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Ask the Webrarian Archives


I have been looking for any info on sclaraderma. Would you possibly have any?


I think all words should be spelled like they sound. How in the world are you suppose to find information about anything if it's impossible to get started. This is one of the screwy ones - you've spelled it like it sounds, but it's actually spelled "Scleroderma", we've got links right here at ArthritisInsight - just go to the Web Links section and look in the "disease specific" section.

There's tons of information out there on the web for you, I'll give you a few more to get you started:

The Scleroderma Foundation

I Have Scleroderma

My World of Scleroderma Links..

Scleroderma Research Foundation

Scleroderma - drdoc online

Hope these help!



Last night, during our Featured Chat, one of our Community Members, who happens to be a Pharmacist, mentioned that she'd like to find a device that would make opening and closing medicine bottles with childproof caps easier on the hands. I've found two links for products that claim to do just that and since they really took some digging to find, I thought there might be others out there that would like to take a look at them too.

The first one is called a Pill Bottle Opener (okay, I heard that - who's the wise guy that just said "Duh!"?) and it can be found at Comfort House product description claims it will "unscrew, pry, and flip caps off all types of pill bottles...helps you get to your vital medication when you need it..."

And the second one is the Multi-Purpose Power Grip found at Sammons Preston and is described as a "...lightweight, handy helper concentrates the power of the entire hand onto its slip-resistant jaws. Opens bottles, jars, doors, childproof medicine bottles; pulls up socks; lifts pans; holds nails; pulls plugs out of electrical sockets, etc..."

Hope this helps!


I would appreciate any information on dietary effects on arthritic condition:

1. Beneficial foods

2. Foods that adversely affect the condition

I am presently taking CELEBREX.

Thank you kindly.

Greetings from the Webrary!

Well, it's been a while since I've gotten a request for information regarding the affects of diet on arthritis. The only form of arthritis that diet has been scientifically found signifigant for is Gout. However, many people will tell you that a change in their diet greatly reduces their arthritis symptoms. Some say to remove nightshades, others claim red meat is the cause of their pain - either way - I don't see how eliminating certain foods from your diet could hurt and if you're one of the lucky ones that it works for, more power to you!

Keeping a food diary will help you remember exactly what you've been eating. You may find you feel better during weeks when you don't eat any tomatoes, or have any milk, or foods with preservatives, etc.

Please remember that eliminating a few foods from your diet is one thing - fasting and any other extreme changes can be dangerous. Check with your doctor before trying anything drastic.

That said, here are a few links to get you started:

Arthritis & Diet from

Everybody - Arthritis & Diet

Arthritis & Nutrition @

PHYS: Arthritis and Nutrition

Arthritis and Rheumatism

Arthritis Nutrition and Diet Alternatives

Hope this helps!


Dear Webrarian,

I have RA in my feet and I would like to find information on what could effect them, especially in the toes. I am having a difficult time finding even pictures of the feet with RA and aliments associated RA of the feet.

Thank you.


Finding specific information on Rheumatoid Arthritis and the feet isn't easy. Most sites cover RA in general terms, referring to all the joints unless you're looking for replacement information on a certain joint. I did find the following links for you, a couple articles and some pictures. Please remember when you're looking at the pics (they're shocking, so the faint of heart should probably just skip down to the next question...) that with all the advances in treatment of RA you have a much better chance of not becoming this bad.

Don't forget you can always post on the Message Boards and take advantage of the experience of the other Community Members here at Arthritis Insight!

Here are the the links:

How Do RA Patients Who Erode Only in Their Feet Differ from Others?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (Hands & Feet) - Interesting Images - Med Students

Rheumatoid Arthritis in Feet

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Current Exercise (Feet Radiographs)

Medicine Online - scroll down about halfway for the the RA & feet information...

Hope they help!

Next question....


My doctor just told me that my facet joints in the lower lumbar are worn and that this is attributed to arthritis. Is this like other forms of arthritis? Would cortisone shots into the facets help?


The Lumbar region includes the last five vertabra (the bones of the spine that protect and support the spinal cord). Treatments include: exercise, physical therapy and pain medications, and in extreme cases by surgery. Make a list of your questions and make sure to ask your doctor - if he can't answer them, maybe he could refer you to a specialist that can.

In order to get more specific information, I'd need to know what type of arthritis your doctor thinks you have, but here are a few links I found that may help:

Orthogate's Patient Education Site - Guide to Low Back Pain

Backache - Arthritis Foundation of Australia

Back Pain

Facet Joint Pain

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Conditions of the Spinal Column

Hope you're painfree soon!


