Hypermobility, EDS and POTS 101, With Occupational Therapist Emily Rich


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People living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and related autoimmune forms of arthritis (such as psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis) are at greater risk of developing hypermobility, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).

Emily and Cheryl discuss ways for people living with arthritis and EDS or POTS to manage the day to day of their conditions and cope with the ups and downs and uncertainties that come with fluctuating chronic illnesses. They also discuss the role of occupational therapists in helping people with these conditions improve their self-management abilities and confidence in building a meaningful life despite health challenges.

Episode at a glance:

  • Emily’s diagnosis story for EDS and POTS at age 14: joint pain, feeling like passing out, digestive symptoms and more
  • What is POTS?
  • Autoimmune conditions, Covid-19 and POTS: Emily and Cheryl discuss the connections between these conditions
  • EDS and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder and General hypermobility: Emily explains the difference between hypermobility and EDS (which includes one of 13 subtypes being hypermobile type)
  • Who diagnoses EDS and POTS?
  • Connection to arthritis: Emily and Cheryl review the data about the incidence of POTS and EDS amongst people with rheumatoid arthritis and other related conditions
  • Tips for coping when you have both arthritis and EDS: the fluctuation and the uncertainty; whack a mole - live in the moment, acceptance
  • What’s in Emily’s toolbox for coping with POTS and EDS: sleep routines, hand splints, planning ahead, energy conservation and more
  • What is the occupational therapist’s role in helping people manage dysautonomia and EDS? Sleep hygiene, energy conservation, fatigue management, pain tools, teaching strategies and more
  • Self-Management for Chronic Conditions: Emily and Cheryl share insights into this often overlooked area of need for many patients.
  • Emily’s best advice for people newly diagnosed with EDS and/or POTS

Medical disclaimer:

All content found on Arthritis Life public channels was created for generalized informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Episode Sponsors

Rheum to THRIVE, a community support & education program Cheryl created to help people with rheumatic disease go from overwhelmed, confused and alone to confident, supported and connected. Join the waitlist for the next group, which starts in September 2022!

Rheumatoid Arthritis Roadmap, a self-paced online course Cheryl created that teaches you how to confidently manage your physical, social and emotional life with rheumatoid arthritis.

Full Episode Show Notes & Transcript

For full episode show notes, including links discussed in the episode and a full transcript, go to the show page on the Arthritis Life website: www.MyArthritisLife.Net

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