Living with RA

Whether you are newly diagnosed or have had RA for some time, there can still be a lot to understand about living with this disease. Hearing other people’s stories can help and you may also need specific information on topics such as work, benefits and pregnancy/parenthood. 

Reading or listening to the stories of others with RA can help, especially as many people given a diagnosis of RA won’t know anyone else with the condition. 

RA often hits people of working age. NRAS have conducted several work surveys to see what working life is like for people who work and have this condition, what their major concerns are and how their employer has responded. For many years now we have had resources to help employers to better understand an employee with RA and for the employee to understand their rights at work and what they should be asking for to support them to continue working.  

Whether people are able to or unable to work, depending on the level of severity of their disease, they may be entitled to certain benefits, but the process for claiming benefits and knowing what to claim can feel overwhelming. Our information on benefits can help you to understand what you may be entitled to, how to go about starting your claim and what process to follow.  

For men and women wanting to have children when they have RA there can be additional considerations over those that other parents face. However, with the right support and information, there is no reason to think that people with RA can’t and shouldn’t be able to parent. Good information will help you to understand which medications you can take while trying to conceive and during pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as information on how to lift and hold your child and useful gadgets to make looking after babies and young children easier.  

01. Your stories

In this section you can find stories shared by the NRAS Community. Find stories relevant to you, and other ways you can join the community.

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02. Work

RA can affect all aspects of life, including work, and of course the added stress of needing an income from work makes managing RA in a workplace setting all the more important. Thankfully, there is much that can be done, with reasonable adjustments and a good understanding of your rights and how your employer can support you at work.  

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03. Benefits

The benefits system can be tricky to navigate, especially if you have never claimed any benefits before. Your healthcare team will give you information on treatments, but when it comes to finding out about benefits, this is often something you are expected to do yourself, but there is support available to help you through this process 

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04. Pregnancy and parenthood

Pregnancy and parenthood can bring a lot of stresses and challenges, especially for a parent with RA. These challenges, however, can be overcome with the right support and informationto make parenthood the rewarding experience that all parents strive for. 


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05. Emotions, relationships and coping with RA

For every person given a diagnosis of RA there is a wider circle of people who will also be affected by that diagnosis. The diagnosis can affect the nature of that relationship, but understanding and acknowledging all these changes and working through them can help to strengthen relationships. 

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06. Practical help

People with RA can need practical help with everyday activities. This can be through aids or gadgets, items already available or through finding new ways to do an activity. One of the major areas where practical help is needed is with computers and other electronic devices.  

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NRAS in 2023

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