Several permanently inflamed joints characterize rheumatoid arthritis. Internal inflammation can cause general physical weakness, drowsiness, and exhaustion. This state of extreme exhaustion is also referred to as “fatigue.” Some consider this to be the most severe symptom of the disease. Other common symptoms include joint pain and swelling, as well as stiffness and physical weakness later on. Non-specific symptoms, such as exhaustion, frequently appear earlier in the disease’s progression. However, the symptoms and progression of rheumatoid arthritis can vary greatly.
People also cope with the disease in a variety of ways. Although people with rheumatoid arthritis experience their symptoms differently and cope with the disease differently, there are some things that many people with the disease have in common.
What does RA fatigue feel like?
Fatigue is distinct from ordinary feelings of tiredness. It is described as overwhelming and uncontrollable by many people. They are exhausted and depleted of energy, and they may lose interest in everything. It can make you want to sleep more and make it difficult to concentrate or do anything. Constant exhaustion and the inability to maintain an active lifestyle can also have an impact on your mood: Many people with rheumatoid arthritis experience depression, irritability, or anxiety. These emotions can be difficult for others to comprehend.
The severity of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can change dramatically over time. It can be challenging to plan ahead of time as a result of this. You have no idea how you will feel the next day or whether your symptoms will improve or worsen. This means that those who have rheumatoid arthritis believe they have lost control of their lives. If they are overtired, they may not have enough energy to do simple daily tasks or play with their children.
The disease’s effects can also alter your perception of yourself, as well as your role in your relationship, family, or workplace. The mutual give-and-take is a common feature of friendships and family relationships. However, rheumatoid arthritis can make it difficult to continue caring for others – and may also mean that you require more and more assistance yourself. Fatigue can have an impact on relationships because it makes it more challenging to carry out joint plans. Exhaustion can also have an impact on your sexual drive.
It may also be difficult to accept that you can do as much as you used to at work. You may require more breaks, or specific tasks may need to be reassigned.
How to deal with RA fatigue?
To keep your fatigue under control, you may need a combination of treatments, lifestyle changes, and a new attitude.
Recognize that fatigue is a normal part of RA life. You can’t always control it or predict when you’ll be too tired to work or attend a social event. Pay attention to your body. You will feel better if you allow yourself to rest when necessary. If you have a task that requires a lot of energy, take breaks.
9. Don’t feel guilty.
Your friends and family may not understand how bad you feel. You are not a slacker. Your arthritis has left you exhausted. Don’tDon’t feel bad if you have to rest instead of going out or if you have to leave early because you’re tired. Explain that fatigue is one of your disease’s symptoms. Don’t put pressure on yourself to keep up with everyone else. If you need assistance with household chores that are exhausting you, ask others to assist you. Remove any steps that aren’t required to complete a task. Set your timetable. On days when you are tired, you decide what you can and cannot do.
8. Workout regularly.
Exercise may be the last thing to cross your mind. However, studies show that aerobic activity, which causes your heart to beat faster, reduces fatigue in people with immune system disorders such as RA. It also helps strengthen the muscles around your joints, maintains bone strength, and improves your mood. Begin by going for a few minutes of brisk walking. Work your way up to 30 minutes at least five times per week. Swimming or pool exercises are also excellent choices because the water is gentle on your joints. Yoga and tai chi are two other gentle activities that can help with fatigue and stress reduction.
On days when you’re completely exhausted, try to do something, even if it’s just stretching.
7. Take a break.
Don’t spend all of your time in bed. It may make you feel worse. Instead, take regular breaks throughout the day. Find times that work with your schedule. Do you get more done first thing in the morning? Schedule some downtime for 12 p.m. Do you require energy before your children arrive home from school? Take a quick nap before they arrive.
Two or three brief periods of downtime may provide you with the necessary boost.
6. Eat the right foods.
The foods you eat provide energy to your body. Select fresh, whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, lean protein, dairy products, and healthy fats. Omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts and cold-water fish aid in fatigue relief by reducing inflammation. Small changes can have a significant impact. Consume small, healthy meals throughout the day to avoid feeling sluggish. Snacks such as an apple with peanut butter or tuna on whole-grain bread are ideal.
Is a cup of coffee your idea of an excellent start to the day? Select foods high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, and lean protein. A bowl of high-fiber cereal, fresh fruit, and low-fat milk can provide you with extra energy for the rest of the day. Alternatively, try incorporating a hard-boiled egg, a cup of yogurt, or a banana into your morning routine.
5. Stay hydrated.
Your body requires fluids to function correctly. Fatigue could be a hint that you need to drink some water. Aim for eight glasses of water per day. If you’re particularly active or it’s hot outside, you may require more.
4. Keep a regular sleep schedule.
Good habits help you get enough rest, so you’re less tired the next day. Every night, go to bed at the same time. Each morning, get up at the same time. Reduce your intake of caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Turn off devices such as your smartphone or tablet when it’s time to go to bed.
3. Get counseling or therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or counseling with a mental health professional can help alleviate the stress exacerbating your fatigue. It can also assist you in gaining control over how fatigue affects your life.
2. Consider complementary treatments.
Massage therapy is frequently used to relieve stress and anxiety. It assists you in letting go of your thoughts and falling asleep. Acupuncture is also effective for many people. Before attempting any herbal treatment or non-medical therapy, consult with your doctor.
1. Consult your doctor.
consult your doctor if you’ve tried everything and still feel exhausted. They will be able to learn more about the issue. You may have anemia, which occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body. Anemia can develop as a result of long-term RA inflammation or as a side effect of your medications.