Fatigue In Chronic Rheumatologic Diseases
Unusual and chronic fatigue with various etiologies was described for 27 % of patients in a primary care clinic . Fatigue is common in RA, SpA, Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and vasculitis, although most publications concerned fatigue in RA or SpA . In RA and SpA, the frequency of fatigue ranged from 42 % to 80 % depending on the definition and methods of assessment . For 75 % of patients with ankylosing arthritis and 50 % of those with RA, fatigue was considered severe .
Several methods of evaluation have been used to investigate fatigue in rheumatologic diseases . The simplest and quickest scale is the visual analog scale , but this is a unidirectional scale. Multidirectional scales developed to include the different aspects of fatigue are the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 vitality subscale , the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Fatigue Scale , the Profile of Mood States, the RA-specific Multidimensional Assessment of Fatigue scale, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory, the Brief Fatigue Inventory, and the Fatigue Severity Scale . With the VAS scale, the mean fatigue level in patients with RA was 42.1 .
What Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue Feels Like: What Patients Say
We asked several of our CreakyJoints Psoriatic Arthritis Patient Council members to help us paint a picture of what PsA fatigue feels like. Read on and see which descriptions resonate with you.
- Overwhelming the littlest tasks take the most effort. Ashley K.
- A really heavy feeling that I cant shake. Im awake, I cant focus, and I cant fall asleep. Jaime H.
- Like getting a blood draw, but instead of taking blood, the energy slowly gets pulled from my body. Diane T.
Fatigue makes me:
- Just sit in my chair for two hours. I cant summon the will to get up and move. Eddie A.
- Not have control of my day and my body. You wake up and you dont know if youre going to be functional, or do what you had planned for, and that in itself is a journey that Im still working through. Ashley
- Feel guilty, like I should have been there for this or that, I should have left earlier, or I should have done more. Eddie A.
- Feel like I have the flu. Im utterly tired and have to lie down or sleep. Frances D.
If fatigue were an animal, it would be:
To live without fatigue would mean:
Eat A Nutritious Diet
Vitamin deficiencies and anemia can cause fatigue. In many cases, you should be able to get the correct amount of vitamins from the foods you eat in a balanced diet. A good trick is to try to eat the rainbow. Choose whole, unprocessed foods in various colors to eat a wide range of nutrients.
If youre worried that you arent getting enough vitamins from your diet, talk to your doctor. They can do a blood test to see if youre anemic. They can also help you make adjustments to your diet. They may recommend a vitamin supplement, as well. Do not start taking supplements unless recommended by your doctor.
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Is It Normal To Feel Fatigued In Psoriatic Disease
It is normal to feel tired after exertion, insufficient sleep or at the end of the day this tiredness is usually relieved by rest or sleep. With fatigue, the symptoms often go beyond normal tiredness and can include decreased or lack of energy with accompanying physical or mental exhaustion. These symptoms usually persist even after a good nights sleep.
In the UK, 10-20% of the population report being tired for a month or longer, with 1.5% feeling a need to see their GP. The symptoms often include difficulty sleeping muscle or joint pain headaches painful lymph nodes sore throat cognitive dysfunction symptoms made worse by physical or mental exertion flu-like symptoms dizziness nausea or palpitations.
Fatigue: The Most Misunderstood Ra Symptom
The Arthritis Foundation estimates that up to 98 percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis suffer from fatigue. The percentage grows if there are associated conditions such as fibromyalgia, obesity, or depression. In fact there is a lot of discussion about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is often closely associated with fibromyalgia.
A major problem with treating fatigue is that many of its symptoms, such as muscle or joint pain, can also be caused by other conditions which must be ruled out. The fact that fatigue often accompanies these conditions makes it doubly difficult to identify and treat.
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Strategies To Boost Your Energy
Any plan to fight fatigue begins with taking good care of yourself. Start with these tips to help you manage chronic RA fatigue and regain energy.
1. Talk to your doctor about controlling RA inflammation. You dont need to battle fatigue on your own working with your doctor to get any underlying RA-related inflammation under control can help significantly. Cytokines proteins produced by cells can amplify inflammation, which may have a direct influence on brain receptors to cause fatigue. So the first step is to work with your rheumatologist to get inflammation under control, Ali says. Medications that decrease inflammation often decrease fatigue.
Why Having Arthritis Can Cause Fatigue
Learn how your inflammatory disease and other factors may be causing your extreme tiredness.
Everyone gets worn out from time to time. But exhaustion that disrupts your daily life and doesnt get better after a good nights sleep has its own medical term: fatigue.
