JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pets -- bring Comfort & Joy

How many of you have pets and they comfort you in your time of pain?  I know my girls help me out! Harley is the big black one, and Mrs.Nesbitt is the small one.  They both bring a smile to my face, and I swear they know when I'm in pain.  They'll follow me around the house when I'm home alone, cuddle with me when I'm in pain and are just always there for me when I need something to make me feel better.  I used to think it was all in my head, and I just loved my pets too much, but research has shown that pets are indeed great for our health.

Pets can Improve Your mood!
Anyone who loves animals, can not stay in a bad mood when a dog looks at you with those big puppy eyes, or a cat comes and rubs against you, purring.   A study was done at UCLA with AIDS patients and how pets benefit their health.  The study was done with 1800  men who suffer from AIDS and depression.  It was found that having pet, reduced the likely hood of suffering from depression by 50%!  You can read the entire article about the research, here

Pets control blood pressure better than meds?
Yes, it's true!  While ACE inhibiting drugs can generally reduce blood pressure, they aren’t as effective on controlling spikes in blood pressure due to stress and tension.  A study was done on New York stockbrokers, 24 male and 24 female who had pretreatment blood pressure readings higher than 140/90 hg/ml.  All were nonsmokers with no other health conditions, all living with out pets for at least 5 years previous.  Six months later all the pet-owners blood pressure showed a significant difference.  You can read the entire case study here.

Pets Encourage You To Get Out And Exercise
Whether the dog needs to go out and walk, or we walk them just because, its definitely known that people who own dogs, especially in an urban setting, are more likely to get out and walk than those who are non pet owners.   Exercise is a great stress-reliever and great for overall health, because of this, having a dog is very beneficial in this department.  It may sound odd to some, but you can also take you cat out for walks.  Cats need exercise too and pet stores make leashes and harnesses specially made for cats!  So get out and walk!

Pets Can Help with Social Support
When you're out walking with a pet, it makes it easier for others to approach you, especially if they are walking a pet also.  This can lead to a new friendship, which also has great health and stress management!

Pets Stave Off Loneliness and Provide Unconditional Love
Your pet can be there for you, when people can't.  They offer love and companionship, enjoy comfortable silences, are excellent secret keepers and excellent snugglers!  They are the best antidote to loneliness! In fact, a Saint Louis University study was done with nursing home residents.  Results showed that when visited by animals, the residents were much happier and less lonely than when they had people visitors! It's a great article and you can read the entire study here.   All these benefits can reduce the amount of stress people experience in response to feelings of social isolation and lack of social support from people.

Pets Can Reduce Stress—Sometimes More Than People
Talking out your problems with friends is a great stress reliever, but recent research has showed that spending time with your pet is even better!  An article was published on this very topic.  The study was done with 240 heterosexual married couples.  Half the couples had a single pet, the other half had not had any pets in at least 5 years.  The articles results stated "the findings demonstrate that pets can buffer reactivity to acute stress as well as diminish perceptions of stress."  You can read the entire article here.  This is probably because our pets never judge us, they just love us! <3

It's important to know that having a pet comes with responsibilities, and owning one isn't for everyone.  However, for most people, having a furry, or even non furry, companion has it's healthy benefits.  If you're thinking about owning a pet, do your research on what it takes to care for and maintain it's health, find one that fits in your lifestyle.  There are plenty of loving animals out there for you to choose from, and one waiting for you to take it home and love it!


Blogger Project Journal said...

No wonder I'm more stressed at school ; ) I don't have my babies with me!!

Sorry I missed ya last night : / My fault.

December 15, 2010 at 11:07 AM  

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