Off topic -Flare we go again!: Have not had a flare for... - NRAS


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Off topic -Flare we go again!

Green230461 profile image

Have not had a flare for a long time ..... woke this morning with pain in my jaw shoulder ribs knee and ankle RA hokeycokey again!

I am sure there is a link between emotion and RA. Had to put my dog to sleep at the weekend after 14 years. Woke up sad on Sunday and achy since.

I would love to know if any scientific brains have worked out that RA sufferers get worse in times of sadness following some emotional trauma like bereavement/divorce/ unemployment or just pets?

I think this disease sends sadness enemies round our bloodstream and that kicks it off again. Well not for me!

Going to sit sadly for one more day drinking tea, reading the new Val Macdermid 1997 and looking at photos of my dog. Then move over RA sounds like I have another Covid jab to put in my diary.

Thank you good people for reading my post. X

85 Replies

Oh so sorry to hear your sad news - it's awful when we lose a much-loved pet 😢14 years is a good innings but it doesn't feel like that when they go. Give yourself time to grieve and then hopefully the good memories will take over. 💐

Thank you for your kind comments. My sister who has never owned a pet said no worries you get get another! No idea!

Not the most sympathetic response!We have been through the process several times and it's always been hard. When the time is right, getting another one can be wonderful but you need to wait until you're ready.

First off trauma will trigger ra, well it did with me. I had pneumonia for a month and i was quite ill. Then in the new year Ra paid me a visit and stayed. So losing your beloved pet will certainly bring on a flare. Mourn your pet darling and rest while you are doing it. I am sorry about your pet we do become so attached to them don't we. Hugs from me. xxxxPs a lovley

beautifull rose
Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to sylvi

Thank you 🙏

I was just feeling a bit low. Hope you and hubby are now on the mend x

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to sylvi

Love the photo Sylvi! Thank you for sharing it and your wise words. Severe stress is always a precursor for my RA flares and it usually kicks in about six months later. I am always good at being very strong and going into action in a crisis involving a member of my family or a dear friend, and being there for others, but the RA flare is the payback...and what a payback. I think anything as upsetting as losing a pet can be a problem for us in 'dealing with our RA pain' in the week or two after. Losing a much loved pet is a bereavement and after such a long time of giving and receiving love it hurts.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Knip

Thank you for your kindness. We try to be strong for others but sometimes RA just takes over once again. Our pets give us such love and company but we do not realise how much! My dog had a tumour in her liver and the vet said we were doing the right thing but it was very hard -selfish really! Now I need to remember the fun times. Take care and stay well 🌺

Knip profile image
Knip in reply to Green230461

Thank you Green, you stay well too.

Oh gosh that is really sad, so sorry for your loss, no wonder you are having a flare, your stress levels must be very high. I think like you are doing, you need to look after yourself and take care. X

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Stowe

Thank you. 🌺 had a gentle day today and feeling stronger. Keep well and safe.

Stowe profile image
Stowe in reply to Green230461

Your welcome, good that your feeling stronger today 😊. Xx

Sorry to hear about your beloved pet. Please be kind to yourself and allow yourself to grieve. These things cannot be rushed but you will smile at the happy memories. And I hope your flare soon subsides x

Thank you for your kindness. Spent today feeling sorry for myself but determined to perk up by the weekend 🌺

Aww Green, I'm really am so sorry to hear that - that's the age our last girl was and that was in 2013 but sometimes, even now, it feels like yesterday. I'm not surprised you're in a flare. Rest up, grieve but don't hold it in. Thinking of you. 🌹 xx

Thank you for your kind thoughts pets just bring so much pleasure. 💐

They really do don't they. x

Absolutely .. re emotional stress and a flare up. I stiffened up like a robot when my kitties had to be put to sleep even though my RA was perfectly controlled as such. So sorry to hear of your dog. Hope your joints feel better soon. The 💓 takes longer. x

Thank you. Your pets are such a big part of the family. Now I have to get the hoover out 💐 Tia used to follow me about like a shadow eating all the crumbs and just being my best friend. You really rely on them when you are unwell.

You do and they know when you aren’t doing to good and soothe you. 💗

Awe…. Very sorry for your loss.

