helen R. Downes Award for academic distinction, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. She received her medical and doctorate degrees from NYU School of Medicine where she also conducted her residency in internal medicine.

Dr. Wright has authored numerous publications in rheumatology in publications such as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Arthritis & Rheumatology and Journal of Rheumatology. María Bio Over 45 years ago, María, a person living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), arrived in the United States with the dream of building a better life for herself and her three young daughters. To do this, María launched a successful cheese factory.

When she sold her business in 2007, it was the second largest manufacturer of Hispanic cheeses in the United States. When she was 35 years old, María began experiencing extreme fatigue, which she at first blamed on her grueling entrepreneurial schedule. After her doctor ordered a blood test, she received the devastating diagnosis of RA.

Undaunted, she continued growing her business and raising her girls, oftentimes having to resort to supervising manufacturing from a wheelchair because the pain in her legs and feet had become unbearable. Among her many blessings, she counts her trusted rheumatologist who has journeyed the RA path with her for the last 30 years. Today, María is a passionate advocate for helping others cope with this chronic autoimmune disease.

She lives in Texas and enjoys investing in real estate, cooking, traveling, and loving her three daughters, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

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