Can We Lead a Stress-free Life With Scleroderma? by Amy Gietzen
Chronic stress can lead to many physical and emotional issues, such as anxiety, high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and heart attacks. For many people with autoimmune diseases, stress causes a ton of complications and exacerbates symptoms.
This is also true for those of us with scleroderma, as stress can result in a Raynaud’s phenomenon flare-up, heart palpitations, anxiety, or stomach issues. Mostly, it makes the painful symptoms we already endure worse, and it might even cause new issues to arise.
Many doctors tell me to alleviate my stress or to avoid getting stressed out and upset. Unfortunately, extracting all of the stress out of my life is next to impossible. And I’ll tell you why: Living with scleroderma is inherently stressful.
The stress of scleroderma - We have to worry about eating right, getting enough sleep, and taking our prescribed medicine at the correct time and in the correct amount. Then there’s the task of getting transportation to and from doctor appointments and making sure we arrive at the right time.
Next, we must wear the proper clothing, depending on the weather. If it’s cold, layers it is. If it’s windy or raining, snowing or hailing, wearing the right items when venturing outside is key to protecting our body and avoiding catching a virus or developing pneumonia. This is just a taste of what people with systemic scleroderma must worry about when leaving the house.
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