Why does RA cause debiliataing fatigue?: Hi there, I'm... - NRAS

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Why does RA cause debiliataing fatigue?

Hi there, I'm just trying to grapple with the effects of fatigue in RA. What causes such debilitating tiredness? I can't quite understand the connection! Inflamation, swollen, stiff and painful joints but what causes the fatigue? I'm lucky at the moment I'm not on medication at present as I'm going through all the paperwork, blood checks etc prior to going on Bioligics. I'm only on low dosage (Pred) my wrists hurt plus a small amount of selling but nothing to complain about. However my fatigue is dreadful. Why does RA cause such high levels of fatigue?

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I would imagine its partly due to the stress of coping with pain and disability, it takes it it out of you mentally.

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Yes i understand that, but I'm presently not experiencing too much pain at the moment, thank goodness! Just tiredness.

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Same thing, we cope with symptoms regardless of what they are and the effort of not being fully well and able, a lot of thought and emotions are channelled into the problem as well as daily living, its tiring at times, I'm not saying this is the answer just saying it could contribute to how you feel. It's a cycle..some thing wears you down physically or mentally which makes you feel down which in turn makes you fatigued. It's not just RA does this! Speak to your GP

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Yes i think it's pshological as well, understanding the diagnosis and starting to focus on a healthy mind set will at least lessen the burden towards the challengers of RA.

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If anyone could find the answer (and treatment) to that question they would be a very rich person.

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Yep! Its an enigma that's for sure!

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Arthritis Research UK did quite a useful leaflet on this, link below, (and before they changed into Versus Arthritis and we t mad)

arthritisresearchuk.org/~/m...

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Thankyou for that helixhelix

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Thank you for that Helix great information from you.

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It could be I'm deficient in Vit D, so having bloods done.

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That is a good question! Wish I knew but I think it’s definitely due to disease process (cytokines a possibility in helix’s leaflet?) as I had it long before drugs tho’ many of those don’t help. Has improved a bit on biologics tho’ still there if I don’t pace myself. No comparison to what I was like before RD either ☹️x

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Thank goodness, I'm sure if the biologics help the pain and swelling by targeting the joints it will stop the war going going on in my body, thus stop the tiredness.

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Good luck with them Jaxine fatigue’s one of the most depressing things about this I think and so hard to explain to others. I boom n bust all the time trying to keep up & don’t want to sound like hypochondriac cos let’s face it you still look pretty normal on outside x

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Exackly! Looking good and feeling shite! And trying to explain and justify not having that normal burst of energy. I'm always apologising for my lethergy, however the people who care the most understand the most.

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Hi - I find ensuring enough sleep is critical.

The only time I was dreadfully fatigued was from eating roasted peanuts or pistachios - so very odd. Soon as I stopped fine. Overall despite my intense inflammation and pain I feel ok.

What dosage of pred are you on if you don't mind me asking?

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Only 10 mg. I started at 20 and felt great but no so much now! I have no problem sleeping at all could sleep and sleep and it still wouldn't be enough!

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Thanks. I tapered down in April. It has now left my system and everything has come back with a vengeance, that is why I hate it, you feel great but it's just surface for me. I am living off Ibuprofen for my ailing, swollen hands. I wish they could find a natural prednisone. Glad to hear sleeping is good for you. Take care.

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Gosh sorry to hear that, I'm hoping biologics are going to be my friend. 10 mg is just not cutting it!

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Think about how tired you feel fighting a cold or flu. With an autoimmune disease your immune system is constantly fighting something (in this case our own bodies) so it’s no wonder we are so exhausted.

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Exactly what I was going to say. I'm going through a flare up right now, and getting up for work in the mornings has been extremely challenging. My immune system is literally fighting itself 24/7. This disease sucks.

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It really does doesn't it! I thought I was in remission or got mis diagnosed wrongly ( wishful thinking) but then suddenly I awake and find out instead that ' oh yes that bloody RA has reared it's ugly face!

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Yes a tiny war of warriors constantly fighting eachother! So it makes sence. I thought it must be some biochemical flushing around our body a consequence of RA.

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Exackly, but being new to this demon condition I'm learning all the tine!

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Yes, I understand that now it makes sense. I was thinking maybe its some kind of biochemical substance that gets flushed around the body when the auto immune system starts attacking the lining in the joints. However, it's understandable if the body is in a constant battle within.

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I think your body is working really hard so really tired. Thats what I was told as I felt flu like for 2 years. I hope you get sorted very soon.

