Arthritis information

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

As one might suspect, there is a lot of “information” out there on arthritis. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation.

So how do you determine what’s OK and what’s not?

Here are the things to look for:

Is the information coming from a credible source? Places like the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation are good sources. The Arthritis Treatment Center is also an excellent source of information.

Avoid entities that promise a cure... that doesn’t exist just yet. Also be wary of people and places that claim their remedy treats all forms of arthritis. With more than 100 different types of arthritis, that isn’t going to happen!

Avoid places and people who substantiate claims only with a lot of testimonials, particularly if the testimonials come from people with initials only. True testimonials will state the person’s full name, where they are located, etc. Real people.

Are the claims being made by medical physicians who have the credentials to back the claims up? Often, the “doctor” is not really an MD, and even if they are, where did they get their training?

Sometimes companies will use the tactic of “us vs. them”. They will state the medical establishment is the bad guy. To a certain extent they may be correct. The medical establishment has not been open-minded enough about alternative therapies. Fortunately, that is changing.

Many of the so-called “doctors against the establishment” who offer you a treatment as an antidote to mainstream therapies may be charlatans as well. Often their “pitch” comes in a slick persuasive mailing piece using a lot of graphic language. These people use copywriters- writers who are wordsmiths) to create a seductive selling package. The purpose is to suck the money out of your wallet and into theirs. Be wary.

You should be skeptical of conventional medical physicians who offer to treat your arthritis with medicines only and don’t instruct you in proper diet, exercise, nutrition, and a well-balanced life-style. They should be willing to discuss the pros and cons of therapy, the risks and side-effects of medications.

Pharmaceutical companies have become very sophisticated in direct-to-consumer advertising recently. At the same time, the media tends to generate much hysteria against the pharmaceutical companies railing against the high price of prescription medicines painting the giant drug companies as the “bad guys.”

It’s hard not to believe this when you look at your drug bill.

The truth is somewhere between.

Most people are not aware that for every drug that makes it to market, thousands don’t at an estimated cost of billions of dollars spent on research and development. Patent laws leave only a short time for drug companies to recoup their profits. With drug costs being controlled by many governments outside the United States, the only country where profits can be made up is the U.S. Is it fair? Probably not. And something needs to be done. What the solution is though is still uncertain. Consumers should realize this. If there is no profit, there is no research and no new medicines.

When it comes to arthritis, where 30 years ago it was not uncommon for patients to come to my office in wheelchairs to today where my son is able to play soccer when he would have been confined to using a walker is a miracle. And it wouldn’t have been possible without research and the pharmaceutical industry.

This can be a confusing area that requires counsel with your physician.

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases-National Resource Center
1232 22nd St., NW

Washington, DC 20037-1292

Phone: (202) 223-0344 or (800) 624-BONE

TTY: (202) 466-4315

Fax: (202) 293-2356

The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases~National Resource Center provides patients, health professionals, and the public with an important link to resources and information on metabolic bone diseases. The mission of NIH ORBD~NRC is to expand awareness and enhance knowledge and understanding of the prevention, early detection, and treatment of these diseases as well as strategies for coping with them. The Center provides information on osteoporosis, Paget's disease of bone, osteogenesis imperfecta, primary hyperparathyroidism, and other metabolic bone diseases and disorders.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Information Clearinghouse

National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle

Bethesda, MD 20892-3675

Phone: 301-495-4484 or

877-22-NIAMS (226-4267) (free of charge)

TTY: 301-565-2966

Fax: 301-718-6366


The clearinghouse provides information about various forms of arthritis and rheumatic disease and bone, muscle, and skin diseases. It distributes patient and professional education materials and refers people to other sources of information.

FirstGov Access to sources of government information, including health information.

Healthy People 2010 A set of health objectives for the nation to achieve over the first decade of the new century.

Much of the good clinical research- research with patients in real world situations- is done by private organizations like the Arthritis Treatment Center. This outfit also has a lot of good arthritis information.
They can be contacted at:

Arthritis Treatment Center
71 Thomas Johnson Drive
Frederick, Maryland 21702

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