Dont Take It Personally
Recognize that feeling tired can be a part of having RA. If you experience this symptom, understand that its not weakness on your part. Fatigue is something that many with RA experience.
Its important to understand this and to make any necessary changes, rather than deny the fatigue youre experiencing. If youre realistic about your condition and symptoms, youre more likely to lessen or overcome your fatigue.
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2. Kick-start your exercise routine. Inactivity can be a vicious circle RA fatigue makes it hard to get moving, and inactivity makes fatigue worse,â Ali explains. âMost people with RA do feel energized after exercise. It may help to work with a physical therapist to get started.â The best exercises for people with RA are often low-impact activities like stationary cycling, swimming, and walking.
3. Nix the naps. A good nights sleep requires healthy sleep habits. If possible, avoid napping during the day. You need to be awake for about 16 hours in order to sleep well at night for example, getting up at 7 a.m. and going to bed at 11 p.m. When you do turn in, keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable and avoid making it an entertainment center . Also, skip the alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime and limit caffeine after noon. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also help you establish a quality sleep routine that leaves you feeling refreshed.
6. Ask your doctor about medications for fatigue. Certain medications may help chronic fatigue, such as modafinil. However, âyou need to use these with caution, because once you start taking them, it may be hard to stop,â Ali says. âTramadol is a pain medication that can help improve sleep thats disrupted by RA pain. As another option, a low-dose antidepressant, also given at bedtime, has been shown to reduce pain, increase sleep, and reduce fatigue in some people with RA,â he says.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
Sleep is crucial for managing fatigue from rheumatoid arthritis. However, snoozing can be difficult. Once you fall asleep, you want to be able to stay asleep to get that restful or restorative sleep, states Dr. Rosian. But if you have a lot of joint pain, thats tricky to stay asleep. Sometimes, you might roll over and wake up.
Thats when some additional intervention might be needed to make sure you keep your pain managed before you hit the hay. When people have a lot of pain, theres nothing to distract you from the pain, says Dr. Rosian. If its important to get a good nights sleep, people might use an over-the-counter or prescription sleep aid.
Some people might benefit from taking Tylenol® for pain relief, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . However, you should ask your doctors before starting to take these to make sure it doesnt interact with other medications youre currently taking.
You have to balance the side effects from those, says Dr. Rosian. Your primary care doctor or your rheumatologist should know about those to monitor things like kidneys, blood pressure and blood count. These can cause stomach issues, too.
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What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue
Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue is a weariness that rest cannot cure. It is tiredness without the benefit of the pleasure of activity. Over 90% of RA patients report fatigue as a symptom. It is counted second only to pain as the greatest difficulty of living with RA.
Unlike normal fatigue, pathological fatigue does not improve with rest. This kind of fatigue is seen in most acute and chronic inflammatory diseases, including arthritis
Where does this weariness come from? What causes us to feel precisely like Superman with Kryptonite pushed in his face? Does anybody know?
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Living And Dealing With Fatigue
People with rheumatoid arthritis typically have several permanently inflamed joints. The inflammation inside the body can lead to general physical weakness, drowsiness and exhaustion. This feeling of extreme tiredness is also called “.” Some people find this to be the worst symptom of the disease.
Other typical symptoms are joint pain and swelling, and also joint stiffness and physical weakness later on. Non-specific symptoms like exhaustion often start earlier on in the disease. But the symptoms and course of rheumatoid arthritis can vary greatly. People also deal with the disease in different ways. Although people experience their symptoms differently and cope with the disease in different ways, there are some things that many people with rheumatoid arthritis have in common.
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A Plan To Treat And Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
To the above point, identifying and removing any additional stressors to the immune system, beyond a Proteus infection, is key.
This is exactly the program we offer here at Root Cause Medical. Long before we appreciated the link between Proteus and RA, we still placed patients on a high whole food plant-based diet which, unbeknownst to us at the time, lessened the impact of Proteus and patients symptoms improved.
This is exactly what happened in the 1999 research. They werent exactly sure why they saw all the improvements they did, they just knew the dietary change caused them.
I well remember the patient in her 60s who had suffered from RA for decades. She had been on every drug imaginable and finally had enough. Her joint destruction was severe and she was in a great deal of pain, with open sores over her knuckles.
