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.
- Make a to-do list and cross off the least important things.
- Do some exercise exercise supports the joints.
- Eat healthy. Get your protein for strong muscles and carbs for energy.
- Check out CBT and learn how to reframe your mindset.
- Talk to your boss at work perhaps you could work from home or change your hours.
- Try to ask for help when you need it people cant always see or know when you need help.
What’s New In Arthritis Research
Progress is so fast in some areas of arthritis research today that the media often report new findings before the medical journal with the information reaches your doctor’s office. As a result, you need to know how to evaluate reports on new arthritis research.
Arthritis researchers are looking at four broad areas of research. These include causes, treatments, education and prevention.
Researchers are learning more about certain conditions. For example in osteoarthritis, researchers are looking for signs of early destruction of cartilage and ways to rebuild it. For rheumatoid arthritis and other types that involve inflammation, researchers are trying to understand the steps that lead to inflammation and how it can be slowed or stopped. An initial study suggests that fibromyalgia affects more older people than originally thought and often may be overlooked in this group. Your doctor can tell you about other new research findings. If you would like to take part in arthritis research, ask your doctor for a referral to a study in your area.
Many people help make arthritis research possible. The federal government through its National Institutes of Health is the largest supporter of arthritis research. Drug companies do the most research on new medications.
How Can I Tell If I Have Rheumatoid Arthritis
Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis usually start slowly, over weeks or months. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you may notice different joints hurting, especially your wrists or the base of your fingers. You may have pain in the same joints on both sides of your body.
Your joints might feel warm, but they usually will not look red. They may be harder to move for about 45 minutes after you get up in the morning. Your hands may feel puffy, because more blood flows to the sore hand joints.
You might find swollen glands in your underarms, neck, or elbows. Some people also have a mild fever or body aches, or do not want to eat.
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Tips To Reduce Your Risk Of Infection
- Try to avoid close contact with people you know have an infection.
- Wash your hands regularly and carry around a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel.
- Keep your mouth clean by brushing your teeth regularly.
- Stop smoking if youre a smoker.
- Make sure your food is stored and prepared properly.
- Try to keep your house clean and hygienic, especially the kitchen, bathrooms and toilets.
If you are prescribed a drug you may find more information about it here.
Do Certain Types Of Weather Make Arthritis Worse
Some people find that arthritis feels worse during certain types of weather. Humidity and cold are two common triggers of joint pain.
There are a variety of reasons why this might happen. People tend to be less active in rainy seasons and the wintertime. The cold and damp can also stiffen joints and aggravate arthritis. Other theories suggest that barometric pressure, or the pressure of the air around us, may have some effect on arthritis.
If you find that certain types of weather make your arthritis worse, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to manage your symptoms. Dressing warmly, exercising inside or using heat therapy may help relieve your pain.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. There are many types of arthritis, all of which can cause pain and reduce mobility. Some forms of arthritis result from natural wear and tear. Other types come from autoimmune diseases or inflammatory conditions. There are a variety of treatments for arthritis, ranging from physical or occupational therapy to joint surgery. Your healthcare provider will assess your symptoms and recommend the right treatment plan for your needs. Most people can successfully manage arthritis and still do the activities they care about.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/15/2021.
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Does It Run In Families
You cant pass reactive arthritis on to your children. However, they can inherit the HLA-B27 gene, which could slightly increase their chance of getting the condition. This doesnt mean that by having this gene theyll definitely get reactive arthritis. However, the condition tends to be more common in people with HLA-B27.
Around 1 in every 10 people in the UK carry this gene.
The first signs of reactive arthritis are often:
- painful and swollen joints, usually in the ankles or knees
- sausage-like swelling of fingers or toes
- puffy, sore, red eyes, often with a mucus discharge known as conjunctivitis
- extreme, unexplained tiredness, known as fatigue
You may notice that your knees, ankles or toes suddenly become swollen, stiff and painful to move. Or the swelling may appear gradually over a few days.
Reactive arthritis can also affect other joints, such as your fingers, wrists, elbows and the joints at the base of your spine, known as the sacroiliac joints . It can also cause inflammation in the tendons around your joints, such as the Achilles tendon which runs down the back of your ankle.
You may find your whole finger or toe swells up if both the tendons and joints become affected at the same time. This is often called sausage digit or dactylitis .
Do Light Exercise To Help With Stiffness
Weight-bearing exercise is particularly important for people with RA, and much more so in the fall and winter as it keeps your joints and muscles moving. Exercise is also an important aspect to keep you from developing osteoarthritis, but even more so, it can help prevent the dreaded morning stiffness.
