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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

Tips on coping with a flare-up

I have recently emerged from a very nasty flare-up of my rheumatoid arthritis with all the usual symptoms of tiredness, painful swollen joints, a lack of energy, poor appetite, etc. I wondered whether the medical profession or any of your readers have ideas about how to deal with this. All I have found that helps is to basically give in to the symptoms and hope that they will soon calm down. All suggestions welcome!
Sally Brush, Corwen, Clwyd, North Wales

 

In answer to Sally Brush’s question in Arthritis Today Spring 2010 about coping with rheumatoid arthritis flare ups, what I do is gentle exercise (if I can manage it), use frozen peas to bring down swelling and microwave wheatbags to ease pain (which work extremely well). I take paracetamol and naproxen to reduce inflammation. But sometimes, in the end all I can do is have a good cry and rest. I do take several supplements every day that I believe limit my occurrences of flare-ups and I find it is important to keep moving if at all possible. Hope this helps.
Lynn Belmar, Little Sutton, Cheshire

After a very long time without any flare-ups, which left me thinking I had finally conquered my rheumatoid arthritis, I had one, and spent a very uncomfortable night with aches all over my body. My GP put me on 5 mg of prednisolone (a steroid tablet), and the result was immediate, leaving me pain-free. When I next saw my consultant for my regular six-monthly check-up he told me that if I wanted to reduce the dosage I had to do it very gradually, but never to reduce it to below 2 mg. If I was to have another flare-up I was to return to 5 mg immediately. This happened a few days ago, I am back on 5 mg and free of all usual symptoms. I am very grateful for my six-monthly check-ups (more frequent if I’m in trouble) and the co-operation between my GP and consultant. My rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed when I was 36 and I am now 90.
Mrs H Trott, Cheam, Surrey

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