Category Archives: Symptom Management

boost positivity and decrease stress

Five Positive Ways to Boost your Mood and Relieve Stress and Pain

It’s not always easy to stay positive – but dwelling on negative thoughts can do more than put you in a blue mood; your thoughts affect the way you feel mentally and physically, says Helen Grusd, PhD, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist who specializes in health psychology. Studies have shown that gloomy thoughts can worsen pain and fatigue and negatively affect your immune system.

Fortunately, positive thinking can have the opposite effect. Try these simple mood boosters.

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reading sunscreen labels

How to Read Sunscreen Labels

Wearing sunscreen is especially important for people with inflammatory arthritis and conditions such as lupus, because their medications or disease may make them extra sun-sensitive. But choosing the right sunscreen may not be so simple. The good news is sunscreen labels – governed by federal regulations and designed to rein in over-reaching claims like “waterproof” and “sunblock” – can help you pick the best protection for your skin. Here’s what to look for on sunscreen labels.

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arthritis severity factors

What Determines How Severe Your Arthritis May Become?

A diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis can leave you wondering what you’re in for: Will you face along, bumpy road with your disease, or will it respond well to minimal treatment? Although there is no crystal ball, research into different forms of inflammatory arthritis is identifying factors that predict the likelihood of more or less severe disease.

Knowing these factors enables your doctor to target treatment, says David Pisetsky, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and immunology at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. “With evidence of a worse prognosis, most rheumatologists will monitor patients more closely, try to get disease control more rapidly and adjust medications to achieve a [disease] activity score as low as possible,” he says. Plus, steps to taper treatment in those who achieve remission “would be more cautious and gradual,” he adds.

Here are prognostic factors your doctor may consider. Continue reading What Determines How Severe Your Arthritis May Become?

arthritis supplements for sleep

Three Supplements for Better Sleep

It’s 2 a.m. and you’re wide awake. Your arthritis symptoms are under control. You’ve given up caffeine, naps and late-night TV, and you practice yoga and deep breathing, but these changes haven’t worked for you. Before resorting to prescription sleeping pills, consider trying one of the following natural remedies. But remember: Talk to your doctor before starting any supplement.

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superfoods for arthritis

Nourish Your Organs with These Superfoods

You probably already know that diet and arthritis symptoms are inextricably linked. Sugary, high-fat, processed foods may trigger an inflammatory response while those that are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as fruits, vegetables and heart-healthy fats may help quiet symptoms.

“Each organ in the body is responsible for specific functions, but food, stress and everyday living can compromise their ability to do their jobs effectively,” explains Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, CL, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The organs of people living with arthritis are vulnerable to suboptimal functioning, not only because of the disease itself, but also because of its treatments.

The good news: You can help support each organ system – and stave off other chronic diseases – by amping up your intake of certain foods.

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adapting your house for arthritis

Adapting Your House When You Have Arthritis

Does your hip throb when you get in and out of the bathtub?

Are stiff fingers making it tough to prep meals in the kitchen? Whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, some daily tasks – cooking, bathing, doing laundry and moving around the house– can become a real challenge.

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on remodeling improvements. There are steps you can take to make your home safe and protect your joints.

“The goal is to use adaptations to preserve your ability to perform and participate in activities of daily living,” says Scott Trudeau, PhD, OTR/L, productive aging program manager at the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Here are six tips to help you prep your abode for life with arthritis.

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