Of course, this doesnt mean you need to become a triathlete overnight, but it does mean you should start incorporating an exercise routine into your schedule. If youre out of shape, try making small goals at first like walking the dog around the block every day or taking a short walk down the road for some fresh air.
You can also start off with some swimming , or taking a gentle yoga class. A full-on workout routine isnt necessary, as long as youre getting in some cardio every day and making sure youre doing weight-bearing exercises.
However, it is important to note that exercising during a flare is not helpful. You should always get your doctors go-ahead before you start a new exercise routine.
But, exercising when youre not in a flare can help prevent flares in the future, so it isnt a great idea to go too long without establishing one. If you find that exercise is painful, take a pain pill 30 minutes to an hour before you start your exercise routine. This should help cut down on pain significantly.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ra
With RA, there are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when symptoms get better, known as remission.
Signs and symptoms of RA include:
- Pain or aching in more than one joint
- Stiffness in more than one joint
- Tenderness and swelling in more than one joint
- The same symptoms on both sides of the body
- Weight loss
Points To Remember About Arthritis
- “Arthritis” means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints.
- There are many types of arthritis, including ankylosing spondylitis, gout, juvenile arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, reactive arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Medications and surgery can treat arthritis.
- Activities that can help reduce symptoms at home include exercise hot and cold therapies relaxation therapies splints and braces and assistive devices.
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Seeking Help When Symptoms Cannot Be Contained
The tipping point for seeking professional help is reached when multiple symptoms cannot be controlled by even increased self-management strategies, and patients cannot run their normal lives . They may be supported or prompted in this decision by family:
When its all over, along with the other symptoms that I know I get with inflammation, thats my personal tipping point
In such a place of despair I think I just cant go on with this anymore and Im trying this medication and Im trying to pace my working, Im trying to have so many hours sleep and Im still waking up in pain. and its still not working
The reason that I end up running back to crying is, Ive got 3 young children and I teach and its where it gets to the point where I cant function any more its got to the point where Im not coping, the household chores just arent being done and I just beat myself up because I cant be like all the other mums and do little things for the kids. If its not me its my husband, hell say You need to go and get some reinforcement and usually I go to the GP .
What Are The Complications Of Ra
Rheumatoid arthritis has many physical and social consequences and can lower quality of life. It can cause pain, disability, and premature death.
- Premature heart disease. People with RA are also at a higher risk for developing other chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. To prevent people with RA from developing heart disease, treatment of RA also focuses on reducing heart disease risk factors. For example, doctors will advise patients with RA to stop smoking and lose weight.
- Obesity. People with RA who are obese have an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being obese also increases risk of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Finally, people with RA who are obese experience fewer benefits from their medical treatment compared with those with RA who are not obese.
- Employment. RA can make work difficult. Adults with RA are less likely to be employed than those who do not have RA. As the disease gets worse, many people with RA find they cannot do as much as they used to. Work loss among people with RA is highest among people whose jobs are physically demanding. Work loss is lower among those in jobs with few physical demands, or in jobs where they have influence over the job pace and activities.
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What Are Complications Of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Common complications of rheumatoid arthritis include the following:
Overall, the rate of premature death is higher in people with rheumatoid arthritis than in the general population. The most common causes of premature death in people with rheumatoid arthritis are infection, vasculitis, and poor nutrition. Fortunately, the manifestations of severe, long-standing disease, such as nodules, vasculitis, and deforming are becoming less common with optimal treatments.
Articles On Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are different for each person who has this long-term disease.
Some people have long periods with few or no symptoms. Others feel it for months at a time in an uptick of disease activity called a flare.
Most people have lasting problems with episodes of more severe disease. New and earlier treatment is changing the overall picture, though. More people are having low disease activity or even remission.
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Fatigue Ways I Have Learned To Cope Changing My Behaviors:
Getting quality SLEEP:
Sometimes I can be in bed for hours but still wake up tired. Here is a list of strategies I have tried:
- Use your bed only for sleeping avoid eating, reading, and watching TV in bed,
- Do any exercise routine early in the day rather than at bedtime,
- Put yourself in the mood to sleep: relaxation techniques , quiet restful music, drinking warm milk, and good sleep posture.
- When in bed, relax. Try not to think about issues that cause worry. Rather write them on a piece of paper and leave it elsewhere.
