Visiting the GP about fatigue

I'm thinking about heading to the GP about the chronic fatigue as it's something I've been really struggling with in the last couple of months. I'm only really out of bed an average of 4/5 hours a day as I just don't have the energy to do anymore. I feel silly about heading to the doctors just to say I'm so tired all the time but the rheumatology doctors just seem to ignore that side of it and at the age of 24 this isn't really the life I want to be living. Is it worth going and can they do something to help? Thank you in advance

20 Replies

  • If you are that tired do you think you might need to change whatever drugs you are on?

    Ask your rheumy nurses.....the rheumatologist is probably only interested in what your blood tests show, but the nurses understand in the real world you just can't be that incapacitated by tiredness...especially at only 24.

    Your GP, unless he/she has a special interest in RA will probably just refer you back to you Rheumy.

    When I first experienced fatigue, I honestly thought it was me being lazy, until like you I realised it wasn't right.

    I know what you mean about being bone crushingly tired, but now after a decent night's sleep I can usually keep going until around 4PM.

    If I want to go out in the evening I have a sleep mid day.

    But I am retired & obviously a LOT older than you....& you presumably need to be able to work, even if only part time.

    So call your rheumy nurses & explain how you just can't function for more than a few hours a day & see what they can do to help you.

  • I don.t think people realize how debilitating the fatigue is its so much worse than just being tired .it effects your whole being body and mind.but doctors and family don.t get it. But we have to keep telling them .don.t give in .Sorry thats just how i feel .love. big hugs x

  • Thank you, it's something I've never actually been told about when seeing my consultant and I'm so shocked that I've been so misinformed about the disease.

  • Thank you very much for your advice. I've called me rheumy helpline instead of going to the gp and they are going to discuss the case with my consultant and call back.

  • The more I read on this site the more I realise how we have to be proactive to get things sorted.

    Anything new.....I give it a reasonable amount of time to settle, then if it doesn't I ask my rheumy nurse. I always feel as if I'm having a moan,,but we've got enough to put up with ..without micro managing our symptoms as well.

    I do hope your team find an answer for you........ In the meantime ...get a good book....& sleep your way thru reading it!

    Good Luck Kitsty 😴😴😴

  • Thank you.

    Unfortunately it was a very frustrating phone call and have less hope than before I spoke to them.

    They kept trying to say that I must be fatigued for another reason and that the reason I was laying around so much is because I'm depressed. Of course I'm depressed when I'm in so much pain on a daily basis and I would love to see how exhausted they feel after a day of trying to move their broken body around.

    On the plus side they are going to give me another appt within the next month rather than me having to wait until December and I'm going armed with pictures of the swelling this time to show how bad it gets.

    Onwards and upwards! (Hopefully)

  • Hi kirsty , i don't know what treatment you are on , sometimes it takes a while to kick in . In the meantime it helps to pace yourself and set small goals and then rest before you do anything else. Its good to try and stick to a routine where you can , drink lots of water and get fresh air. It is hard , unless you have experience it , to understand how debilitating the exhaustion is . There is some real good info on the arthritis reasesrch website, best wishes xxxxx

  • Hi. Thank you for your advice. I've been on my medication for a year and a half and had been in remission for most of last year but the last few months have been a real struggle! I will have a look at that website, thank you

  • Good luck , i hope things start to improve again soon xx

  • You may already be on them but the thing that really helps me is systemic steroid injections every 8 weeks or so. I generally go from sleepwalking through work, to feeling human again within about 4 days

  • Thank you, may have to ask my consultant about that!

  • Hi, anything that you initiate to combat fatigue is a positive step. It shows that you want to be in control of it and not the other way round. Have you looked on the NRAS website. There are many publications that may help you deal with fatigue. You can also phone their excellent help line on 0800 298 7650. The people there are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Keep up the fight. All the very best.

  • Thank you very much, will have a browse through the website

  • Hi Kirstycakes, you have my sympathy, the fatigue is SO debilitating. I complained to anyone who would listen (GP, consultant, nurse) at every appointment and was told 'well yes, it goes hand in hand with RA'. Then my GP noticed that my blood tests had shown borderline anaemia for the past YEAR, most likely ACD (Anaemia of Chronic Disease) so she prescribed iron tablets and hey presto, I can feel I'm getting my mojo back. Maybe get your GP to go back through your blood tests to see if this might be the case? I also agree with Lucky JC - a steroid injection can really give a superhuman boost too. Best of luck, because apart from everything else it's plain depressing waking up every morning with a flat battery.

  • Thank you for your advice. I've gone for the option of contacting my rheumy nurses for now but if they don't get anyway I'll have to go to the gp next.

  • Be careful and please talk to your GP as it may just be a coincidence and nothing to do with RA. It could be thyroid related or ME or PA or something else. You should get blood tests and find out before asking for a steriod injection as if its not a miracle cure, but a short term boost and even then it does'nt always work I've had 500 units in the past 2 months its made no difference as its transpired the fatigue is not due to RA at all.

  • Thank you. I'm currently exploring my options with the rheumatologist but will see the gp if things don't improve

  • I was like that at 33 years old. After I was put on Enbrel at 37, I went into remission and felt pretty good after that. I even got a black belt in Karate last year. I am 53 now and slowing down. Keep trying new meds and give them time to work. It is not a fast process.

    I understand how bone crushingly weary you can feel. And not just for a day, but everyday.

    Look up "spoonies" and

    for more on chronic fatigue.

  • Wow, well done on your black belt! It's so positive to know that when the disease is under control achievements like that are an option!

  • Chronic Fatigue are symptoms of both Low Thyroid and vitamin B12 Deficiency.

    Low Thyroid and B12 Deficiency can often go hand in hand.

    There are two sites on here (Health Unlocked) well worth visiting, many being helped with Chronic Fatigue daily.

    'Thyroid UK' and 'PAS' (Pernicious Anemia Society also for B12 Deficiency too.)

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