Thank you for thinking of me 🌹

Emotional trauma has an awful effect on us all I believe. Sending healing thoughts and sympathy

So sorry for your loss, I cried for a week when we lost our first dog x

Bereavement initially made my arthritis go boom, consultant said its very common trigger.

Take things easy (you are right your sister really doesn't get it ) x

Thank you very much. Pets are such a big part of your life. Always have to consider them in everything that you do. 💐

Hi Green I'm so sorry for your loss, losing a pet is just awful. And yes, totally agree about stress/sadness triggering a flare. I've had weeks of it as I finally had to move my Mum into permanent care due to Dementia and the emotion has been absolutely overwhelming and my RA has been awful. So I totally get what you are saying and am sending love and hugs and good wishes that your RA calms soon xx

So sorry you lost your dog. It is so awful. I lost my dog 2 years ago and still miss him. I have one left who is 12 with multiple health problems and I find myself panicking if she is slightly off colour. Always find it strange that some people do not understand how awful it is to lose a dog, they are such close companions. Take care xxxx

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Wobbies

I think when you are unwell your pet is such a noble companion. They understand you even when others don’t! Thank you for your kind thoughts give your dog a special treat from me 🌹

Wobbies profile image
Wobbies in reply to Green230461

Thank you, I will give her an extra hug from you. x

Stowe profile image
Stowe in reply to Wobbies

Yep I know exactly what you mean, my dog is only 7 yet I'm already panicking now If there is anything wrong with with her 😔

Wobbies profile image
Wobbies in reply to Stowe

Must say that I am really lucky as I have made friends (sort of) with my vet and have her personal email address which she responds to 24 hours per day. It is very reassuring,

Stowe profile image
Stowe in reply to Wobbies

Wow that impressive 😊 our vets are very good but they don't give the service your does 😁

Wobbies profile image
Wobbies in reply to Stowe

I know, have to be careful not to misuse it or use it for anyone else. All started when a puppy of mine had numerous ailments and a very complicated drug regime and my vet felt it best she always see him rather than trying to explain his problems to another vet and them potentially spoiling his delicate balance of care. If only the NHS worked like that. 😀😀

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Wobbies

How great is that! Our vet was lovely too so kind and compassionate

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Wobbies


Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Stowe

They are such a big part of our lives 🌺

I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your very much loved dog. I have lost a few dogs myself over the years and I am almost certain that when we have a sudden trauma like that it definitely makes our pains much much worse . You have to now grieve properly and let nature take its course , over the months you will feel a bit stronger . 😊

Thank you for your kindness 🌺

I am so sorry to hear about your dog. I know exactly how you feel. It is a terrible time for you. I know people say this but it is true. Time does heel. You will never forget your dog but you will be able ro think about him without all the sadness. As for RA, I know with absolute certainty that stress, worry and sadness bring on flares and there is nothing we can do to prevent that but hopefully when you start to feel better your joints will start to ease. Sending heeling hugs.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Sheila_G

Thank you for your kindness. Our pets bring much joy and happy memories. But sadness makes you ache 🌺

Sheila_G profile image
Sheila_G in reply to Green230461

It certainly does. x

Hi Green230461. Yes I honestly think that stress and bereavement are a very strong link to flare ups. I nursed my lovely husband for a long time and my flare ups were unbelievable. When he passed away, all my joints were agony. I have mentioned to my doctors that I believe flare ups are caused by severe stress but they either ignored me or poo poo the idea. I didn’t argue with them but I know my own body and I am not stupid. So yes I do agree with your reasoning. Good luck to you.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Paulineg

Thank you. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. That is a true loss indeed. I hope you have family or friends to support you now 🌺

Hi, Im sorry to hear of your dog dying and know exactly how you feel.

I'm convinced there is a link to RA and emotions, certainly in my case. I was relatively fit and active, then I lost my husband to cancer after the initial diagnosis of ‘he will be dead within 6-8 weeks if the chemo does not work’. He lived for 20 months after. 15 months later my dog died, again cancer he went very quickly, the vet thinking it was a heart problem. After my dog died I started to get RA symptoms just before COVID lockdown but did not get diagnosed for a year as I could not get to see anyone, more emotional stress.

