Things to help now it’s turning colder

IMG_0153Many of us with lupus find the colder months particularly challenging, with the cold affecting our joints, muscles and circulation. This is particularly bad if you also suffer from Reynaud’s Syndrome.

If you haven’t discovered them already- Hand Warmers can help to keep your hands (and feet!) warm when you’re out and about. You just shake or rub them to activate them and they give off up to 8 hours of heat. They can be bought from Tescos (6 pairs= £4.00). Poundworld or 99p stores (sold as Heat Relief Patches- in packs of 4 for a £1). They contain non-toxic, environmentally safe, odourless, incombustible ingredients so you don’t need to worry about accidentally puncturing one, it leaking or having one burst into flames! The heat occurs due to an exothermic reaction – caused by the iron in them rusting. We advise you to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using them.

If you’re at home wheat bags can also help, but don’t use them in bed & follow the heating instructions carefully (there’s been a couple of cases of overheated wheat bags catching fire). Be very wary of using any that come without instructions. The Heat Pack (fleece covered wheat bag) is £2.99 from Superdrug, 

Some of our members have also found electric blankets help their joints in the winter. Argos do a range from £15 upwards. A smaller heat pad like the Beurer HK35 Electronic Heat Pad (£24.45) can also help to ease aches and pains.

Or you could just try a good old fashioned hot water bottle. Although do be careful if you suffer from chilblains as warming up cold hands or feet too quickly can result in chilblains, as capillaries can swell and break producing painful blisters. It’s best to avoid rapid changes in temperature when going from cold to hot and Handwarmers can be used to prevent your hands/feet getting cold when out and about in the winter months.

If you do get chilblains this winter, one of members recommends this remedy: mix ginger juice with aloe vera gel and apply.