Fatigue significantly affects the quality of life for people with rheumatoid arthritis . Your lack of energy may be caused by your inflammatory disease and other health conditions you have, as well as medications side effects and lifestyle habits.
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Ra Fatigue: How Do I Control Chronic Fatigue From Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition that causes a wide range of symptoms. One of the most prevalent symptoms experienced in suffering from rheumatoid arthritis is chronic fatigue. Fighting fatigue for rheumatoid arthritis patients seems like an ongoing uphill battle.
For those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, feelings of fatigue and constant tiredness can make it difficult to get through each day. But there are some ways to help beat fatigue, stay alert, and feel more rested and happy.
Helping People Around You Understand Fatigue
Fatigue is a major symptom of many conditions, such as arthritis often its as much of a problem as pain and inflammation. But its an invisible symptom and a lot of people avoid talking about it because they think their family, friends and colleagues wont understand.
It can be stressful if you think people around you dont understand how youre feeling. Even when you explain, some people may struggle to realise how fatigue affects you and that it stops you doing certain activities. This can be frustrating and tiring and can put a big strain on your relationships. Getting help, support and understanding from the people around you can make a huge difference.
Good communication and explaining clearly and calmly how fatigue affects you is important to help others understand.
Its ok to say that you need help with tasks around the home.
Learning to say you cant do something or go somewhere because of the way it will affect you can help. It may also reassure people that sometimes you just dont feel up to socialising and its no reflection on their company.
If people ask for your help with something, remember its ok to say no. Its ok to put yourself first.
If you find it difficult to talk about your fatigue, you could ask people to read this information.
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Causes Of Fatigue In Arthritis
Inflammation, pain, inactivity and lifestyle factors can cause extreme tiredness when living with arthritis.
Everyone gets worn out from time to time. But exhaustion that disrupts your daily life and doesnt get better after a good nights sleep has its own medical term: fatigue. Fatigue significantly affects the quality of life for people with many forms of arthritis-related diseases, includingrheumatoid arthritis,psoriatic arthritis, spondyloarthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia andosteoarthritis. Your lack of energy may be caused by your inflammatory disease and other health conditions you have, as well asmedications side effectsand lifestyle habits.
Reason : Finances Are Stretched
Feeling pain in your wallet is exhausting, too. Dont be shy about asking for help with medication costs. Many pharmaceutical companies have programs to assist patients who use their medicines, says Dr. Hylland. For instance, the company that makes the treatment Xeljanz offers a co-payment card that helps offset the cost of the medication. Also, explore discount programs like Good Rx. And inform your doctor. He can sometimes tailor a less expensive program for you or direct you to social workers who can help find organizations that assist in costs of medicines, Dr. Hylland says.
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Lifestyle Changes To Combat Fatigue
Studies such as several done by Patti Katz, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, show the most effective interventions for fatigue are good lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle Changes to Combat Fatigue
Get Up and Move
Exercise helps with fatigue in many ways. It increases muscle mass, strength, blood circulation and flexibility, all of which will boost energy and reduce pain. Exercise also generates endorphins, which are brain chemicals that produce a sense of well-being and vitality and they can improve nighttime sleep.
Dehydration can be a hidden source of fatigue. You need at least a half-gallon of fluids or more a day, depending on your activity level and how hot and dry the weather is.
Nourish your body with good, whole foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to get adequate lean protein and healthy fats. If you need to lose weight, reduce your portions and limit processed, high-salt, sugary foods. Always start your day with breakfast that includes lean protein and complex carbohydrates to provide long-lasting energy.
Ease Your Mind
If depression or stress is adding to your fatigue or keeping you awake at night, you might want to see a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and mind-body exercise like yoga and tai chi can help calm your thoughts and boost your energy.
Support Your Joints
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Treating The Symptoms Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
People living with rheumatoid arthritis commonly develop anemia either from the condition itself or from medications taken as treatment. If their anemia seems more profound, if they have tachycardia or fast heart rate, or theyre feeling short of breath, it might mean they have anemia on top of their arthritis, says Dr. Rosian.
This isnt necessarily out of the ordinary. You can live with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure, or experience stress from kids and work. Thats why its sometimes difficult to tell whats causing your fatigue.
If the fatigue is worse with rheumatoid arthritis, you treat that, explains Dr. Rosian. Thats where you focus on a steady diet, the exercise and sleep. When the rheumatoid arthritis is quiet and people still have a lot of fatigue, thats trickier.
Dr. Rosian also says some people like to take a hot shower or soak in a warm bath to help manage their stiffness and fatigue. Others might practice mindfulness or meditation, get a massage or practice Tai Chi. Finding what works for you to help your rheumatoid arthritis is key.