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So do i! Thank you.

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I believe its our body fighting the inflammation and the immune system being very active. Like having mild flu I was told. When the medication is suppressing the inflammation then the body is coping with very strong drugs, often more than one at once, and in many cases for a long time.

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I'm not on any drugs at present just 10 mg of pred. But I understand it's more a case of the the immune system attacking my joints even though I'm on pred, but it's still fighting.

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I read somewhere at least nine hours sleep a night helps.

Certainly, if I gave less u feel worse. There us a cumulative effect to sleep deprivation. SK..u go to bedvl earlier..not a cure..but a great help.

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I have no problem sleeping that's the problem! I'm lucky no dusturbance at all!

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Length if sleep also important.

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Yes but what to length! Sleep like a baby but still wake up feeling tired!

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Here are 2 “blogs” specific to RA.

1. blog.arthritis.org/rheumato...

2. Make sure to hydrate. Thirst sensation changes with age. Sometimes I feel exhausted and then drink water- eat hydrating fruits like melons, then have energy the next day.

arthritis.org/living-with-a...

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I do drink lots of water and sleep well, but thanks for information appreciate it alot

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I’m sure there are other ways to deal with fatigue..hopefully someone gives you a good solution. I suffer from fatigue too and have to work full time-12 hours/day and am in school- the only thing I want to do is sleep all day. Often want to just give up. And i have the worst flares/ suffer with worsening fatigue if I drink coffee...

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Hi, yes im getting bloods done for vit D deficiency and I certainly try to find alternative remedies and solutions but presently to no avail! Just can't kick the tiredness.

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I was in great pain at the peak of my RA hence I could not sleep at night, I was very tired during the day. Most of the time I was half asleep during the day in the office. I think it is the pain and swell that upset our life.

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Yes and the battle within!

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Jaxine-

I don’t have RA, but have PsA, Psoriatic Spondylitis & Fibromyalgia. I know for me, the fatigue can be just as bad as the pain itself... & just as debilitating. I believe the fatigue is from our bodies fighting themselves. It’s similar to having a cold or the flu; you are beyond tired because your body is fighting the infection. Our bodies are in a constant battle against themselves, & the war completely depletes our energy.

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Yes agreed! You have no signs that your body is fighting it s demons apart from the debilitating tiredness, and you're left thinking ' what the hell is going on? I thank goodness that I'm not going through cancer that is terminal and thus i feel an over whelming guilt for moaning, but it's all relative I think! I'm still trodding down my own personal path and at times it feeling rough and daunting.

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Jaxine-

I think the same thing (regarding cancer & compared to those with life threatening illnesses I shouldn’t be complaining). However, just as they say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, well, so is pain. Our cross to bear is our own & we shouldn’t further burden ourselves by comparing. While yes, we are lucky that our conditions are not life threatening, our quality of life is affected. We may not be knocking on death’s door, but the idea of wasting the precious time we do have because of our condition is just as damning. Just remind yourself on the rough days that today you are stronger than you were yesterday & that you are strong enough to bear this burden because someone has to.

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Yes you're right, we still have to live with a condition that is at times debilitating. It's no fun having to take medication that kills the immune system further putting us at risk of infections. It's a nasty condition! And unfortunately it's going nowhere and will always remain with us. But strength to cope with it is vital and a positive mind set.

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I think a big part of it for me, not necessarily others, is that the pain/stiffness makes me inactive and inactivity causes lethargy and lethargy causes fatigue. If I overdo it then obviously it makes things worse but I find doing some gentle Pilates at home every day makes a big difference to my energy levels. The rest I think is just the body working extra hard to fight inflammation.

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I try to be as active as possible, but it's difficult fighting the letherg with such a huge battle going on within. But I agree to find something that individually works for us is a good starting point. Mine is sleeping more 😂😂😂😂

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Look at the NRAS Fatique booklet online on the website.

nras.org.uk or call and they will post it out. Very good.

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Thank you for the link

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Oh, I am sorry about the fatigue, Jaxine. I had to put up with it as well for a few years, until my meds evened out. My rheumy explained that the fatigue was due to my RA being very active. In my mind, a fierce battle was underway under my skin, and it just wore me out. Anyway, hopefully your fatigue will subside as well. Good luck to you!

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Yes I'm starting to understand it all now. I will remain positive. Thank you.

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Your body can only repair itself when you are asleep, so the tiredness is your body saying ‘go to sleep as I need to fix myself’

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Thank Birnan, yep sleep is good!

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