I have Thorasic Outlet Syndrome as one of my diagnoses. Can you please help me to find out where I can get info on this and what the do for it. If surgery is needed to releive the pain. I have searched and can not find hardly anything on this.

Greetings from the Webrary!

Ask and you shall receive! Here are some links on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, I hope you find the information you're looking for!

Welcome to Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Neurology Web-Forum: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Hand Surgery Center of Brooklyn and Staten Island

A Patients Guide to CTD: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome @ Yahoo! Health

Physical Therapy Corner: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome


Hi Webrarian!

I would like information on pain medications...strengths, dosage, how often you can take. As do other people with RA, my dr. will give me most any kind of pain medicine I ask him about but I have no knowledge. For example, he recently gave me samples of Ultram. I can't find any info on it and it really doesn't seem to help that much. So what next? I don't want to look stupid asking for something too strong for my needs. Where should I look? I have tried with no luck. Thanks!

Greetings from the Webrary!

I think maybe the reason you're having such a hard time finding information on specific doses and types of pain meds is because each individual case is so different it's hard to say (even in general terms) how much of a certain medication someone might need.

Trial and error seems to be the only way to find one that works. You're lucky that your doctor is so understanding when it comes to pain meds - make sure you tell them if what you're taking isn't working so you can move on to something else. You can also check some of these links:

Ceiling Effect of Pain Medication

infoFax - Pain Medication

Prescription Pain Medications and Non-Narcotic Pain Medications

Pain Medicine & Pallative Care

Don't forget about the Medication Index right here at ArthritisInsight (you'll find Ultram listed there) and the Message Boards - I can't stress enough how much help the other community members can be when you're looking for answers to your arthritis questions! Hope you find something that works for you soon!


Greetings from the Webrary!

We had a couple of you looking for Fourth of July activities. This is a great opportunity to teach the kids a little bit about history and they can have fun doing it!

Besides picnics, parades, festivals and fireworks - you can use any holiday to start a little tradition in your family. Just pick an activity (watching fireworks together, family baseball game, putting together a 4th of July program the kids can perform for relatives or neighbors) and make it a yearly happening - the whole family will look forward to it and it gives you a chance to work together at something fun.

Here's a few links to get you started with ideas for the fourth...

4th of July from - crafts, games and activities for all ages...

Fourth of July Games for Kids, Family and Classroom- printable games, lyrics to patriotic songs, more...

Telling Our Story: A Fourth of July Celebration - patriotic songs, script for 4th of July program, historic documents...

Forth of July From - games, activities, recipes and links...

Hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!


I was recently diagnosed with Lupus and am worried about sun sensitivity. I'd like to know ways I can protect myself from UV rays. I've also heard there is special clothing you can wear that will filter UV rays, but I don't know where to get it...

Greetings from the Webrary!

Did you know that UV rays can filter thru tinted windows (like in an office) unless the tint contains a special UV filter? I didn't - this means you could be sitting at your desk in your office and exposing yourself to the harmful rays all day long. (That's my trivia tidbit for the day..)

To answer your question, here are some links I found in regard to light sensitivity and Lupus:

Sun Protection in Lupus - Lupus Canada

The Skin, Sunlight & Lupus - Lupus Around the World

Photosensitivity and Lupus Erythematosus - Lupus Foundation of America, Inc.

Sun Protection - Ed Tobinick, MD

And in regard to the clothing:

Seriously Shady - offers mens & womens clothing that gives a sun protection factor of 30.

MasqueRays Sun Protective Clothing - childrens, adults, swimwear, hats and accessories...

Sunday Afternoons Sun Hats - unisex sunhats for men, women, children and infants...

There's lots more out there if you're willing to dig for it. You may also want to go to the Message Boards and check out the new Lupus section. Post your question and see if anybody's got first hand experience with dealing with sun sensitivity and Lupus.

Hope this helps!


I've gotten a couple questions regarding De Quervain's Disease and thought I'd take care of them together.

De Quervain's is an inflammation that causes pain in the thumb side of the wrist and is named after a Swiss physician - Fritz de Quervain, who described the disease in 1895.

Treatment can run from splints and rest to out-patient surgery, depending on how advanced the disease is.

For more information try these:

On Health: de Quervain's Disease

De Quervain's Disease - Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety

Management of De Quervain's Disease - Dynamic Chiropractic Online

Microsurgery: De Quervain's Stenosing Tenosynovitis

And don't forget you can do even more digging on your own - pick a search engine (stumped? try a couple from our Web Links - Search Engines section). Pop in the words "de Quervain" and see what you can find.

You can also post a message on the boards and see if you can find others with the same disease to discuss symptoms and treatments.

