Skip to main content

Non Drug Pain Management Ideas: Coping with Lupus at night

By now, you have probably heard the expression,"Cold hands...warm heart." And for those of you with Lupus, it might just be more than that!  Raynaud's phenomenon, a painful vascular problem, is not unusual in people with Lupus disease.  If affected, the hands and other areas of the body (earlobes, for instance) experience circulatory changes due to stress or cold exposure.  Some ideas to combat the discomforts of Raynaud's include using insulated glasses when drinking cold drinks, or wearing gloves during colder weather to protect your hands from the elements. Gloves are also useful when you need to put food into/remove food from the freezer!



Diet is an important element of managing lupus, whether it is time for a snack or a meal. Eat plenty of
whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Lean meats are a good choice, but make an effort to include fish in your diet.  The omega-3 oils in some fish, such as salmon, help reduce inflammation and may be cardio-protective in people with Lupus for reasons not completely understood.  


After a day of work, the fatigue that is common with Lupus might interfere with social plans.  Going out after work, especially on Friday nights, might not be the best idea. This can be remedied by opting for going out on Saturday nights, after you've had a chance to rest a bit. Going out for Sunday brunch is another terrific option! Alcohol might also be an issue; it might be possible to have an occasional drink but it's always good to check with your doctor or pharmacist about how this may impact your particular situation.  Some drugs may be less effective in the presence of alcohol; serious drug interactions are also possible.

When it's time for bed,  a whole new set of challenges that may arise.  For one thing, intimacy may be an issue due to stress or anxiety, or lubrication problems. Regular exercise such as tai chi or yoga may help with this problem; personal lubricants are also an option, if needed.  The main thing here is to be open with your partner, and to find new ways to enjoy intimacy. A nice jacuzzi may be worth its weight in gold!




For sleep improvement, try to remove all sources of artificial light away from your bedroom. Cell phones, LED clocks, televisions and such can mess with your body clock, and thus affect your sleep cycle. Try to stay regular with your medications and dosing times; if you think a medication is causing problems falling asleep, talk to a health care professional about it. Sleep improvements could be a simple matter of changing the dosing time! If you have heartburn or GERD, which is common in Lupus, avoid drugs such as NSAID (ibuprofen, for example) which can irritate the stomach. Avoid foods that seem to aggravate this issue.  Elevate the head of your bed about 6 inches using blocks so that your head is higher than your feet while you're asleep; this helps keep stomach acid from travelling up the esophagus.

Sources: WebMD;Flickr;epgpatientdirect.org;Wikimedia


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:


Sources: prweb;NorthJersey.com;YouTube


Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.





Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.




The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…