Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory joint condition that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthrits is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to serious fatigue.
More than 50% of people with RA experience high levels of mental and physical exhaustion.
RA fatigue can make it difficult to get through your daily activities at home or work. RA fatigue may have more of an impact on your daily life than the pain associated with RA.
Why Does RA Cause Fatigue?
Several factors may contribute to RA fatigue.
The inflammation that causes joint pain and swelling may leave you feeling drained.
Being in constant chronic pain can cause you to be less physically active. Chronic pain may also cause depression, which may lead to fatigue.
Some people with RA have difficulty sleeping at night, which can cause daytime exhaustion.
How to Fight RA Fatigue
RA fatigue may feel overwhelming, but treatments exist to help provide relief.
- Online or in-person support groups: Sharing your experiences with others may help relieve stress and feelings of isolation. Online groups include the RA Symptoms Forum and the RA Support Group on Facebook.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT may help you fight fatigue by showing you how to recognize and change negative thoughts and behaviors. Some studies suggest coping skills have a positive effect on RA that may last over a year.
- Antidepressants: Antidepressants or psychostimulants may help increase your energy.
- Vitamins: Your doctor may suggest that you take vitamins to boost your nutrient intake.
- Prednisone: Recent studies show that early and intensive treatment with drugs like prednisone may help relieve RA fatigue and fight inflammation.
If you have rheumatoid arthritis fatigue, the following tips may help you manage it.
Revise Your Schedule
Adapt your schedule to help control fatigue. Your daily schedule should depend on your personal needs. Decide what is the best time for you to rest and sleep.
You might consider starting your daily routine a few hours later than usual so you can sleep in. Sleeping in may have a