Consequences Permeate Every Sphere Of Life
The consequences of fatigue permeate every part of life such that activities are reduced to a minimum or âdumbed downâ: âIt affects everything. It sort of dumbs down everything that I want to do reallyâ . Participants struggled to carry on with work, leisure, and household activities: âWell, Ive always liked to go out to dancing, and liked night clubs, and now I find I just dont have the energy to do that any moreâ âWhen I get home I feel as though Ive done a weeks, what I should have done in a week, and weve just gone and got some groceries. I mean my husband brings it in and unpacks it and puts it all away, which I would normally do and I just collapse on a chair. It just, I dont know, it just dont seem rightâ .
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Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease that can cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. While there are many obvious symptoms of RA, there are also some subtle ones that people often ignore. Lets discuss three of the most common symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. See your doctor for a diagnosis if you experience any of these.
Balance Rest With Activity
Everyone needs to allow time for rest, and when you have RA, getting adequate rest is particularly important. However, its still important to be active.
Doing too little can also lead to fatigue, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Do some light exercise every day to help keep your joints in shape and to avoid muscle deconditioning.
This showed that physical activity can help people with RA manage fatigue. Regular exercise also can make it easier to get a good nights sleep.
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Exciting News Regarding Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease affecting over a million Americans. The immune system attacks the joints of the sufferer, causing pain and crippling deformities, commonly in the hands and feet.
Research proves the importance of diet, as well as isolating infectious agents when dealing with rheumatoid arthritis patients.
Back in 1999, a famous study was conducted whereby patients with RA were followed for a little over a year. The control group continued their typical diet while the experimental group followed a vegan diet for the first quarter of the study and then was switched to an ovo-lacto-vegetarian diet for the rest of the year.
Not surprisingly the control group felt no better, but the experimental group noticed significant improvement:
- Morning stiffness improved within the first month.
- The number of hours of stiffness was reduced by 50%.
- Subjectively they felt better
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Its An Invisible Disease In Its Early Stages
In the beginning, you wont look any different but willbegin to notice symptoms like stiffness, fatigue, and pain. Since you look asyou always have, your limitations and challenges wont be evident to outsiders.If you dont share your specific symptoms with loved ones, they will struggleto understand.
Underlying inflammation causes rheumatoid arthritis, whichmeans your physical and emotional health can be affected. The pain and fatiguecan mentally wear you down as the illness progresses. If your friends andfamily understand what youre going through, they can better support you.
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Centers For Disease Control
Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint as well as bony overgrowth. The breakdown of these tissues eventually leads to pain and joint stiffness. The joints most commonly affected are the knees, hips, and those in the hands and spine. The specific causes of osteoarthritis are unknown, but are believed to be a result of both mechanical and molecular events in the affected joint. Disease onset is gradual and usually begins after the age of 40.
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What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis, often known as RA, is an autoimmune and inflammatory condition in which your immune system unintentionally assaults healthy cells in your body, leading to inflammation in the areas of your body affected. RA primarily targets joints, typically a number of joints at once. RA frequently impacts hand, wrist, and knee joints. Joint tissue is harmed in an RA-affected joint because of the inflammation of the joint lining. Long-lasting or persistent pain, unsteadiness , and deformity can all result from this tissue damage . In addition to these tissues, RA can harm other organs like the heart, lungs, eyes, and other tissues all over the body.
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Schedule Naps Into Your Day If You Can
Renee A., 40, says that her fatigue comes in spurts. Some days, I wake up feeling like I can conquer the world other days I wake up feeling like a Mack truck hit me, she says. Its very difficult and it requires a lot of mental fortitude. Renee home-schools her three children and says she sometimes holds lessons in her bedroom or on the couch, which allows her to rest. If Renee doesnt take time to nap or even sit for a while, then her fatigue and other rheumatoid arthritis symptoms flare up and she feels much worse, she says. I have learned that the hard way, Renee says.
