Magazine Highlights ARC Rheumatologist’s Words of Wisdom

In new Health Monitor guide, Dr. David Kung and his patient note a regular sleep pattern can provide regular pain relief

Austin patient Donna Sheffield found “a huge trigger” for her rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a sporadic sleep pattern. Stay up late one night, go to bed early the next – regardless, she experienced greater RA pain.

She now hits the hay at the same time every night and wakes up around the same time every morning – and experiences noticeably less RA pain.

Donna and her physician ARC Rheumatologist David Kung, MD discussed sleep and RA with Health Monitor Network, a national magazine that provides education about specific health conditions. In the feature called “Words of wisdom from my rheumatologist”, Donna notes, “I set a rigid (sleep) schedule that’s really helped. Because I’m up at 3:30 a.m. every morning, I make sure to be in bed by 7:30 p.m. and asleep by 8 every night! This is the best way I know to manage my RA and not let it manage me!”

Dr. Kung notes that sleep disturbance affects more than half of those suffering from RA and has been found to foster arthritic inflammation that can lead to more than just pain.

“The result may be a worsening of symptoms commonly experienced by people with RA – i.e., fatigue, depression and pain,” he said. “As Donna’s case shows, establishing a sleep schedule and bedtime routine can help people … feel more in control of their disease.”

The Health Monitor story included three key tips from Dr. Kung for getting a full night’s sleep:

  • Create a good sleep environment. Choose a comfortable bed and pillow with adequate support. Don’t work or eat in bed. Before bedtime, avoid lights, particularly LED/blue light.
  • Keep a sleep diary. Log when you to bed, wake up and how long you’re awake at night. This can help find reasons for insomnia or other sleep disruptions.
  • Avoid stimulants. During afternoons and evenings, don’t consume caffeine, nicotine or sleep-disruptive foods that promote reflux.

Dr. Kung sees patients at ARC Cedar Park Medical Plaza and ARC South 1st. To make an appointment call (512) 272-4636.

Read the full article here.

Tags: rheumatoid arthritis , Dr. David Kung, Health Monitor, RA

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