- Keep to a regular schedule. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day and aim for at least 8 hours per night
- Be careful about sleeping too much as this could lead to or be a symptom of depression
Even doing all of these things, I found I still had problems, so I sought help from my doctor and was diagnosed with sleep apnea . I now use a CPAP machine every night and this has made quite a difference for me. I dont snore anymore . Instead of waking up 4 to 5 times a night, I sleep right through. I wake up now much more refreshed and ready for my day. Other things I avoid before bedtime are: alcohol, certain medications in evening , smoking , stimulation , catnaps, chocolate, caffeine, sugars, and spicy heavy late night meals.
EATING well and often:
PACING my activities:
Using ASSISTIVE DEVICES:
LISTEN to my body:
Deal with ANEMIA:
Things People With Rheumatoid Arthritis Want You To Know
Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive and disabling autoimmune inflammatory disease that affects 35-70 million people worldwide.1,2 Theres more to RA than just developing stiff joints as you get older read on to find out how the disease really affects those living with it and what they would like you to know.
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What Triggers My Malaise
After living with chronic pain for a decade, Ive been able to figure out a few things that make malaise worse, as well as things to help me cope with it. Keep in mind that what triggers and eases malaise for me may not be the same for you. It is important to track your own reactions and speak to a health care provider to come up with a treatment that works for you. This will probably involve a lot of trial and error, so be patient.
Medications: Taking multiple medications can contribute to malaise symptoms like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and appetite changes. It is important to bring this up to your doctor if it is getting in the way of your life and too frequent.
Some vitamins and supplements: Two that many people take to help manage rheumatoid arthritis but happen to make me feel uneasy are turmeric and vitamin B12.
Hunger: Once my blood sugar drops, I feel hangry and nauseous.
Coffee: Too much of my favorite energy-booster brings about some uneasy sensations. If I drink water and eat before or after my coffee, I find the malaise is less likely to occur.
Dehydration: Not drinking enough water throughout the day can be a major trigger for malaise.
Lack of physical activity: If I am sedentary for too long, the malaise arrives.
Fatigue: Maybe Ive overexerted myself or just had a bad nights sleep. Whatever the reason, the more tired I am, the more likely I am to deal with malaise.
Some Daily Activities Are Difficult
Pay close attention to how you truly feel. Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the few diseases where subjective measures of how a patient feels are among the best predictors of how well a person will respond to treatment and how much the disease will progress. Doctors may measure severity of symptoms using both the Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index and the Rheumatoid Arthritis Quality of Life questionnaire.
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Symptoms That Affect Your Skin
Some people with RA get rheumatoid nodules. These are bumps under the skin. Most of the time, they arenât painful, and they move easily when you touch them. About one in four people with RA get these skin bumps.
They usually happen on your elbows, but they might show up on other bony areas like:
Recurrence Of Rheumatoid Arthritis Fatigue
A couple of days ago an old friend came to visit: Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue. All of a sudden on Monday afternoon, it felt like it was 2 a.m. and I should be in bed. It looks like it may want to stay over for awhile.
At first, I thought I was just over-tired. That evening when I fell asleep early, I blamed the half glass of wine with dinner. The next morning, I was blaming myself for working too hard intellectual not physical work, mostly.
Finally, after another day of it, I recognized my old enemy Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue.
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When To Get Medical Advice
See a GP if you think you have symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, so they can try to identify the underlying cause.
Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis quickly is important, because early treatment can prevent it getting worse and reduce the risk of joint damage.
Find out more about diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis.
How Do People Cope With Exhaustion
Many people gradually come to learn how to regulate their energy better and to accept the changes associated with the condition. They pay more attention to their body’s signals and then adjust what kinds of activities they do based on their symptoms.
As well as the phases where the arthritis gets much worse, there are also periods where it’s possible to live a quite normal life. It often helps to start seeing the condition as a part of your life and to set new goals that you can still achieve anyway. Some people say that the disease has helped them to live their lives more consciously.
Many mention in interviews that they’ve discovered practical ways of dealing with :
- Learn to say “no” sometimes
- Don’t plan to do too much at once
- Reconsider and adapt your goals
- Plan activities carefully, take your time, spread out demanding tasks across the week.
- Take breaks before you become too exhausted
- Get to bed early, take naps and learn relaxation techniques
- Avoid going out at busy times of the day, for instance when you go shopping or on a trip
- Talk with others about your disease so that they can better understand how it affects you
- Talk to others who have rheumatoid arthritis so that you can learn from their experiences
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