If you dont work from home, or if your schedule is packed with Zoom meetings and tight deadlines, then you may not be able to nap whenever you feel exhausted. However, if you can, lying down even for a few minutes after work may be helpful. Creaky Joints volunteer Eileen D., 35, says taking a short nap can make a big difference in her energy levels. Sometimes I need to have a quick rest. Just 20 minutes can be a lifesaver, she tells SELF. Sleeping for too long can make you feel groggyand make fatigue worseso its a good idea to nap for 1020 minutes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Fatigue Often Comes Along With Arthritis Painfeeling Tired Can Make The Pain Seem Worse
If pain is the most common and troublesome symptom of arthritis, fatigue runs a close second. Often the two are closely related. Dealing with pain day to day can wear you down and cause fatigue. Being fatigued, in turn, can worsen pain and make it more difficult to manage.
There are many reasons for the fatigue that often comes with arthritis pain. One is the disease process itself. The inflammatory cytokines released in arthritis are the same ones released when you have a bad cold or the flu. Regardless of what triggers their release, the result is the same fatigue.
The presence of inflammation is quite significant in terms of therapy for fatigue, says David Pisetsky, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Duke University Arthritis Center. In the absence of uncontrolled inflammation or if treating inflammation fails to relieve fatigue, doctors will consider other possibilities.
Causes of Fatigue
Medication side effects. Some medications, including those for pain, are associated with fatigue. Common culprits include certain antidepressants, blood pressure medication, sleep aids, narcotic analgesics, and even some prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Corticosteroids may cause daytime fatigue by keeping you awake at night.
Self Care for Fatigue
Treatment For Interstitial Cystitis
As yet there is no cure for IC, so treatment approaches are designed to control symptoms. Each patient has his or her own unique subset of bothersome symptoms. At Columbia University Department of Urology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, our urologists and other specialists work as a team to design therapies to alleviate each patients symptoms.
Treatment may include:
Weighing Ra Treatment Risks Against Risks Of Nontreatment
The general paradigm is if you dont treat RA, it goes badly. You will have long-term disability, losing joint function and mobility, explains Niewold. Its also probably better for your cardiovascular system, as there is early atherosclerosis and cardiovascular morbidity in RA. Most of the studies are supporting the idea that early intervention and active treatment helps prevent that downstream complication.
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Maintaining Ability To Work
Patients with RA who maintained their ability to work had less fatigue compared to those who were work disabled, and these differences seemed related to better mental health, not physical health. However, other factors are likely related to an ability to work, which may not have been measured, where both fatigue and work disability are a consequence of joint damage, age, type of job, less flexibility at work and so on. A prospective study is needed to determine if a programme that keeps people in the workplace will improve fatigue.
Increase Exercise And Physical Activity
Research shows that exercise can improve RA symptoms and help people with RA function with more energy. Stretching, short walks, aquatic therapy, and yoga are all recommended exercises for people with RA.
Look for chair exercises on YouTube. I especially like chair tai chi and chair yoga, one myRAteam member suggested. Another member wrote, I have exercised with my RA for many years, and with that and medication, I don’t get many flare-ups. I am 75 and I continue to walk and exercise.
Appropriate routines for people with RA that incorporate exercises for range of motion, flexibility, aerobics, and strengthening can improve physical and mental health. Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen muscles and bones, and reduce the risk of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Start slowly and build up your stamina over time. Talk to your health care team about exercise and ask for a referral to a physical therapist or occupational therapist who can develop an exercise program that is right for you, whether you like to go to the gym or prefer exercising at home.
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Eat Breakfast Every Day
Your mother likely harped on this when you were a small child. Guess whatMom was right. When you first wake up, your blood sugar is low. Eating a proper breakfast can serve as an energy booster. Skipping breakfast drains your energy, contributing to the fatigue problem. Its important to eat nutritiously at every meal but focus on breakfast to start your day off right.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis
The specific causes of rheumatoid arthritis have yet to be identified. This is true despite decades of medical research.
However, while we dont know specifically what brings about RA and the symptoms it is known to create such as joint pain, stiffness, fatigue, and low-grade fever we do know that it is the result of an autoimmune disorder which ultimately affects the joints.
In fact, oftentimes the pain in the joints is so severe that the people suffering from RA are advised to take a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen or some other type of anti-rheumatic drug to help ease the pain in the joints created by RA.
Whats the connection between RA and the joints? Specifically, how does this disease impact the joints in the human body, creating pain as a primary symptom?
Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but its true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesnt have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
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