Living with a rare disease like cold agglutinin disease (CAD) can be challenging and stressful. It may feel as if control of your life has been taken away. In addition to the symptoms of CAD, stress can affect your health, causing headaches, insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps, and other problems.
If you think that stress is the cause of your symptoms, or if you’re unable to manage your stress, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
Here are some tips for managing stress:
Get enough sleep
When dealing with chronic fatigue and pain (as can be caused by CAD), getting enough sleep can be a challenge. Sleep deprivation can contribute to stress and other symptoms, though, so it’s important to sleep when you can. If you can’t sleep through the night, or your sleep is disturbed, you may want to try scheduling a nap during the day.
Regular exercise can help reduce stress, so set aside time every day, or at least a few days a week, to exercise. Many people find that exercise based on focused relaxation, such as yoga or tai chi can help reduce stress. These exercises are low-impact, which can be beneficial for CAD patients who have aching joints.
Practice meditation or mindfulness
Relaxation techniques such as meditation or mindfulness can help reduce stress. These structured mental exercises can help you organize your thoughts and control your responses to stressful circumstances.
Stay connected with friends and family
When you have a chronic disease, it may feel as if no one else understands what you’re going through. To deal with feelings of isolation, reach out regularly to friends and family. Call friends to exercise together, or perhaps meet for coffee. Your friends and family want to stay connected, too, so build a support network.
Join a support group
Joining a support group can be a good way to connect with other patients and families going through similar experiences. Support groups can help with feelings of isolation, as well as helping patients network to find specialists, advocates, and clinical trials for new treatments.
Last updated: Nov. 12, 2019
Cold Agglutinin Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.