Can Stress Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

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Tips for coping with both stress and rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

The occurrence of stress (either emotional or physical) in people with RA can vary. While some find it was present or getting worse when the disease flares, others are able to cope with it and prevent the disease from worsening.


Many times, stress is inevitable condition, especially if you have chronic health condition like RA. However, you can manage it!

Regular exercise!

During flare-up, the affected joint can be painful and you may not feel like going for exercise. Then you want take a bed rest for several days.

That is normal, but make sure to take bed rest wisely! Too much bed rest can be counterproductive for your recovery. Once your body is ready, try to remain active as much as you could.

And once you know that you are ready for exercise, start it gradually! Exercise itself is good for any arthritis form (including for RA). But to optimally gain its potential benefits, just make sure you do it regularly!

Remember that not all kinds of exercise are safe for people with arthritis, see more in here! See also natural approaches to cope with RA!

Regular exercise can be great natural approach to cope with both stress and RA. To keep safe work with a physical therapist, especially if the symptoms of your RA get in the way of your exercise!

Don’t push yourself beyond your limit! Instead, it’s very important to get to know your limits and listen to your body. Understand when you should say ‘No’ or ask for help!


What else?

The following are other helpful checklists:

  1. Sometime you may need to take time for yourself to soothe the pain or cope with other symptoms of your RA. This is not bad idea as long as you don’t push yourself too far or this doesn’t cause isolation.
  2. Maintain your sleep cycle as well! Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time for every day! If you have sleep deprivation, you can lose your concentration and also easier to have stress. If your RA does affect your sleep cycle, talk to your doctor!
  3. Try some relaxation therapies can help, too!
  4. Say ‘No’ for cigarette smoking since smoking can worsen both RA and your stress level. Even according to some studies, smoking might increase the risk of developing RA.
  5. Make a good relationship with others! Being socialize or – joining into the RA community if necessary – can help support you emotionally so thus you will not feel alone and are at low risk of having other psychological problems (like depression).
  6. Follow the treatment plan and work with your doctor!
  7. And it’s also great idea if you become better informed so thus you can have better preparation to deal with your disease. For instance, there is no specific diet for RA, but certain food may make your RA get worse – see more in this post!

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