See ya next week!



I am interested in finding out information about reiters disease which I hear is a form of arthritis.

Thank You,

Greetings from the Webrary!

You are absolutely correct! Reiter's disease (aka Reiter's Syndrome aka reactive Arthritis and sometime even referred to as seronegative spondyloarthropathy) certainly IS one of the 170+ types of arthritis. I think I've found enough links to get you started but don't forget you can use any search engine and do more digging of your own. Just Plug in the words "reiters syndrome" and you're sure to come up with more links than you could possibly work your way through!

Reiter's Syndrome @

OnHealth: Reiter's Syndrome

Reiter's Syndrome (Reactive Arthritis) from The Arthritis Foundation

Reactive Arthritis/Spondyloarthropathy from drdoc online

Reactive Arthritis from MedicineNet

Hope these help!


Dear Webrarian:

I am 20 years old, recently diagnosed with Lupus. If possible, I would really like some materials on it. Expecially on the symptoms headaches, fatigue, mood swings, depression, and skin rashes..


Greetings from the Webrary!

I'm sorry to hear about the diagnosis, but you've found a great source of information and support at ArthritisInsight. I've found some links to get you started in your search for information. Don't forget you can also use your favorite search engine - type in the word "lupus" - and viola! - information to your heart's content.

Lupus Foundation of America

Nikki's Personal Lupus Story

Lupus Around the World

On the Road: Stories of Lupus

Lupus Foundation of Minnesota

Lupus Erythematusus: from

S.L.E. from drdoc online

and of course, right here at ArthritisInsight - Disease Index: Lupus

Hope this helps! Make sure to visit the chatroom and Message Boards to talk to other people that have "been there, done that.."


Can you find anything on this pain in the neck? I'm not seeing any info. myself. My doctor called it degenerative arthritis and I'm very confused. Any help appreciated! Thank-you:)

Greetings from the Webrary!

A doctor's diagnosis confusing? Imagine that! LOL?many times we leave the doctor's office a bit in shock after hearing a diagnosis for the first time. Your mind is racing, trying to cope with the information you're being given - you don't know what questions to ask - you think you have enough information to do some digging yourself or your doctor assumes you already know more about the condition that you actually do.?

You should check with your doctor to make sure, but I believe he may be referring to cervical osteoarthritis (which is also know as Cervical Spondylosis - how confused are you now?) which is a degenerative arthritis of the neck.

You can plug either disease into a search engine to come up with more information. Here's a few links to get you started:

WebMD: Cervical Spondylosis


Mayo Clinic

There's also the Message Boards and Chatroom right here at Arthritis Insight! You can check with other community members and see if anyone else has the same type of arthritis as you, and what their experiences have been.

Hope this is what you needed!


Dear Webrarian,

I read an article on the WEB last year about a Dr.David Ku a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who had created a substance he called salubria that he was forming a company to manufacture which would revolutionize the knee replacement industry. I need at least one knee replacement NOW and the other soon and I have tried the Syvisc injections, Cellebrex, Daypro and all the others over the last 10 years and I am at the end of the road as far as helping things. I cannot find anything else about this article except what was released then. I need to know if this product is now being manufactured and when it would be available for use on humans. I want to get it ASAP and I am desperate for something to help me.

Greetings from the Webrary!

Okay, here's the scoop! I found two links for you. The first one may be the article you're referring to that you've already read. The second one contains the name of the new company Dr. Ku's formed to manufacture salubria and a phone number and e-mail address where you can contact him directly.

New Biomaterial May Replace Arteries, Knee Cartilage

Georgia Tech Researchers Form Company to Tap Billion-Dollar Artificial
Cartilage Market

Hope this helps and good luck in your quest!


Dear Webrarian,

I am a 33-year-old female with RA. I have at last been approved to get Enbrel, great right? Well, it is I guess only now I come to find out I can?t afford the cost of it! $120.00 every two weeks is not within my budget not even close!

My question is this, are there organizations that can help offset the cost of the Meds? I have heard that there are but have had not luck finding them.

If you have any suggestions or can point me in the right direction I sure would appreciate it!


Greeting from the Webrary!

Boy, oh boy! You?re not alone on this one. With medication prices getting higher and higher and insurance companies covering less and less, this is becoming an all too common problem.

There are a couple websites that have addresses and phone numbers for help paying for those meds! Try these:

Free Meds for those that qualify?.addresses and phone numbers for drug assistance from many drug manufacturers.

Medication Manufacturers Indigent Drug Programs

There?s also an 800 number on the Enbrel website. For those that need it ? it?s 1-800-282-7704.

