Author Topic: Stress and Sjogrens  (Read 872 times)

bailey00

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Stress and Sjogrens
« on: September 16, 2013, 12:58:30 PM »
Hi All,

I'm new to the site, as well as pretty newly diagnosed but I was wondering if anyone else dealt with high levels of stress or anxiety and knew of any way to combate it.

I also have migraines and newly diagnosed gastroparesis(which I have been told is completely linked to my sjogrens) and they both also get worse with any kind of stress.

So, what can I do? I work full time and I am finishing my masters degree full time as well (I'm 24). I'm always busy and I try to keep a schedule, especially when it come to my sleep. But I find it hard to find time to exercise, and I know that's something the docs (rheumy and gastro) wanted me to do.

I guess my question is there any easier way to be less stressed out, because all it does is leave me a complete mess and after a long day I just seem too tired to work out. Has this happened to anyone else?
For migraines I take Topamax, Inderal, Magnesium, CoQ10, B2, and Imitrex, Treximet, Maxalt, Zomig, and Vicodin.For my gastroparesis I take Ginger, Nexium, and Phenergan.For my Sjogrens I take Plaquenil.I also take ambien and clonazepam and restasis.

Joe S.

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 01:16:31 PM »
I use a simple meditation to manage stress and pain.
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bailey00

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 01:27:59 PM »
Joe,

Is there a trick to meditation? Because everytime I try and sit there and consentrate on my breathing I start to think about what I need to do. My stress has caused some mild insomnia because my mind just never stops.
For migraines I take Topamax, Inderal, Magnesium, CoQ10, B2, and Imitrex, Treximet, Maxalt, Zomig, and Vicodin.For my gastroparesis I take Ginger, Nexium, and Phenergan.For my Sjogrens I take Plaquenil.I also take ambien and clonazepam and restasis.

quietdynamics

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 02:32:41 PM »

Hello bailey00...welcome to the party..lol

Smart of you to know to get a handle on stress.

Keep De-stressing "Simple/ not Perfect"

Try starting with simple deep breathing. When we are stressed we do shallow breathing, automatically. Do it while traveling, in the shower, etc.

Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever
by Gretchen Cuda   http://www.npr.org/2010/12/06/131734718/just-breathe-body-has-a-built-in-stress-reliever

Helps with finals too... ;)  Do it in bed and think of a nice beach..calm waves washing over you...yumm....sometime soothing to occupy that busy mind. Turn off the TV at least an hour before bedtime...the news?...will still be there tomorrow.

Look around your home environment.
Make a short list of things that take time...yes, looking for stuff you keep misplacing counts. De-clutter and make dedicated places so you can "breeze" though getting out the door in the morning. And come home with little to do, except unwind and then do academics...hopefully.
Lean early that "less is more free time"  :)


Sjogrens ANA 1:640; SS-A/B+; Fibro; IBS; Neuro symptoms,Thyroid Anti-bodies; Ocular Rosacea

lighthouse33

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 02:55:08 PM »
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness
By Jon Kabat-Zinn

The instructions are to read the book first (above) then start on the CDs listed below.  One is a full body scan, one is a sitting meditation and one is yoga.  This has really helped me.  You can do it lying on a mat or in bed; wherever you feel comfortable.  The body scan is my favorite.

Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 1
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 2
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 3

MSBR Stress Reduction Workbook ? I have this one too, it has a CD and it contains many meditations of various lengths.

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SjoGirl

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2013, 07:51:10 PM »
Ah stressing about stressing, been there done that for much of my life. Not stressing takes time, lots and lots of time (as in weeks, months, years).

Good advice here. Journaling can be good too though not if you stress about writing in general or having one more thing to do.

If can't slow down to meditate start slow. Try a moment of silence, 30 sec to 1 minute, before going into something stressful, a moment coming out of it as well can be a huge help.

I also recommend reading the Desiderata. For me SJS causes many if not all of use to redefine ourselves -- to ask makes me a good or successful person. Reading this piece helps.
Raynauds, SjS, Anemia, neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, osteopenia, Plaquenil, Fosomax, multivitamin with iron, Vitamin D, and Feosol (if my iron levels really dip).

Joe S.

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2013, 11:13:22 PM »
When you can do it for 15 minutes you will be at that stage. Here is a very easy meditation technique that will help you as it has helped me. Find a safe comfortable position and close your eyes. With your eyes closed, look to the top of your forehead. As you breathe in, think "I am" as you breathe out, think "calm". Repeat as needed. Meditation can be as good as sleep. if other thoughts intrude, start again.
bkn C4 & C5, herniation's 7 n, 5 t, 4 l, Nerve Damage
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grammad97

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 11:55:18 PM »
Hello. I purged all I could from my life in the way of tasks and chores. I simplified things like collections of stuff that required care etc. I said no a lot to stuff in favor of my health- physical and mental. Keep good sleep habits. No tech in the bedroom.
I wish you good things.
Primary sjogrens, UCTD; osteoarthritis;osteopenia; HBP ;fibromyalgia;RX-plaquenil, butrans 20mcg patch ;flexaril;hydrocodone5/325;restasis, omega3, vit D, super B complex;s ;gluten free;lisinopril;moderate hearing loss

paisley62

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2013, 12:35:28 AM »
Hello,

I am sorry you are having so much trouble.  coming to terms with having Sjogren's is lifelong process of adaption to the illness.

