Does stress contribute toward flareups

I don't know why this is happening, but I work in a very stressful job. Having been off for a week I started feeling more relaxed no symptoms. 1st day back today and I left work with severe headache, visual disturbances (flashing lights), chest pain and pins and needles on my left side. Does anyone know if increased stress/anxiety impacts on APS and if so what would be helpful in combating this.

13 Replies

  • Hi there, I think stress makes any condition work... however a lot of people find meditation techniques useful, also Mindfulness as a tool in the box. I have several on sound files which I use for all sorts of things. Do you take the odd rest break during work, ie the odd five minutes here and there, and do you get a regular lunch break etc? I know people can forget to regularly drink water when working and busy, I had to train myself when busy in an office, which luckily I am not doing now. I also used to try and spend every lunch break outside! MaryF

  • Well I left early as I had not been for lunch break today. And I do try to at least get up and walk around just to take a break but I don't find that it helps as when I go back to my desk I end up feeling the same again. I was told some time ago that I have a heart valve that is leaking and I'm worried about overdoing it. Throughout the course of the day my feet gradually became swollen also. Maybe the meditation would help after work in the evening but I'm often shattered by early evening and don't need much help getting to sleep.

  • I often do mine before I drop off to sleep, so often end up apparently doing a 'snoring' meditation! Is your GP/consultant keeping an eye on your care? You must tell them if you feel really awful, as really you are the best judge of things. MaryF

  • I have an appointment at St Thomas's end of July.Not been before but I'm really hopeful that I will get answers and very good treatment, as I've heard nothing but positives about this hospital. My GP is not helpful and the heamatologist I see just tells me my symptoms are not related to my blood. I have reported feeling like I am picking up germs and flu like symptoms a lot but he maintains this is not related. Last time I went they confirmed I'm anaemic and this may be why I feel unwell. But I thought that APS is an autoimmune disease that does affect immunity and being as I work with people who are unwell and visit them in their homes some of which are filthy I tend to pick all all sorts of things

  • As you have been diagnosed with APS you are on warfarin. As I understand the coagulation clinic and the nurse there knows nothing about APS (usual here in Sweden also) She can not say that your symptoms are not related to you blood-disorder. That is up to the doctor to decide. Also to raise your therapeutic range as it is obvious you need a higher and reliable INR.

    So when you are going to St Thomas you are to be congratulated!. There they will certainly understand what APS means and also that you get very tired and feel awful in a lot of your organs when you are not beeing in range with your INR,.

    I think you should look at the Foundation web site on all the different books you can find about this illness. I always recomment to begin with (as I did and understood I had APS) "Sticky Blood Explained" by Kay Thackray.

    I hope that you will feel much better when you can have an INR that is stabil as it must be for us with APS.

    Best wishes to you from Kerstin in Stockholm

  • For the past 11 years I have had a bad problem with stress and bad anxiety because of work pressures and family life. My anxiety's peaked last Sept and thats when I started with my APS symptoms. My symptoms come on more when I am under stress/anxiety. I am on Heparin now and I have to stay that the symptoms have settled and even when I am still stressed, they are only faint compared to previously. I can't help thinking that anxiety problems are linked to the symptoms. Good luck with your appointment!

  • At least I know that if you are stressed your APS symptoms get worse.

    Best wishes from Kerstin

  • There is undoubtedly a straight line connection between stress and aggravated autoimmune symptoms, so, we have to address some part of this equation. If we can not get the stress out if our life, ( and most of us can't) we must address another facet of this. Stress-reducing techniques can be very effective,

    And while you are at St Thomas you might confirm how much exercise you may safely do given your heart valve issues. I also have mild heart problems --a fib, mitral valve prolapse with moderate regurgitation--but I notice my symptoms improve when I exercise to the point if breathing hard 20 minutes a day. Those hormones which are released with exercise are a natural counter to stress hormones,

    ( if you have a target number of heart beats per minute you are told not to exceed you may consider purchasing one of those heart moniters or Exercise ap for smart phone. I bought one after my surgery as my heart issues flaired for the first few months. I just wired myself up and went for my walk, checking to see how fast, or how steep, I could walk and stay in range. I credit that moniter for my heart's fast recovery. And it took the cognitive stress out of my daily exercise walks: I didn't have to worry about whether or not I was doing too much. The little moniter screen told me!

  • Hi Gina. You always find so many good solutions to our different APS-problems. I have started balance practicies and will continue in a group also. I have learnt to use D-vitamin, not too much wheat (that was perhaps not you) and a lot of other things.

    Best wishes from Kerstin

  • Yes I have experienced flareup when stressed.....I find

    psychotherapy works (Mindfulness oriented/or Cognitive behavioral...thoughts create feelings etc./or Psychosynthesis

    practitioner); and I am prescribed a low dose of an anti-depressant (SSRI)...appears to "turn down the volume" of the stress = fewer flareups

  • Thank you all for your advice. The excercise tip is a good one I do go to classes like zumba and spinning which I find help destress after work. But I find at times how I'm feeling when leaving work makes me want to go to bed rather than the gym. But the meditation idea might be useful during working hours. So that I feel more like going to the gym rather than going home

  • Try to take short pauses. Just lend back or go to bed for 10 minutes can make such a different. Going from work and direct to the gym was difficult even when i did not have APS.

    Best wishes to you again from Kerstin

  • Thank you kirsten your right there. I will certainly try that tip too. Hope your well too.

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