Log in
Behçet's UK
4,372 members3,737 posts

Can exercise cause a flare?

I have been going to Curves since February this year when I stopped smoking. For the past 6 weeks I have been unable to go due to extreme tiredness, sore joints, sinus, ear, throat problems, amongst other stuff. From some research on the internet, I've found out that exercise can cause inflammation. I'm having a flare just now but wondered once it has eventually gone, whether I will be able to go back to exercising again, even if only at a moderate level, which the research suggests should work.

Has anybody had any experience of this?


15 Replies

Hi, yes, my daughter used to go jogging and found she had terrible flares after, then she tried the gym and the same happened, then she tried boxing and still the same, i think the best you can really do is just gentle excersize and know your limits, she is going to try pilates and yoga now as this works just as well but totally relaxing too. Good luck. x


Hi Tamirra,

Thanks for this - I had a really bad flare when I tried Boxercise....an hour and a half class and about 12 weeks of awfulness.....never thought about that as being a cause of the flare x


It’s all about management and getting to know your body overall. With BD things tend to have a knock on effect.

Eat well, pace yourself, avoid getting overtired or overstressed wherever possible. Gentle exercise such as that suggested above is very good. When you walk anywhere, adopt a good posture and try increasing your usual pace a little and take some good deep breaths as you do it. Gentle swimming is sometimes recommended as being a good form of exercise for BD patients.

If exercise hurts – STOP. If it makes you a little achy afterwards, consider if it’s the’ normal’ after effects of exercise that you are not used to, if you pushed yourself a bit too hard, or if it’s a mild flare or the beginning of a bigger flare.

Unfortunately it’s very difficult to measure/monitor what’s what but over time you should be able to see what helps and what doesn’t. Even relaxing in front of the tv could be used as an opportunity for some deep breathing, relaxation exercises and gentle stretching.


Thanks, am going in tonight to speak to the Curves folks and see what might be the best way forward in managing it if its possible. It's a flat 30 minutes, 3 times round the circuit, but if I don't push it too much and as you say, try and manage it, I hope it can be done. Really do enjoy it!


my specialist recomended yoga, and if you like to follow a dvd try callanetics, its all about core strength and teeny wee movements.. gym really does not work for me as i get very ill, but im sure you will find something...walking is the best... you can go at your own pace and the weather is getting colder and crisper so ideal!!! as you dont get as hot and sweaty!!!


hmm iv exercised before most of my flares how mad x


Thanks guys - am going tonight to see if I can keep my heart rate at no more than 21 (70%) - from doing some research on people with inflammation if you go above that rate it exacerbates it. Will be interesting to see if that is the case. though I am having a flare and not sure if I should be exercising at all.....but what's the worst that can happen....it goes worse than it already is........always feel that when it gets worse it's getting near the end of the flare...at least so far anyway x


Hi Triciastewart

I was looking at previous comments on exercise when I came across your post on heartrate levels.I've always exercised and don't want to give it up,can you give me some pointers on the 70% research you mentioned.


Hi Dundee1963, sorry for the slow reply, I wasn't online over the weekend. I found this online ideafit.com/fitness-library...

I have been going to Curves again and last week managed 4 half hour sessions. On every circuit (you do 3) they make you take your heart rate and have a chart on the wall that shows what rate you are exercising at, depending on the number of counts in the period - for my age to be working at 70% I need to have 21 beats in the period - I have found it difficult to keep it so low, a few times last week I hit 28!

Hope this helps.


Hi TriciaStewart

Thanks for replying.I found the website very useful, like you I've always exercised at a high intensity,it's so easy to get carried away.Thanks again, all the best.


Hi there

I found swimming to be very good and some swimming pools have exercise programmes in the water. Ours is called Aquafit or aqua-aerobics but don't know other names there might be.

When I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia some years ago, the physio department arranged water fitness for me. It is gentle on the joints and muscles and is not like exercising at all as it included music, which was great fun.

Even this I found affected me so I still had to go easy and try and build up but wouldn't go in a flare as this completely knocked me out.

I also have a gentle stretching DVD from the Chronic fatigue Clinic at Barts Hospital and this can even be done in bed or a chair.

I am unable to go swimming now and miss it....so it is worth a try



it is such a shame that it interferes with so much we enjoy! I haven't tried swimming for a while now as the last twice I went I ended up really ill. Not sure if the pool wasn't too clean, but ended up with tonsilitus and then was ill for weeks....it put me right off.


Sadly I am not able to go swimming any more, but I used to find this an excellent form of exercise, as it did not cause any bad problems afterwards. I think you must try out, or talk to your exercise leader about less stressful sorts of exercise which may prove to be more beneficial to you.

Good luck, I hope you find a good method. You may realise from this blog group that we all have to do a certain amount of 'test it and see' in order to get through life!

All the best, Suzanne.


i teach pilates, and think its a fantastic form of exercise, helps krrp me supple and keep moving. there are times when i just verbally as i cant actuallu do the moves because im feeling so rough. im sure that pilates has helped keeping me mobile and has definatly helped me with my balance.

good luck, listen to your body.. x


So glad I found your post. I’m going through a flare up at present caused by over exercising but more importantly the wrong type of exercise classes ( clubbercise and upper body strength with weights). The pain, fatigue, swollen lymph glands and anxiety are horrible.

Please stick to your limitations. Hope your doing well xx


You may also like...