How Arthritis Affects Your Mental Health

Arthritis affects your joints, causing painful physical symptoms. Most people don’t think of their mental health as it relates to this inflammatory condition. However, arthritis can have detrimental effects on your mood and mental health.

As you navigate life with this chronic condition, it’s important to watch for warning signs of worsening mental health. It’s a good idea to seek early treatment for arthritis before your symptoms become unbearable.

The Effects of Chronic Pain on Brain Health 

It’s no surprise that your body being under stress for a long time can affect certain parts of your brain. After all, your brain communicates with your body and vice versa all day long.

Studies have shown reductions in gray matter volume linked to chronic pain. These brain areas contain lots of neurons that affect your motor skills, language, and information processing skills.

Gray matter changes can lead to hypersensitivity to pain, touch, and temperature. It can also cause brain fog and slightly impaired cognition, making you feel “out of it.”

Inflammation Leads to Poorer Mental Health

Arthritis is an inflammatory condition, and it increases inflammation throughout your body. This can translate to brain inflammation, and while not usually dangerous, it does cause mental health problems.

The more inflammation that’s present in your body, the more likely you are to struggle with:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Negative outlook
  • Mood swings

It makes sense that your mental health would suffer when dealing with these secondary arthritis symptoms.

Stress Hormones and Reduced Functioning

If arthritis is getting in the way of your daily movements and productivity, you may become stressed. Your body releases a hormone called cortisol when you’re under physical or mental stress. This hormone can make you feel on edge and anxious about your life.

Monitor Your Mental Health While Navigating Arthritis

It’s important to check in with yourself from time to time and see how you’re feeling mentally. Arthritis pain can take over your mental health if things get bad enough. That’s why seeking early arthritis treatment is key to fostering a better quality of life.

This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for knees, also known as Regenerative therapy for Knees! Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.

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