Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis: How Do I Manage Pain?

Managing my RA pain naturally can be a challenge. There are days when the pain is excruciating, and nothing seems to help.

Other days I seem almost normal with no pain and energy for days. I don't have anything against traditional ways to manage RA pain. I just know I feel better when I try and give my body what it needs versus taking something that can sometimes make things worse. 

I want to be clear here and say you have to do what works for you. If that means you take DMARDS and/or biologics with steroid injection, then do that. This is just what I do. I'm by no means an expert on anyone else but myself. Moving on.

One of the first things I did was find what foods did and did not work for my body. This has evolved as it never seems to stay static for too long. If I had to describe how I eat, I'd say it this way: vegan for breakfast and lunch, low fat paleo-ish for dinner (animal protein and veggies). I also drink celery juice and lemon water first thing in the morning. I'm still working on giving up coffee. 

I used to do lite Crossfit and HIIT style workouts and loved them. They were the first thing that I lost when I first became ill. It was a HARD reality, but I found something even better. I started a 30-day challenge from Andrea over at Autoimmune Strong (make this a link). She taught me how to grow stronger and how to meet my body where it is. That's so important when you're healing.

There used to be a joke in my family that I could sleep through a tornado. This was the next thing RA pain tried to take from me. I found some ways to not only handle it but sleep almost as deeply as I used to and definitely with less pain. They are:

  • I go to bed no later than 10 pm each day, even on weekends. 
  • I keep our room cool and dark. We use blackout curtains and keep our windows open for a cool breeze. 
  • I don't have any electronics in our bedroom. No TV, no cellphones, not even a tablet. 
  • I stop drinking anything with caffeine before 3pm. That and I don't drink alcohol. They're terrible sleep disruptors. 
  • Diffuse calming essential oils like Vetiver, cedarwood, lavender, and orange. 

Last, but not least, I take a variety of supplements. I know these are typically the first thing people reach for and it should be their last. I have a lot of deficiencies, so I do take more than most. Just not so many, I overload my already sensitive digestive and immune systems. So what do I take? I take:

  • Turmeric
  • Liquid Zinc Sulfate 
  • B12 tincture 
  • Colloidal Silver 
  • A green supplement
  • Selenium 
  • Antioxidant super juice 
  • A prebiotic MSM powder

I know it may sound like a lot, but I promise you it's not. I spread them out, and it works well to help me keep my pain and inflammation down. 

Hear me on one thing. 

I will 1000% take Advil on my really severe pain days and feel zero guilt about it. If anyone makes you feel guilty about choices that work for you, they may not be the kind of people you want in your support system, ya know?

This is part 2 in my series, "Living with RA". I wrote about fatigue and stress. Check them out and let me know what you think!


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