Some people with fatigue get better if they do an activity or a hobby something that makes them happy and something positive for them, encourages Dr. Rosian. If something makes you feel better and reduces your pain, its going to help you with your fatigue.
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Study Of Fatigue In Osteoarthritis
A study published in 2008 explored how osteoarthritis patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis or hip osteoarthritis experienced fatigue. The researchers found the subjects had notable amounts of fatigue, which substantially impacted their lives.
Fatigue was described by study participants as exhaustion, being tired, and coming up against a brick wall. Participants generally viewed fatigue as different from sleepiness, and they drew a distinction between physical and mental fatigue. Their mean fatigue score was 30.9 on a scale of 52.
When asked what factors increase fatigue, participants replied:
- Osteoarthritis pain
The study participants said mental health affected whether they felt fatigued and that their mood was, in turn, affected by fatigue. Participants also said fatigue impacted their physical functioning, including their ability to participate in social activities and other usual daily activities . As a response to the fatigue-related problems, study participants said they rest, exercise, avoid activities, or get assistance with activities. Interestingly, study participants revealed that they did not discuss their fatigue with anyone other than their spouse.
The researchers recommended further research to explore the role of fatigue in osteoarthritis and to develop strategies that would minimize the impact of fatigue on daily living for osteoarthritis patients. Overall, it’s clear that osteoarthritis is not exempt from the effects of fatigue.
Can Psoriatic Arthritis Make You Tired
Yes. Studies show close to 80% of people with psoriatic arthritis have some degree of fatigue.
When you have this disease, your body makes proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation. They make your joints swell and become painful or stiff.
These proteins may also cause fatigue, although doctors aren’t sure why. When you have a flare, the cytokines set your immune system off. But instead of fighting an infection, your immune system attacks your joints. Maybe the fatigue comes from your body using energy to do this.
The joint pain and skin rashes that can come with this type of arthritis may also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, talk to your doctor. A medication might help you get better rest.
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How Can We Reduce Fatigue
Like so many things in life, its better not to go it alone. There are things that can be done by your doctor, friends, family, and even your workplace, that can help you in your day to day life.
Your doctor can:
- Suggest lifestyle changes that may improve your energy.
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Fatigue Is Associated With Depression
People with rheumatoid arthritis and other people who experience everyday fatigue are more likely to suffer from depression.6,7
See Chronic Arthritis Pain and Depression
The association between depression and fatigue is not surprising, given that people living with chronic fatigue may feel unable to keep up with their work, household responsibilities, and relationships. Also, because bouts of fatigue are unpredictable, people with rheumatoid arthritis may have difficulty planning ahead for events, such as home projects or vacations. Cancelling or missing out on normal activities is frustrating and can make a person feel unproductive and isolated.
See Chronic Pain Can Lead to Depression
Depression is not the only mood disorder associated with rheumatoid arthritis. One study found that anxiety is at least as common as depression among people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.8
When fatigue is significantly reduced, a person with RA has more energy to do chores around the house,9 exercise, and socialize, which in turn can help alleviate feelings of depression.
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Talk About How Youre Feeling
Fatigue can make you feel low or depressed. Talking about how you feel can really help. Dont keep your feelings to yourself. Try to talk to a member of your healthcare team, members of a support group, your family or friends.
There are things that can help if youre feeling low. Your healthcare team may recommend a talking therapy, such as cognitive behaviour therapy also known as CBT. You can do it as one-to-one or group sessions.
Talking therapies aim to help people change the way they see their condition and any negative feelings towards it. Sessions, led by trained therapists, can help people change the way they react to and feel about their condition by making positive changes to the way they think and behave.
NHS England has a dedicated programme called Improving Access to Psychological Therapies, known as IAPT. It aims to connect people with anxiety and depression to local talking therapy services. You can refer yourself to this service by visiting the NHS England website and searching for IAPT or ask a health professional to refer you.
Health services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland dont currently offer a self-referral service, but you can ask your doctor to refer you to a local NHS therapy service or group.
Joining a support group for people living with similar conditions can help you talk openly about your problems with people in similar situations. They may also be able to share tips on how to get around some of your problems.
How To Beat Arthritis Fatigue
Fatigue can be a persistent foe when you have arthritis. Learn how to fight back and get the rest and energy you need.
The first step in fighting arthritis-related fatigue is to identify possible causes. Keeping a journal to note your energy levels throughout the day and what you did before, during and after can help. Once you recognize possible causes of your fatigue, discuss them with your doctor. The two of you can come up with a comprehensive plan so you have the energy you need. The plan to regain your vigor may include changes to your arthritis medication and lifestyle, as well as medications to treat fatigue directly.
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