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In addition I spoke with 2 women with RA who describe just the kinds of struggles women often face when balancing their romantic relationships with dealing with this chronic medical issue.Of course your personal mindset, wealth of information about your illness and ability to communicate are probably the biggest factors affecting your ability to develop and maintain a long term relationship.All I could think about was getting into bed (I mean by myself).As you can imagine, I didn't hear from him again.Now 25, he has learned a lot of lessons from growing up with this painful, chronic illness. RA specifically affects the lining of the joints, called the synovium, causing painful swelling that can eventually result in bone erosion and joint deformity.An autoimmune disorder, RA occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own tissues.
I recently participated in an online talk show with Deborah Norville (whose mother had RA) for a website called newway RA ( to discuss just this topic.
It’s hard enough to make it to the gym sometimes let alone button your blouse, blow dry your hair or put on makeup in the mornings. Juggling dating with a new career, school, family, etc. No matter who you are, where you’re from or what kind of baggage you bring with you, relationships come with their fair share of ups and downs.
Throw a chronic disease like Rheumatoid Arthritis into the mix and relationships (let alone every day life) can become even more difficult for all parties involved.
In addition to causing joint problems, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the whole body with fevers and fatigue.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, RA most often begins between the fourth and sixth decades of life. When RA emerges in childhood, during adolescence, or in early adulthood, it can have an effect on a person’s social and emotional development.