Hope this helps!


Dear Webrarian,

My sister has given me a bottle of what I think is fruit juice. It?s called "noni" and she says if I drink this juice, I'll be able to stop taking all these medications and my arthritis pain will be gone. Is this true?

Greetings from the Webrary!

First of all, please, please, PLEASE!!! DON'T STOP TAKING ANY OF YOUR MEDICATIONS WITHOUT CHECKING WITH YOUR DOCTOR. This can be very dangerous as certain meds cannot be stopped cold turkey. You're also very likely to put yourself into a heck of a flare. Talk to your doctor about the Noni Juice - this is an unproven alternative treatment for arthritis.

There are thousands of retail websites for Noni juice on the internet. And tens of thousands of "testimonials" from users at these sites, but I'm not finding actual studies or trials to base any kind of opinion on, and claims to treat everything from arthritis to indigestion to tumors to childbirth.

Noni fruit is about the size of a potato and turns yellow and white when ripe. It is picked before it is fully ripe and "planted" in a jar in direct sunlight until fully ripe. Then it's mashed and the juice extracted through a cloth.

It is suggested that you take two tablespoons per day in the morning or before a meal. I suggest you talk to your doctor and maybe stop by the Message Boards right here at ArthritisInsight and ask our community members if they've tried it and what the results were.

You can go to ANY search engine and plug in the words "noni juice" and find thousands of websites that scream the praises of this magic elixir. There were far too many, and all commercial so I'll let you pick your own.

If you want to take a look at the other side of the fence, you can try here:

Noni Juice - They can't Claim Health Benefits - but they do anyway...

This should get you started. Hope it helps!


Dear Webrarian,

I?m new to the internet and to arthritis. This may not be a question you want to answer, but I?d like to learn as much as I possibly can about arthritis treatments and was wondering if you could recommend other websites with good information about arthritis?


Greetings from the Webrary!

Follow the swinging object?.you?re getting sleepy?.very sleepy?.ArthritisInsight is the only arthritis website on the internet ? you will only visit ArthritisInsight?

JUST KIDDING!! The ArthritisInsight Team believes that you should learn as much as you possibly can about your disease, medications, and treatments. The internet has an endless wealth of information on arthritis and you should visit as many as you can.

Remember "Knowledge is POWER", the more you know the easier it will be to cope with, make treatment decisions and treat your disease.

You don?t mention specifically what type of arthritis you have so I?ll give you some general arthritis sites to visit. These are from our Web Links section, it also contains some disease specific sites you may want to take a look at. If you stumble across a great arthritis site that?s not listed on our site, send us the link and we?ll add it to the list.

Here we go:

The Arthritis Pages of drdoc Online:

The Arthritis Foundation

Arthritis @

John?s Hopkins Arthritis Center

You can also go to any search engine (,,, etc?) and plug in the the word "arthritis" and it will bring up pages of links for you to explore.

Hope this helps!


Dear Webrarian,

Can you find information on the treating of arthritis with gin and golden raisins?

Thank you for your help,


Greetings from the Webrary!

As with many alternative therapies, gin-soaked raisins seem to fall into either the "love it" or "hate it" category. Also know as the "Arthritis Martini" - there are a many variations in preparation and consumption.

You can place the raisins in a dish or jar and cover with gin. Then they should be allowed to sit in the gin until the gin has evaporated (on the dish) or you have let them sit anywhere from two to nine days (in the jar). You should then eat four to nine every morning or evening and this is suppose to provide relief from your arthritis pain.

There are also different opinions on whether it's the raisins themselves or the juniper berries that flavor the gin that are suppose to offer the relief from arthritis. Both fruits are purported to have anti-inflammatory chemicals.

You should be aware there are no studies or evidence that either one will give you significant pain relief.

Here are a couple links:
scroll down about a quarter of the page, to the first green box....interesting information regarding gin and raisins for arthritis.
is it the gin or the raisins?

You can also go to your favorite search engine and plug in the words "arthritis gin raisins" or "arthritis AND gin AND raisins" and get hundreds of listings for more information.

If you're thinking about giving this a try - please check with your doctor before making any changes in your treatment. In this case - as minimal as it may be, you are soaking the raisins in alcohol and there could be a possible interaction with your present meds. You may also want to take a look at the California Better Business Bureau's "ARTHRITIS QUACKERY AND UNPROVEN REMEDIES" - Gin soaked raisins are one the many unproven arthritis treatments it lists.

Hope this helps!

HealthWeek (
The People's Pharmacy:Raisin's & Gin (
Liberty Lite (

Send in your question today!