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Morning stiffness; fibromyalgia

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MORNING STIFFNESS
Q: My RA peaks in the morning. I'm so stiff it
can take me two hours to get ready! What can I do to feel more flexible?
A: Many people with RA have found that switching from nighttime to morning bathing helps ease joint pain and stiffness upon waking'a hallmark of the condition. So try taking a warm shower or bath first thing in the morning and see if that helps. Doing some gentle stretches when you wake up can also help you limber up'ask your rheumatologist for suggestions,
and don't forget to discuss other ways to ease morning stiffness.
Often tweaking your medication can bring significant relief.
'Lawrence Brent, MD, head,
Division of Rheumatology,
Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia

LUPUS AND FIBROMYALGIA?
Q: My family doctor thinks I have fibromyalgia, but a rheumatologist suspects lupus. Could I have both?
A: Yes, it's certainly possible. In fact, up to 20% of lupus patients have fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia-like symptoms. They're both hard to pin down because symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle pain, often overlap. Telltale signs of lupus include a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks, fever after sun exposure, and hair loss or mouth ulcers'all of which aren't part of fibromyalgia. Speak with your doctor about these conditions and different treatment plans to see which works best for you.
"Roberto Caricchio, MD, assistant professor of rheumatology,
Temple University, Philadelphia
Fibromyalgia Rheumatoid Arthritis Alopecia Arthralgia Baldness Fever Hair Loss Insomnia Joint Aches Joint Pain Joint Stiffness Loss of Hair Pain Pain, Joint Rash Joint Pain Alopecia Fatigue Systemic Lupus Erythematosis

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