Stress related flare up?

I haven't posted for a long time as I have generally been well controlled on Leflunomide and sulphasalazine. For the last half of last year and beginning of this one I have been under a lot of stress as my 95year old mother had several spells in hospital before being transferred to a nursing home in October. Unfortunately she died middle of December and then my sister-in-law died on Christmas eve. Throughout this period my inflammation levels have been very good despite my doctor saying to be careful as stress can cause flares. However since coping with 2 funerals this year and supporting my family through their bereavement once everything has settled back down to normal I have had a lot of fatigue days and stiffness in my elbows. Could it be adrenalin that has seen me through this stressful period and now my life has calmed down it is all coming out in a flare? Has anyone else experienced this?

9 Replies

  • An infection did it for me not stress. Been in pain since end December on and off several visits to the GP and consultant. Several lots of antibiotics and now the injection to reduce inflammation. My RA was in remission till this happened so not used to pain. I hope you feeling better very soon. x

  • My RA was in remission too so I'm pretty annoyed with my body doing this to me now. Going on holiday at the end of March so I want to be well again by then.

  • Ofsted did it for me! Although I knew what to expect and was alright during the last four inspections, as soon as the inspectors left I got a major flare up! I think I was definitely running on adrenaline during the inspection but then ended up having at least three weeks off work afterwards. In 2015 I decided enough was enough and retired Since then I have had minor flares, even though I've had to cope with my dad's death, arranging his funeral, and coping with my mum's subsequent ill health, the stress is a different sort of stress and I haven't had any major flares.

  • So sorry you have been through such an awful time recently. Yes stress can cause flare ups. My hubby has dementia and I am stressed most days the last time I saw my rhumy he told me that I must consider putting him a rest home as my rd is not getting controlled due to the amount of stress and doing everything at home. I must say that I do find it so difficult at times, and still deciding what to do. X

  • I feel for you having to cope with your husband's dementia at home. Although my Mum didn't have it I saw many families struggle with it in the hospital ward where my Mum was for 4 months and then had to eventually arrange for residential care for their wife/husband. It's a hard decision to make but could be for the best for everyone. "Emmerdale" is running this sort of situation at the moment and seem to be portraying it very well. Have you been watching it?

  • Oh I'm sorry that must be very hard for you. I work with people with dementia as a mental health nurse and see husbands and wives trying to cope at home looking after their loved ones. I know you must feel very sad and guilty but it is an impossible task for a person who's well let alome some one with RA. Why not consider a short break in a RH and see how it goes ? Xx

  • Thank you for your replies. I went to my local WI meeting last night and we had a group photo taken. Just seen it this morning and I look how I feel - pale and worn out. So I am giving in and have made an appointment with my doctor next week. Hopefully I will get a steroid injection or tablets to sort me out.

  • I'm so sorry for your losses Jean, that must have been a difficult, stressful period for you especially with both being so close to Christmas. I think there's something in adrenaline helping ward off flaring & now you're not so occupied with everything which had to be be attended to & things are settling into place again your body & RD is responding.

    As well as 'normal' flares I think we can also have a delayed response flare. I think this is when adrenaline's kept us going & as sure as I can be what I experienced following my f-I-l's failing health, multiple hospital admissions & discharges & eventual death in November. I had what I would describe as a mini flare, confirmed by inflammation & much higher than normal ESR just before Christmas & pretty convinced that adrenaline had a part to play warding anything more major off. I was also aware how my body would likely react having been there before so I did all I was able to stave a full flare off, well as much as we can because we can never be fully in control can we?

    Try to relax into it & exercise as much as you're able. That & increasing a couple of my meds I'm convinced helped me. I hope it soon passes & you're back on the right track sooner rather than later. x

  • Thank you for your reply. Your experience sounds just like what I am going through now. Hope to feel a bit better by this time next week.

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