6 Ways to Survive RA and Menopause

Stay comfortable and in control with our double-duty strategies for coping with rheumatoid arthritis and menopause.

Katie Kerns
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3. Wind down with a warm bath. Who said a little R&R can’t improve your health? Indulging in a warm bath may do more than just calm your nerves—it may also ease RA and menopause symptoms.

RA benefit: Ahhh—a hot soak can reduce stiffness and temporarily provide joint-pain relief. If you don’t have time for a dip, the Arthritis Foundation suggests applying heat for 10 to 15 minutes, using an electric blanket or warming your clothes in the dryer before getting dressed.

Menopause benefit: Insomnia is one of the most dreaded symptoms of menopause, but you can promote better sleep with a pre-bedtime wind-down that incorporates a little tub time. So go ahead . . . turn off that phone and soak (just keep in mind that the heat could trigger a hot flash).

4. Revamp your wardrobe. Looking for an excuse to go on a shopping spree? Consider this: What you wear affects your RA and menopause symptoms.

RA benefit:
Zippers and buttons can be a nightmare when your joints ache, so stock up on pants with elastic waistbands or drawstrings. And try this trick: Keep your blouses buttoned on the hangers, so they can easily be slipped over your head.

Menopause benefit: Three words—layers, layers, layers! When a hot flash strikes, you should be ready to strip down. Stock up on loose cotton and linen items, and banish wool pieces, turtlenecks and tight clothing from your closet once and for all—they’re hot-flash culprits.

By adding these simple steps to your daily routine, you can keep both menopause and RA symptoms at bay.

April 2013