What’s the Link Between Rheumatoid Arthritis and Stress?

a man with rheumatoid arthritisRheumatoid arthritis (RA) can happen to anyone. But those who have experienced a number of stressful events in life are more at risk. Additionally, those who always experience stress observe RA’s symptoms more often.

That’s why it’s important that you get help with rheumatoid arthritis. South Jordan health expert RedRiver Health and Wellness Center highly recommends taking notes when you experience such symptoms. To get the treatment patients need, it’s important to have an open communication with your doctor.

The Link between Stress and RA

One study shows that people who suffer from RA had experienced traumatic events in their childhood. Other research support that people who went through physical, emotional, or sexual abuse are more prone to developing RA, compared with those who did not.

In fact, those clinically diagnosed to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are susceptible to the autoimmune disorder. But stress isn’t just a risk factor for RA. It also worsens symptoms, such as pain and fatigue.

Doctors observe that daily stressors, such as waiting in long lines or dealing with piles of paperwork in the office, had most patients reporting bouts of pain more often. So, what’s the deal with stress and RA? RA is an autoimmune disorder, which causes painful inflammation in the joints.

When stressed, the body tends to release cytokines, chemicals that play a role in making joints swollen and tender, thus the pain. Stress also weakens the immune system’s ability to function properly, which leads to RA patients suffering from fatigue.

Communication with Your Doctor

RA’s symptoms that flare up due to stress are debilitating. Observe your triggers and parts of the body that are often in pain. Notice also which times they usually happen and how long they last. Some doctors will ask you about how you cope with the symptoms when they flare up, so it’s best to keep a record of that as well.

These bits of information will give your doctor a picture of the status of your health and from there recommend ways to manage stress and RA better.

Stress plays a huge role in RA. Be transparent to your doctor about the stressors and symptoms, so you can get the treatment you need.