If meditation works for you, and enable you to continue on, that is great.  It apparently is working for an number of people who posted here. 

However, my first impression was more in agreement with what grammad97 said: "I purged all I could from my life in the way of tasks and chores."   So I would suggest simplifying your life as much as possible just as grammad97 is suggesting.

For migraines, if you can catch the migraine at the very first hint of getting one, I have had success in killing them with two excedrin migraine tablets, or two anacin migraine tablets.  Both are loaded with caffeine however, so if you take them plan to be awake for some long time afterward. 

Perhaps your doctor might have a more effective medicine for migraine.  There is a medicine called Decadron that you could ask your Rheumatologist about,  but do not take this longer than about three or four days maximum - if you take it long term you can get deathly ill as it is a super strong steroid.

As for the slow digestive system - yes, that is a typical Sjogren's problem, as is the fatigue the makes exercising difficult, which would presumably help things move through your system.  There are several tricks that work quite well for this.

The first one is to bring your knees up to your chest several times when you wake up in bed in the morning.  This definitely squeezes one's abdomen and promotes movement of the system - a natural approach.  Also any exercise during the day helps - any exercise, small things, just bending over, doing one deep knee bend.  Find little ways to stretch and move - you don't need the full gym workout. 

Beyond physical movement to promote intestinal movement, Metamucil - the orange powder, can potentially work brilliantly if taken in small amounts, such as a rounded dinner spoon, a teaspoon that you use in your coffee cup and not a measuring teaspoon.  It works sufficiently well that you don't want to take too much.

If you really get jammed, Phillips Milk of Magnesia will break through anything, although it is kind of extreme and only to be used for the more extreme situations. 

These three approaches, seemingly simple but learned after years of trial and error, will set things right even if you only eat doughnuts, ice cream, and potato chips as your three main food groups.

So the fourth secret to ending gastroparesis is to eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.  There are secrets to help practically implement this as well.  One huge unknown fact is amazing: the more you eat vegetables, the better you like them.  The implication of this is to make the effort to force yourself to eat vegetables and fruits that you normally don't eat.  Not only do you end up liking them, but they become your favorite foods.  You then lose weight, and also eating salads, fruit, and vegetables in place of faster foods help tremendously with gastroparesis. I suspect that even with Sjogren's, if you ate a really healthy diet, the gastroparesis would largely vanish, enabling you to reduce the amount of time that you take Metamucil.

Both school and work are inherently stressful.  Being sick with Sjogren's Disease is also inherently stressful.  You probably have various options, like puzzle pieces you can move around.  I have worked full time and pursued graduate degrees full time simultaneously, with the advent of Sjogren's, by the way, so I have some insight into the stress that you are talking about. One might shout it loudly:  STRESS!!!!

Dropping work, dropping the Master's, and/or getting better treatment for any symptoms you have of Sjogren's Disease would help you. 

Besides that, here is big, bright present for you - get these two phenominal books to get immediate relief from anxiety and stress, and also learn a wide variety of coping mechanisms that you can put to work immediately with wonderful results - there books are long time favorite recommendations of counselors who see students on college campuses because the techniques are simple to understand and work incredibly well:

amazon.com/Hope-Help-Nerves-Claire-Weekes/dp/0451167228    and

amazon.com/Nervous-Suffering-Signet-Claire-Weekes/dp/0451167236/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379396065&sr=1-5&keywords=Claire+Weeks

To learn a lot about Sjogren's, this book is packed with current, high-quality information:

amazon.com/Sjogrens-Book-Daniel-J-Wallace/dp/0199737223/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1379396938&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Sjogren%27s+Book

Good luck and keep us informed as to how you are doing!

« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 09:23:10 AM by Linda196 »

bailey00

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 12:08:42 PM »
Thank you all,

I know my stress will slightly subside when I graduate in October but I work in taxation, and it seems that work is a constant stressor for me. I also have a very sick mother to whom I am the sole care giver. I think sometimes my Sjogrens gets the backseat to my life, and then I am oh so rudely reminded that my Sjogrens is actually driving.

