Janeysailor Member Posts: 3
edited 26. Aug 2013, 13:46 in Say Hello Archive
Hi there I am a 55yr old very active lady who has just been diagnosed with reactive arthritis. My GP tells me it will go eventually, but to be honest I'm really scared. I have been prescribed Naproxen and it seems to help but today I took out my sailing dinghy in light wind and found it so challenging and now I'm on the settee in pain.
I have no idea how long I will suffer from this but it has really upset and alarmed me......I'm not used to being steady with my day to day activities.
Please if anyone can give me advice based on their own experiences I'd be most grateful.


  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Janeysailor;

    I was originally thought to have this too ~3 years or so, ago. The senslble doctor's advice given to me then was:

    1) pay close attention to diet; no skipping meals, lots of high quality protein, fruit and veggies.

    2) avoid people with viruses and infections, and anything that will cause more stress of your system, ie extra care avoiding food-borne bacteria/illneses.

    3) Cut back as much as you can on stress in your life. This drives a cortisol response in the body with many deleterious effects, including some to the immune system. Worry is stress too :D

    4) Get lots of rest and don't do any activity until exhaustion. Take rests often and even when you don't think you need them.

    Treat yourself well and from what I understand, most people do recover fully :D

    Best of luck.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,623
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello from me too, janeysailor.

    I don't have ReA - mine's RA. In fact, very few people on here do but you've had some good advice there from Boomer. Stress, in particular, makes all forms of arthritis worse. It's very hard to avoid but we all make it worse at times by stressing over unnecessary things. 'Unnecessary things' might, for a time, include your sailing :(

    Exercise, of the right kind, is very good and helpful for arthritis but I'm not sure whether or not sailing would come into that category. We all need to be able to stop quite some time before our joints tell us we must. I read, recently, in Arthritis Care's Inspire magazine, that we should apply the 60% rule. In your case, that would mean that, next time you went sailing, you would only do it for 60% of the time you did yesterday. If that works for you so be it. If not, try reducing by 60% again.

    It's all very annoying, even for us old hands, but, as you've discovered, arthritis will bite back if you just try to ignore it and carry on.

    You may not feel 'lucky' right now :roll: but you are insofar as ReA does normally go away after a time. In the interim you will learn new coping strategies and different skills. You may find it useful to enter 'Reactive Arthritis' in the Arthritis Care search engine at the top of the page. On the left of the page that comes up you'll find Arthritis Care leaflets on it.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 27,389
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    HI Janey

    Lovely to meet you, but I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis.

    I hope you will be one of the lucky ones for whom it does get better.

    I am glad you found this forum, just reading the posts (look on the Living with Arthritis forum and try putting the term 'reactive arthritis' into the search box), will help you a lot.

    I think the advice Boomer has given you is sound as is Stickywicket's about how much/little to do. I can see sailing is really important to you, but it is a strenuous sport so wonder whether you can get some help for a while from another sailor???


    Toni xxx
  • Janeysailor
    Janeysailor Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all so much for your kind replies. My Dr was very good but a bit vague as to what I should do to manage this condition. He just kept telling me it would go eventually.....but couldn't say how long I would be suffering. Last night was just awful I could literally barely walk. And lying in bed was stupidly painful. This morning I'm a little less stiff.
    Your replies have been very useful to me. Especially about the stress. I was very distressed yesterday at my sailing club....we had our August regatta and I was desperate to sail, I now know I did FAR too much. I won't be attempting that again :cry:
    I'm self employed and run a small domestic cleaning Buisness. I do have some help but it looks like I will have to rely on my other employees more, but some of my clients do insist that I go to them. I am hoping I can carry on with a few of them myself.

    Once again thanks for all your helpful advice.

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,236
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Janeysailor
    And a a warm welcome form me, but sorry you are suffering like this..I wont be much help I have OA..but like you was into fitness...so I understand some of what you are going through
    You will get lots of info off the forum and also talking does help..so I do hope to see you posting more very soon x

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