It’s a weird disease, I had one f2 f appointment with a rheumatologist and was diagnosed 6 weeks later over the phone, and basically everything was done by email consent for the medication, I’ve tried most drugs but only seem to tolerate Sulfasalazine, a combination of 2 drugs just makes me run down, cold sores, sore mouth, painful liver etc etc.

So I’m still not there yet after 6 months but better than I was. My problems are predominately tendons, I never get to speak to the same person at the hospital, I’m still waiting to hear back 3 weeks later to see if I up my dose since the rheumatologist was on holiday. The only other f2f appointment I have had was with a registrar who did not think the meds would help the tendons???

My GP suggested changing hospitals which I’m in the process of doing! It can only get better ❤️‍🩹.

I’m doing meditation now, I got some counselling, changed my diet which has all been for the good. But one thing is for sure it was linked to emotions, worry, bereavement and stress.

I get a strange anxiety linked to my heart now and so do deep breathing to control it which helps. I have been of work for nearly a year and hoping to go back one day a week to start next week 🤞.

Sorry to rattle on but as they say it good to talk!

Boxerlady profile image
Boxerlady in reply to Akaka

What a difficult time you've had, Akaka 😢 Let us know how you get on next week 💐

Akaka profile image
Akaka in reply to Boxerlady

Trying to remain positive and become me again! 🥰

Gnarli profile image
Gnarli in reply to Akaka

I can only imagine how awful is this part of your life. I wish it wasn't so hard for you and wish you better health, better treatment and more hugs from your loved ones

Akaka profile image
Akaka in reply to Gnarli


Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Akaka

So sorry to hear about your husband and pet. My RAstarted with an in growing toenail infection followed by the deaths of parents in quick succession. My doctor an elderly kind man said bereaved people often develop RA and he offered me hypnosis which helped me incredibly. He has now retired but he got me sorted. I am on baricitinib and sulfasalazine. A terrific combination. Most drugs take about 12 weeks to kick in so keep in touch 🌺

Similar here Green. A couple of years ago in November my sister died suddenly, she had been ill for a couple of years but nothing that suggested she would die (she and I were very close) and it was not long after that when I started getting awful fatigue. Fast forward to June the following year and my oldest brother died very suddenly too, again certainly not expected and by August, I was being diagnosed with RA. I have always thought it was the grief due to their deaths.

So sorry to hear about your family. The body reacts in very strange ways. I wandered around for months in a weird fog like state after my dad died. I thought I was normal but other family said not. You only realise how strong you are years afterwards 🌺

I'm sorry to hear about yours too and agree that the body really does react in very strange ways. xx

So sorry to hear about your loss. A very sad time for you. My RA is fairly well controlled but flares up whenever I am stressed - my rheumy has given me steroid tablets and told me to take them if I get a flare and now I can usually control it with a couple of days of tablets and then I stop. Might be worth talking to your rheumy dept.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Suzy-P

That is a good idea! Some rheummys are so proactive! You have got a good one there! Thank you for your kind thoughts🌸

Hi. An RA flare up can definitely be brought on by emotional trauma. So sorry for the loss of your dog. 14 yrs. It’s natural to be so upset. Pets are very special. I live with a gorgeous Syrian hamster called Eric. They can really cheer you up if you’re in pain, or feeling exhausted. I know my Eric helps me.

When i lost my lovely mother 4yrs ago. I had a very bad flare up of Iritis in both eyes. (I often get it). But it started the day after she died. I had to go & register her death. So a VERY emotional time. I was expecting it. My RA & Iritis always gets worse with an emotional event.

Hope your sadness eases. I find tea, a chunk of cake & a good comedy helps me. But maybe it’s a bit too soon for the comedy bit. Good luck with your flare up too. X

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Vixen2

Thank you! I made the mistake of watching Turner and Hooch which I remembered as funny but the dog dies in the end- not a sensible choice at all! Thank you for your kind words. So sorry to hear about your mum. Nothing can replace your mums cooking my mum did lumpy custard to perfection. Take care 🌺

Vixen2 profile image
Vixen2 in reply to Green230461

I remember Turner n Hooch. Tom Hanks is good. But i thought the lovely dog was the star. My mum was a great cook. She made a lovely bakewell tart. I like to cook. But she loved SPICEY food. When she came to my place one night, i was cooking. She brought out a MASSIVE, MASSIVE bottle of tobasco. That was a bit of an insult!! But we always laughed together. I let her off. Didn’t poison her!!! I miss laughing with her. We used to have cups of tea in hidden cafes & bus rides together. Lovely memories.

