If you’re having a flare, you may need to make extra adjustments in your routine. Keeping things close at hand and spreading demanding tasks throughout the day can help.
It’s also important to tell your family and friends about your fatigue. This will help them understand when you need to withdraw from activities or take a break.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is a key to feeling good and managing fatigue from RA. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide you with the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, A, K and B6, iron, potassium and folic acid. You should also try to include protein-rich foods like beans (black, garbanzo and red kidney are best), poultry, fish and eggs in your diet.
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis pain often feel a combination of fatigue and pain, which can lead to exhaustion. Fatigue can also make it difficult to care for others and keep up with the demands of work or home life. This can affect your relationship with friends and family and may contribute to feelings of depression, irritability or anxiety.
If you’re experiencing a lot of fatigue, talk to your doctor about how it’s affecting you. They can help you identify the underlying causes of fatigue and work with you to find solutions.
Sometimes, working to get Rheumatoid Arthritis inflammation under control can reduce RA fatigue. It can also be helpful to learn to live with fatigue by planning activities carefully and spreading demanding tasks out throughout the week. Many people with RA say that the experience of fatigue has taught them to live more consciously and appreciate that their energy levels can change from day to day.
Get Enough Sleep
Fatigue is a feeling of overwhelming tiredness that lingers despite rest. It may be accompanied by a lack of motivation and apathy, and it can cause feelings of despair or hopelessness. Fatigue is very different than normal weariness and can make it challenging to function at home, work and in social situations. It can lead to isolation and strained relationships, because it can make you feel too exhausted to participate in activities that your family or friends enjoy.
A good night’s sleep is essential to help reduce fatigue, and a regular exercise program may also improve your mood and energy levels. If you have trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor about possible solutions, such as taking a sleep aid or getting tested for obstructive sleep apnea.
Unlike a normal case of exhaustion, Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue can’t usually be cured with a cup of coffee or a power nap. Rather, it often requires a combination of treatment, lifestyle changes and a new attitude.
For example, if you have anemia in addition to RA, treatment with iron supplements or injections of epoetin (Epogen) can boost your red blood cell count and alleviate fatigue. Some anti-inflammatory medications, including methotrexate and prednisone, can also improve your symptoms and fatigue. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage your arthritis and fatigue.
A good exercise program can help, but for people with RA who struggle with joint pain and stiffness, finding time to get active is often challenging. Exercise, particularly aerobic activity, increases your fitness levels and helps to strengthen muscles, and this can boost energy. It’s important to start slowly with any new physical activities, and always listen to your body. If you are experiencing joint pain and fatigue, it may be easier to do a short exercise session several times throughout the day rather than one long activity.
If you are struggling with chronic RA fatigue, it may be helpful to seek professional help. A therapist can teach you strategies to overcome the fatigue, including cognitive behavioral therapy to address negative thoughts and beliefs that may contribute to your fatigue. They can also help you learn coping techniques, such as planning your day ahead to manage your fatigue, and mindfulness meditation.
Fatigue can be a debilitating symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, and it can lead to other problems in your life, such as poor relationships, low motivation and even depression. There are many things that can contribute to your RA fatigue, but making healthy lifestyle changes, getting more rest and exercise and working with your doctor to control inflammation can help to improve your energy levels. If you continue to experience RA fatigue, consult your doctor for additional treatment options that may include psychotherapy or occupational or physical therapy.
Medications can be powerful tools to help with fatigue, but it’s important to use them in tandem with other self-management strategies. Your rheumatology team, including physical therapists and occupational therapists, can provide you with exercise programmes that work for your body’s limits and teach you how to pace yourself.
It’s also possible that your RA has caused or contributed to other health problems, so it’s important to get those treated too. In fact, a few studies have shown that treating underlying conditions such as infections or sleep disorders can reduce RA fatigue.
Fatigue can prevent people from visiting family and friends, attending social events or engaging at work – all things that make life more enjoyable. In a CreakyJoints community poll, nearly 90 percent of respondents reported that fatigue stops them from doing the things they want to do.
It’s difficult to get back in the swing of a routine when you’re exhausted, but it’s important to try and do as much as you can. Start small, and build up to what you really want to do over time by setting realistic weekly goals. This approach will help you focus on what’s important and be more successful in achieving your goals as you learn to manage your fatigue. You can use a diary to track your progress.