Remedies and Routines From 18 Years of Seeking Better Health

Japanese bath salts, yoga, and compression socks can help in living with vasculitis

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by Allison Ross |

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Though a new diagnosis can be overwhelming, there’s no doubt it’s educational. Even after years of living with vasculitis, there’s still more to research and experience.

Once the immediate danger has passed, there’s more luxury of time to relax into a chronic illness lifestyle. As we learn about vasculitis and all its intricacies, we also learn the ways we can best manage it. There is no one-size-fits-all plan, either for comfort or for sanity.

In my 18 years in the community, I’ve heard some interesting ideas of what helps people get by. Some rely on soothing self-care routines to manage the physical stress of their vasculitis, such as inflammation. Others can withstand the bodily issues, but struggle to temper their anxiety. There are a myriad of creative ways to help ourselves feel better and reach greater peace.

In a systemic disease such as this, the symptoms do not present as one textbook case. On the contrary, because there are blood vessels throughout the body, the initial warning signs can crop up looking very different from one patient to the next. Vasculitis is not one homogenous case, and neither are humans! So it’s interesting to note what works within our community.

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When Life Becomes Overwhelming, These 4 Tips Can Help

In talking to those in the autoimmune community over the years, I’ve categorized these tools into three categories: remedies, routines, and r-ticles (yes, I had to take some liberties on the spelling of that last one). Scan the list for what might appeal to you, and maybe gather some ideas to improve your quality of life. Of course, if there’s something you do in addition to these, I’m all ears in the comments!


  • Hot tea — clears up mucus and helps cough. Add lemon or honey for an extra boost of nutrients.
  • Steamy shower — also an excellent aid for sinus troubles and can substitute for an inhaler if you don’t have one handy.
  • Ice packs — reduce inflammation and soothe neuropathy.
  • Japanese bath salts or Epsom salts.
  • Essential oils — lend comforting aromas and a homeopathic boost.


  • Sleep — Sometimes, the best method to fight exhaustion or even chronic fatigue is the old-fashioned way. Whether brief catnaps or a full-fledged afternoon snooze, daytime zzz’s during the week help me get my second wind and be more productive. I also notice a significant difference in the length of winter colds if I’m able to spend more time in bed.
  • Yoga — Stretching can bring relief to fatigued muscles, bones, and joints.
  • Coffee dates — Social interaction does wonders for psychological health. If I feel like I’m dragging, meeting a friend can perk me up better than any caffeine (though that’s an added bonus!). Of course, it’s important to take precautions when out in public.
  • Research — The better understanding we have about our illness, the easier it’ll be to prepare ourselves for the fallout that may occur when we have sick days.
  • Music — Whether listening to a favorite song or playing it ourselves, the arts bring solace to days that seem overwhelming.
  • Spirituality — Religious texts, prayer, or church events can provide peace.
  • Jigsaw puzzles or other hobbies — keep hands and eyes active and distracted from our health issues.
  • Spending time outdoors — even if only to sit on a bench and quietly take in nature surrounding us.


  • Heating pad — soothes pain and aids blood flow.
  • Pillow — Some patients have a special shape, size, or material that they rely on to be most comfortable.
  • Weighted blanket — The benefits of this are marvelous!
  • Compression socks — helpful for complications regarding circulation and swelling.

Though each illness is different and no one’s body chemistry is the same, maybe you’ll find some inspiration on the list to change up your habits and try something new. It’s never too late to adopt new remedies to help yourself feel better as you grow in your vasculitis journey. Good luck!

Note: ANCA Vasculitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of ANCA Vasculitis News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ANCA vasculitis.


Phyllis Taylor avatar

Phyllis Taylor

Has research or practical advice been done regarding the benefits of a whole food plant based lifestyle?

Greg Patterson avatar

Greg Patterson

I really enjoyed this article and recommendations. I have also followed your journey as shared through the vasculitis foundation.
I'm only into my first year with this journey and GPA, but like so many others this first year was not only deadly but wrought with incredible hardships and now success. I was doing well, but due to high predinonse use I developed piomyositis in my right hip and thigh from a GI fistula and this almost killed me. I'm doing well after 2 surgeries and one to go. I'm most excited that my GPA looks to be in remission just after one year.

I'm a PT and have of course always promoted life fittness. As a runner this was takem away last year, but perseverence prevailed. I'm back to running and hiking much earlier than expected.

I'm not interested in exploring how a consistent program of cardio exercise can help with vasculities management and symptom regression. Being past the acute disease state, my mind can now think of others and I hope to be of help to others using appropriate exercise to help reduce symptoms and promote health. Like diabetes, our disease is a vascular problem. Unlike diabetes, as you know too well, vasculitis is somewhat the opposite with vascular breakdown and associated tissue trauma.
My providers state that my success this year and definitely been greatly attributed to my stubborn early return to walking then running. I hope to develop a simple concept or recipe that others could use to achieve similiar results. The mental health benefit of course has been a great by-product of this as well.
All my best,
Dr. Greg Patterson PT, DPT, GCS
[email protected]


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