Hi Green230461. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your much-loved pet, it really is truly heartbreaking. I lost my cat a couple of months ago and it really broke my heart. Answering your question, when I saw my consultant a couple of months ago, I was having a really bad flare up and I said I have been feeling very low and anxious recently. She said there is a direct link from emotional trauma to RA. That's why she recommended seeing a therapist. Maybe try some meditation and yoga to just relax your body. I have recently started doing yoga and it does make me feel better. Don't be too hard on yourself though. Sending lots of love. Xx

A direct link? That is incredible. I developed RAafter my Dad died and my doctor said he often saw immune disease after stress. Your body really is a mystery isn’t it? Thank you for your kindness. 🌺

Sorry to hear your news. Yes, I do think RA hits back in periods of great stress. It's the great inflammation roller-coaster - once you're on it it's hard to get off. Hope your flare calms down quickly after some rest and care X

Thank you for your kindness. Feeling better today less achy so hopefully RAcan go back in it’s box for a while soon.

So sorry to hear about the loss of your lovely dog Green, sending big hugs and hoping the flare leaves you alone soon. Xx

Thank you for your kind thoughts. You don’t realise how much you talk to your pet! Or how much time they spend with you. Flare not too bad today. Still sad but able to laugh about Tia too. 🌺

Have a good weekend.

Aw Green, that’s so true. I always think coming through the front door isn’t the same either, without someone to greet you. Glad to hear that the flare seems to be settling though. Xx

That’s sad loosing a four legged friend they are so loyal always there for you it will going across the rainbow bridge all happy and no more pain Yer I often think it’s worse with stress trouble is R A makes you feel low and don’t want to do anything

So it’s like a viscous circle

I hope you feel better soon and you find comfort just think of your dog had a really good home warm fed and you

Happy to chat xx

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to B3ntl3y

We have a lovely vet who told us we were doing the kindest thing. Poor Tia had developed a tumour in her liver and it was growing quickly. He said she would not survive an operation. So yes she went over the rainbow- what a lovely thought- thank you 🌻

B3ntl3y profile image
B3ntl3y in reply to Green230461

I hope you feel a little less sad today weather doesn’t helpMuch take care

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to B3ntl3y

Thank you 😊

Hi Green

I'm so very sorry to hear about your beloved dog. Any of us who have had much loved pets will absolutely appreciate your grief. It is heartbreaking, and something we can't avoid. I definitely think things like this can affect our condition - no doubt whatsoever. As for your sister's comment, blindingly obvious she's never had a pet! It's upsetting though, that she couldn't put herself in your shoes, just for one moment.

I know in time you will remember all the happy times with your dog, and the pain will eventually ease. One thing I found helpful when I lost my previous cat 6 years ago was that I straightaway wrote down lots of things about him - what he liked and didn't, things he did, his funny little quirks and his habits and routines - all in a special notebook.. I couldn't look at it for ages, but now I can, and find it a huge comfort. It also reminds me of little things that surprisingly, I've forgotten over the 6 years. Don't know if that could help you.

Best wishes xx

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Kags1068

Thank you for your reply. That is a lovely thought a memory book of Tia. She was a lovely kind Jack Russell dachshund cross who was very cheeky. She loved to curl up with our cats to sleep and followed our other dog everywhere. The vet said she had a tumour in her liver and it was a kindness to put her to sleep.

Only one old cat left and she is twenty. Need to take special care of her

Have a good weekend 🌺

Kags1068 profile image
Kags1068 in reply to Green230461

You are very welcome. I hope it helps to write down memories of her, she sounded lovely and full of character. She obviously had a very happy and love-filled life with you. It's so hard when a Vet says something like that, but we have to take their advice. I agree though, however difficult it is, the decision to let them go peacefully is the last kindness we can show them.

I'm sure you will take special care of your much-loved cat. She's done very well reaching 20.

