Fatigue and Arthritis

Deadly arthritis

Fatigue can be defined as the feeling of tiredness or exhaustion. It is observed that fatigue is often related with arthritis. It is difficult for arthritic patients to deal with fatigue. There could be various reasons causing fatigue.

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of arthritis. In some cases people face more difficulty in managing fatigue as compared to arthritic pain. There are a number of characteristics which are similar to arthritic pain, which varies in duration, intensity and frequency. It is observed that fatigue is generally accompanied by flared-up disease. During such time even a simple job seems to be tough.

Incidence of Fatigue in Arthritic Patients:

According to a research conducted in the year 1996 on 1,488 arthritic patients, almost 88-98% of the patients were reported to suffer from fatigue. Basia Belza, PhD, University of Washington, Seattle, said that “Fatigue is a tough symptom that may have more of an impact on people’s daily life than pain.” It is observed that women tend to suffer from higher level of fatigue and more disturbed sleep. When compared between men and women suffering from arthritis it was found that after work men tend take complete rest. But women instead of relaxing tend to complete their household chores. Hence women experience more fatigue than men.

Probable Causes of Fatigue in Arthritic Patients:

The level of fatigue varies according to how you feel psychologically. This could be simply explained with the help of an example: extended periods of stress can contribute to fatigue. It is observed that people suffering from arthritis face difficulty while sleeping; this also contributes to the level of fatigue.

Other probable factors resulting in fatigue are as follows:

  • Arthritic flare-up
  • Depression
  • Muscle weakness
  • Emotional stress
  • Improper sleep
  • Anemia
  • Arthritic pain
  • Improper diet

Even the surrounding environment like warm temperature, loud noise, and uncomfortable furniture might add on to your fatigue.

Effects of Fatigue on Arthritic Patients:

It is observed that fatigue has many negative effects on arthritic patients, making it difficult to handle it. A few effects are listed below:

  • Decreased concentration
  • Increased tiredness and weakness
  • Increased frustration level
  • Increased irritability
  • Reduced efficiency and performance
  • Enhanced feeling of being isolated

Tips to Manage Arthritic Fatigue:

It is difficult to cure fatigue with the help of only medications. Here are a few self-management techniques which would be helpful for you in coping with fatigue in daily life.

  • Instead of spending the whole day in completing one task, it is better to allot minimum 20 minutes at a time for that activity.
  • Don’t try to stress your joints, so keep changing your position after a long duration of time. Try to maintain correct posture as poor posture can lead to fatigue.
  • Don’t stress yourself and take small breaks in between and after completion of the task.
  • Daily perform some simple and gentle exercises. It is observed that exercise can help in overcoming fatigue.
  • To combat fatigue it is necessary to get sound sleep every night. For additional neck support, small and specially designed pillows can be used. This would be helpful in getting you sound sleep.
  • Avoid coffee, caffeine products and alcohol before going to bed. These might cause restlessness and interfere with your sleep.
  • Make it a point to relax in the evenings. Instead of watching television, read a book. Before going to bed it is advisable to take a warm bath. Avoid taking sleep breaks during the day time.
  • With the help of meditation you can de-stress yourself. Try to include meditation in your routine. It is said that 1 hour of mediation is equal to 8 hours of sleep.
  • Instead of performing all the household chores yourself, ask help from your family members. This will not only lessen your work burden, it will also develop a sense of responsibility in your children or grandchildren.
  • Fatigue may be caused due to enhanced disease activity or inflammation; hence it is advisable to complete your treatment plan. Don’t try to skip your medication when you start feeling good.

Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue

There could be various factors leading to psoriatic arthritis fatigue. Some of these are:

  • Inflammation
  • Depression
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Disturbed Sleep
  • Anemia
  • Inactivity