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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coping With Flare Ups While Pregnant - Physically

March 2010, I found out that I was PREGNANT!   "OMG, this is NOT the time, I thought", but apparently God's timing was and is perfect.  

Since the medication I was on, Enbrel, is a newer biologic on the market, not enough research was shown to deterimine its affects on a growing fetus. I was recommended to STOP all medication ASAP! 

Well, it didn't take long for my flare ups to start again.  If you are pregnant and can not take any medication for your pain, I hope you will find the following list helpful:

1. Hot & Cold Contrast Bath
(Dip flared area if possible in Cold Water for 30 secs, then hot for 10 secs) "Contrast baths decrease swelling, stiffness and pain, and increase movement and circulation. This is the only “heat modality” you can safely assume will not cause swelling, and in fact it is a proven method for decreasing swelling. Warm water dilates, expands or opens up the blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow. Cold water constricts blood vessels, or makes them smaller. The alternating warm and cold water acts as a pump to get fluid out. Warm water alone may cause swelling."

2. Where protective splints / guards depending on which joints are hurting. This will protect the joints from further damage of sudden movements, or weight. There are splints meant for wearing to sleep which are comfortable and some with a cooling gel to reduce the swelling while sleeping.

3. Elevate the swelling joints / limbs by using pillows. This also reduces the swelling which inturn will reduce the pain while sleeping.

4. Castor Oil. I personally rubbed castor oil; however found it penetrated and relieved only my muscle pains rather than joints. However relieving any pain helped for me personally.

5. Camomile Tea / Sleepy Time Tea: it's a vicious cycle, the less sleep one gets the more flare ups, the more pain , and leading to lack of sleep.  I found sleepy time tea helpful. It did make me drowsy enough to dose off and get a good night sleep, but it did take me more than 1 cup that's for sure.

I hope you will find this helpful and if this is you too, I'm really sorry you have to go through this.
The good news is the disease will go into remission further along the pregnancy. It's a miracle really how this happens.  :)

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