Be kind, and let yourself grieve. xx

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Kags1068

Thank you 😊

Well, yes - that's the simple reply to your query about emotions affecting the immune system leading to flares. There is, currently, research going on in the USA as well as here into links between the immune system, the brain and nervous system. There was an article in the NRAS magazine in 2018 about this very question.

Losing a beloved pet is certainly emotional and stressful. The immune system in RA is out of kilter and over reacts at times of stress.

But knowing that doesn't lessen your sadness at this time. Try to take your time grieving - it is an essential stage in recovery from your loss. Otherwise just get on with your life and don't let the RA win!

We're all with you.

Thank you for your positive thoughts and kindness. My doctor was convinced my RAstarted after the death of my dad some twenty years ago. When I am down the aches rise up. In the USA they seem to have a better insight into the whole body systems. I will take your advice and have a quiet thoughtful time. Take care of yourself and have a good weekend. 🌻

I also think that we inherit a tendency to certain illnesses, and RA is certainly one of them. That doesn't mean we will contract the disease just because our Mum had it, but our genetic inheritance makes it possible. My maternal grandmother was crippled with it and died in 1939 at the age of 58 after horrible suffering. My mother escaped it but I succumbed.

It is also true that women are more often affected than men. I have heard it said that the disease is passed through the female line - so men can inherit the tendency and disease from their mothers but can't pass it on. How true that is I don't know, but it's an interesting thought.

Like you, I have had flares after periods of stress, but sometimes you may not realise you are stressed and can be surprised at a sudden flare. There are breathing exercises that can calm the heart rate and relax the body generally, but I've only tried them occasionally so can't say whether they are successful or not. It takes a bit of discipline but it might be worth a go.

In 2019 I fell (as silly old women do!), fractured my hip and elbow among other things, and spent 6 weeks in hospital. I recovered very well but immediately after discharge I had a massive flare. The trauma just caught up with me, I suppose. And in hospital all was calm with a regular regime; quite different from our domestic chaos! Not very relaxing!

So many posts on this subject - most of us have experience of the effects of stress and traumas. Perhaps the NHS should pay more attention to it.

Take care, and you enjoy the rest of the weekend too.

bienassis x

Thank you. My mum suffered what she called aches and pains and was often tired. Looking back she had all the symptoms I experience but fifty years ago it was just “old age creeping up”Wishing you a safe and happy weekend too 🌸

My heart goes out to you, pets are such a big part of our lives and can be more important to us than family (as sadly in my case). There are going to be so many reminders but the grief is natural. Remember all the good times and don't fel silly if you want to or touch anything belonging to your beloved dog. As to emotions and RA flare ups, I am facing up to losing my beloved cat Olga, the one who licks my swollen joints, hope she will slip away peacefully and not at the hands of the vet. Some-one tried to rip me off charging lots of money for cutting my hedge and lawn, refused his quote and he got verbally abusive and the job centre are doing nothing to help me back into work, they don't want to know. My RA has flared up and become very painful. Yes there is a link to stress and motion.🐕🐕

I still have my twenty year old cat who keeps wandering around looking for Tia and bellowing at the back door as if she is waiting for her to come in!She was 14 a cheeky Jack Russell dachshund cross who ate tea towels and cat food! If the chance arrived. She gave me a lot of love and company when I was unwell- knowing when things were achy! We have a lovely vet who said she had a tumour in her liver and it was kindness to put her to sleep. I guess it was us that needed her and she needed peace.

Thank you for your kindness and enjoy those licks🌺

Sending you a hug....I firmly believe it was sadness that triggered my RA.

So sorry to hear that! Our emotions are a strong force indeed. Thank you for your kindness. Keep safe and well in these strange times 🌸

Im sorry to hear about your dog such a loss. I had to have my wee boy put to sleep several years ago too. I still miss him. Definitely, emotions certainly stress makes me unwell.

I love Val McDermott books, I've heard her speak too, what a character. Enjoy your read, relax and recuperate. Best wishes.

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Mmrr

We did a short tour this summer around Scotland visiting some of the places in her murder mysteries. What a beautiful place !🌺

I agree with you ..sorry to hear about pet I've had a flair for the past few months stuck me on steroids not happy

Green230461 profile image
Green230461 in reply to Dilly2

Take care hope things return to normal for you soon. A flare just knocks you sideways look after yourself 🌺


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