Thursday, August 2, 2012


I think fatigue is the most intriguing symptom in rheumatology. It has attracted far less attention than pain. Yet sometimes nearly every patient is complaining about fatigue and it doesn’t matter if the underlying disease is inflammatory or not, in remission or flaring (e.g. rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, …). And I think at times every patient has reported fatigue.
Some people think one can learn “How to Fight Fatigue”. Lets get a close look at the tips, you may find on the net. I think these tips are genuinely given and meant to help.
See your doctor: most patients suffering from the conditions, I’ve metioned above, already do so and still feel fatigued. If inflammation isn’t treated, it might be an additional cause. Sometimes it’s a drug’s side effect.
Get enough and restful sleep: good idea. Sometimes this means changing the pain medication and/or the anti-inflammatory treatment. Sometimes it might mean establishing a new sleep ritual; link:  
Eat well and keep your weight at a low level: sometimes carrying too much weight exhausts, especially if someone takes corticosteroids weight gain is a real issue. Get more vegetables, fruits, grain and eat less fats, dairy and meat. (I shall later translate some recommendations from the German:
Exercise: exercise offers lots of benefits like improving weight, increasing muscle strength, reducing stress, improve sleep and more. One problem with interference with sleep might come from exercising too late in the evening.
Sunlight: sunlight or daylight might be beneficial to how we feel and for increasing the level of Vitamin D3. But too much doesn’t do well. And for Vitamin D substitution might be a better option. Some people with lupus or under some drugs should avoid sunlight!
Reducing stress: reducing stress is a big issue. Lots of fatigue is connected directly to stress. Going out into a green garden reduces stress, sitting at a pond also does the trick. Active relaxation techniques like progressive relaxation training, yoga, taiji, breathing techniques, meditation, and more would be helpful. It might mean even more lifestyle changes and real hard issues like saying no to demands.

With all criticism and scepticism I have concerning easy tips for real problems, I think one can do quite a lot of things to better cope with fatigue.

No comments:

Post a Comment