I know today is a bad day. Horrible migraine, tired beyond compare, nauseated to the point of puking, and my eyes are so dry it's just irritating. Today I feel like I got hit by a bus and I should never get back up. I keep having more of these days, and no one I know truly understands how truly bad I feel, it's like I'm just tired I should wake up and do what "normal" people do. I wish people understood this disease is hard, and I wish I felt better every day.
For migraines I take Topamax, Inderal, Magnesium, CoQ10, B2, and Imitrex, Treximet, Maxalt, Zomig, and Vicodin.For my gastroparesis I take Ginger, Nexium, and Phenergan.For my Sjogrens I take Plaquenil.I also take ambien and clonazepam and restasis.

SjoGirl

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 07:13:15 PM »
Bailey you are experiencing so much. Many of us have been there with family issues and competing and compelling things pulling at us.

Agree with simplifying to the degree you are able to do so. If you can and are comfortable doing so counseling can be very helpful. It can be very freeing to share your load with a professional. It helped me a great deal when like you I was dealing with family member illnesses, work, etc.
Raynauds, SjS, Anemia, neutropenia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, osteopenia, Plaquenil, Fosomax, multivitamin with iron, Vitamin D, and Feosol (if my iron levels really dip).

susanep

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 08:41:16 PM »
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I have to tell you one truth, most don't understand our illness. I had to learn to accept that. Not on the job, and not in most families, etc.

You will have to set some priorities sooner or later, because it is difficult to do otherwise with sjogren's unless a person has very mild symptoms.

I can feel for you, and all you are trying to do that is so important to you. It's hard too with helping family members that you love. Just don't forget yourself.

If you don't care for yourself you can't help anyone else. You are important too.

You are in my prayers,
susanep :) :)
Sjogren's, Lupus, Hypothyroid, Fibro, Sleep Apnea, diabetes, asthma, Polycystic ovaries, and Gerd. Meds - Pilocarpine, Synthroid, Effexor, Cpap, aspirin, Prilosec, Neurontin, Xanax, eye Drops, vitamin D3, Plaquenil, Gabapentin, Provigil , Advair, Proventil- Retired Teacher/Disabled

quietdynamics

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2013, 10:35:58 PM »
bailey00...sorry to hear you are having a bad day.

If you do not take care of yourself....who will take care of your mother...or YOU?

So you need to place yourself and needs, medical care in the forefront..just reality.

Stress will bring on a Flare, headache, nauesa, increased dry eyes (which you probably strain doing your work?) I use GenTeal gel ointment at night and sometimes a very small bit during the daytime...close my eyes and look around to help it coat eye. Liquid tears never helped me, some irritated my eyes, So I use Gel drops...Advanced Optiva...very soothing.

Taxation is grueling. Probably eating lunch at the desk?  Not good for your stress, stomach juices, etc....step away. then if you can go out of the office building for even 10-15 minutes of fresh air. Let the sunlight hit you arms/legs so your skin can absorb what it needs to be healthy...Then do not shower using soap on arms and legs. Natural Vit. D is absorbed via our natural body

Sincere best wishes
Sjogrens ANA 1:640; SS-A/B+; Fibro; IBS; Neuro symptoms,Thyroid Anti-bodies; Ocular Rosacea

gphx

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 02:54:10 AM »
One of the best ways to have less stress is to have a job you enjoy which is less stressful for you. Whether that's taxation, a scuba instructor, a park ranger, a house cleaner, or the president of a nonprofit organization is up to you.

Personally I can no longer handle being in a job where angry customers yell at me all day. My body just can't deal with the constant stress and breaks down. If you're in a similar situation it's easier to reprioritize and change career plans earlier rather than later. For all I know taxation is your first true love.

Exercise is odd. In the short term it takes a bit of energy but in the long term it produces it. A 15 to 20 minute walk at lunchtime can do miracles. The natural painkillers exercise produces can also help quiet those busy thoughts making meditation a lot more effective. Sometimes one can even meditate while going for a walk as long as one is mindful of traffic.

One of the best ways to get exercise, release stress, and sleep well is by having sex every night at bedtime. As Dr. Ruth said years ago if you don't have two one will do. I will refer any questions along this line to Dr. Ruth.  ;)
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LadyDi

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Re: Stress and Sjogrens
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 09:53:02 AM »
Lower stress levels play a huge role in managing the symptoms of Sjogren's. Unfortunately, all of us deal with some level of stress on a daily basis simply by living day to day.

As others have mentioned, I had to simplify my life and change careers from a hospital job that had long hours, rotating shifts, on my feet all day, critically ill patients etc. I went back to working in education with fewer and regular hours and more days off. I took a huge pay cut because if I don't take care of my heath first and foremost, I will only get sicker faster.

I eat very healthy as others on this forum talk about. Gluten free with plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. I know that it is often difficult to find the time, but I try to fit in as much exercise as possible.

I also have elderly parents who are not well. Fortunately, my sister and I are able to work things out between us as far as helping them.

Good luck & God bless.
I try to take things one day at a time.