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Tired of the Rheumas
Can Rheumatoid Arthritis cause fatigue?
Yes! Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms usually refer to joint pain, inflammation and swelling. What a lot of people don’t realise is that one of the most debilitating aspects of RA is the fatigue. It’s interesting that even the Arthritis Center doesn’t even acknowledge Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms even though 80% of us sufferers know about fatigue and RA!
For many of us living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, the RA fatigue is what we find most difficult to overcome. It is particularly hard to deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms when you have always been an energetic person. Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms is also challenging if you are a busy parent and/or still in the work force.
I have RA why am I so tired?
Rheumatoid Arthritis and fatigue is not necessarily associated with chronic fatigue syndrome or with sleep apnea. You can have one without the other or you can have more than one condition. It is best to seek medical advice if you feel that your fatigue with RA also falls into any of these categories.
Does RA cause fatigue? Why does arthritis cause fatigue?
Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms goes beyond just being tired. It is a number of things. Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms is consistent and debilitating low energy levels and just feeling like to need to sleep all the time. It does not necessarily mean that you are getting poor sleep. Inflammation caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis also affects our central nervous system so it is the disease activity that causes fatigue. Our body spends 24 hours a day trying to fight this disease every.single.day! How can we not be fatigued?
Fatigue and Mental Health
What people don’t realise also is that Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms is far reaching. Research shows that RA patients that experience fatigue are also likely to get depression or experience mental health issues. If you are experiencing depression know that you are not alone and reach out. To read about the effects of chronic pain on your mental health, you can use this link. You can also join our private Facebook support group here and get support for your fatigue and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Also speak to your doctor about it. Your doctor may prescribe some medications to help you or you may even be referred for cognitive behavioral therapy.
RA and fatigue can rear it’s ugly head at any time without you having done anything in particular to warrant it. It is not necessarily from overdoing any form of physical activity. In saying that, there are some things you can do help curb Rheumatoid Arthritis and tiredness.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis cause fatigue? What can I do about it?
You don’t necessarily need medication to deal with this so before you run to your rheumy for Adderall for RA fatigue, make sure you tick these boxes first.
Good sleep habits and routines is imperative. To reduce fatigue you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to get good quality sleep. Ensure that you are allowing yourself enough time to sleep and creating a relaxed and sleep inviting environment for sleep. Having a good mattress, pillow and blankets is also crucial. You can find my recommendations for those here.
Eating the right foods, drinking lots of water and getting enough exercise will also put you in better shape to combat the fatigue. I have a stretch and exercise program you can try here! It may sound counter-intuitive, but exercise will actually help with fatigue. For more information on nutrition and Rheumatoid Arthritis, check out this article.
Being kind to yourself is important when you are have Rheumatoid Arthritis and exhaustion. Do not think that you are being lazy and don’t feel like you have to stick to your usual schedule. Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis may mean that you have to make some lifestyle changes to accommodate days when you are having Rheumatoid Arthritis fatigue symptoms. Just like the chronic pain, the chronic fatigue is something that you will eventually accept but you will find ways to manage! There are resources that I have procured for my readers here to improve self-care. I recommend you take a look.
Everyday living aids for RA are beneficial. There are also many resources and adaptive aids available to reduce the amount of energy it takes to do certain tasks. You will find a comprehensive list of these things here.
Get Oiled Up
CBD oil is also popular among many Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers to help with sleep, pain and anxiety. You can read more about the benefits of CBD oil for Rheumatoid Arthritis here.
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Essential oil is very effective for physical and mental health. Aromatherapy is widely used to improve and alter our moods naturally. Peppermint, rosemary and lemon are fantastic oils to help combat fatigue. I always recommend using organic essential oils when possible to reduce toxicity to our already compromised immune system. You can read more about natural remedies here.
Herbs are another great way to naturally enhance our physical and mental well-being. Ginseng, hibiscus, lemon balm, mint, holy basil, ginger and lavender are all fantastic for fatigue. You can find out more about the benefits of herbs from The Herbal Academy . Also check out their outstanding herbarium. For herbs that are specifically beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, you can read my article here.
Does Rheumatoid Arthritis make you tired?
Share your story in The Rheuma Room or leave a comment with your best strategies to help others!