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Can Lupus Cause Extreme Fatigue

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Joint Pain And Swelling

Lupus Fatigue: Causes, Treatments and Management

Up to 90% of people with lupus will have arthritis, which is defined as inflammation or swelling of the joint lining. The most common symptoms of arthritis are stiffness and aching, most often in the hands and wrists. Symptoms of arthritis can come and go and move from one joint to another. Pain and stiffness tend to be worse in the morning and improve as the day goes on. People with lupus can also experience pain in the joints without swelling or tenderness, which is referred to as arthralgia.

What Are Some On Treating Lupus Extreme Fatigue

Getting the proper amount of rest is extremely important for people with lupus associated extreme fatigue, especially during periods of disease activity . Damaged and inflamed muscles and joints require rest to heal. Rest is also vital in reducing fatigue. Although everyone has his or her own particular sleep requirements, at least seven hours of sleep a night is recommended for people with lupus. It is also important to be aware that too much sleep isnt healthy, either. Spending all day in bed may make muscles weaker, which can contribute to feelings of fatigue. Napping during the day may be helpful and even necessary when lupus activity is causing a flare. Try to allow extra time in your daily schedule for rest.

Moreover, the following tips can help you manage extreme fatigue:

  • Alternate activities with periods of rest throughout the day.
  • Establish good sleep patterns.
  • Plan ahead for example, shop for gifts throughout the year.
  • Prepare meals in advance.
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Stop smoking if you smoke.

. Dynamic patterns: the self-organization of brain and behavior. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.)

P.S.I know what you may feel and think – “I am lost! I don’t have any chance to get cured etc” – I have heard this numerous times and I must tell you this: I have seen many lupus sufferers get rid of their symptoms at my private clinic and online using my simple & natural method. I KNOW what I am talking about.Give yourself a chance and

Treat Underlying Conditions That May Cause Fatigue

âFatigue with lupus is sometimes caused by an underlying medical problem, such as anemia, fibromyalgia, depression, or a kidney or thyroid problem. And in some cases, it can be a side effect of medication,â says Meenakshi Jolly, MD, MS, director of the Rush Lupus Clinic and assistant professor of medicine and behavioral medicine at Rush University. âIn these cases, we can often treat the fatigue by treating the condition or changing the patientâs medication.â

Ask your doctor to check if your fatigue may be related to another condition or a medication. If it is, find out about treatment.

Also Check: How To Beat Menopause Fatigue

Number Of Factors Can Contribute To Fatigue In Patients With Lupus

Dear Mayo Clinic:

One year ago, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with lupus. I am taking medications to help with flares, which are reasonably controlled, but I am exhausted all of the time. Is this just a part of the disease, or is there something that can help with fatigue?


Fatigue is a major problem in 50 to 80 percent of lupus patients and can be quite disabling. The specific cause, however, varies from person to person, with many potentially treatable conditions. Identifying what’s causing you to feel run down much of the time is a good starting point.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues and organs, causing inflammation and damage. Lupus can affect any system in the body, but the skin, joints, lungs, kidneys and blood are most often affected. Because lupus can affect so much of the body, it’s important that you work with a rheumatologist a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other inflammatory joint conditions and/or a specialized care team familiar with lupus.

It is also important to recognize that poor quality sleep, fibromyalgia and depression are common causes of fatigue in patients. Living with the unknowns and emotional stress of a chronic disease such as lupus can cause a person to become clinically depressed. If you have feelings of hopelessness or general sadness, or if you have a loss of interest in daily activities, let your rheumatologist know.

The Cycle Of Fatigue And Cognitive Dysfunction

Systemic lupus erythematosus: Symptoms and treatments

In those with , , the story of and is what Dr. Melanie Harrison compares to the story of the chicken and egg. Each symptom directly impacts the other and can wreak havoc upon the human body by forcing one to endure an ongoing cycle of confusion caused by exhaustion, which is caused by confusion, which is caused by exhaustion, and so on. Such a scenario is hard for individuals to live with and difficult for physicians to diagnose.

Among the general population of the United States, fatigue is the main complaint in over ten million doctor visits, or one quarter of all visits annually. This is largely because the condition itself is so dynamic many patients suffering from fatigue often complain of physical fatigue, where joints and bones are just worn out, while others describe more of a psychological fatigue that results from the . Still others complain simply of mental fatigue, when their mind is hazy or not operating as clearly as they believe it should. At different times and in different ways, just about anyone can suffer from one or any combination of these ailments.

Fatigue, especially related to autoimmune diseases like lupus, is often persistent, Dr. Harrison says. Its very intangible, but you know the difference – especially those with lupus know the difference. Its not the same thing as just having a cold, its not the same thing as just not getting a good nights sleep.

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Medication & Fatigue In Sle

Reports suggest that medications used to treat SLE may themselves be associated with fatigue. One study showed that fatigue scores did not differ significantly between SLE patients taking corticosteroids and those who were not taking corticosteroids, but patients taking NSAIDs reported significantly higher fatigue scores compared to those who were not. Pain scores were reported to be higher among those patients taking NSAIDs, but when corrected for pain as a contributing factor for the fatigue scoring, the difference was no longer apparent. Also the use of psychotropic medications such as antidepressants or anxiolytics did not make a significant difference on the reporting of subjective fatigue between those taking and those not taking these medications .

What Contributes To Fatigue With Lupus

To start, how common is lupus fatigue? Upwards of 80% of people with lupus experience fatigue with many people being unable to continue working. However, the cause of the symptom varies from person to person. But, research has identified many relevant factors including:

  • poor sleep quality
  • anemia
  • vitamin D deficiency

Feelings of fatigue are not necessarily constant. It comes and goes similar to a lupus flare. Complicating matters, diseases that co-exist with lupus such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, and thyroid disease are also associated with fatigue. This can make identifying the root cause of the symptom difficult. Plus, its a common side effect of many medications used to treat lupus is increased lethargy.

Read Also: Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Real

Arthritis As A Cause Of Joint Pain And Fatigue

The breakdown of fluids between the joints is responsible for rheumatoid arthritis . In the initial stages, the condition tends to be more severe during the morning hours. However, the pain gradually worsens and makes the patient feel uncomfortable for the most part of the day. This is also accompanied by exacerbating fatigue. Rheumatoid arthritis will affect the joints in the wrists, hands and elbows as well as the neck and shoulders. It should also be noted that in the lower extremities, the condition tends to affect the hips, ankles and knees in addition to the joints in the toes. The irritation that tends to affect the joints is responsible for the release of cytokines into the system. This is one of the common causes of fatigue which a person undergoes. This apart, a poor appetite which is common among those suffering with arthritis pain adds to the level of fatigue. Due to a massive loss of stamina, a lot of people tend to feel more fatigued. This is one of the reasons why they restrict the amount of activities they engage in.

Multiple Sclerosis As A Cause Of Joint Pain And Fatigue

Recognize the symptoms: Fatigue, rashes can point to lupus

Multiple sclerosis affects the immune system by attacking the brain, optic nerves and spinal cord, say experts.

The disease also destroys myelin, the sheath that protects and covers the nerves. This hinders signals between the brain and the body. This can results in numbness, pain and tremors common symptoms of the disease.

In fact, MS can resemble lupus as well as Lyme disease. It can also cause fatigue and joint pain. One of the common symptoms include numbness and a tingling sensation.

Studies suggest that a majority of Americans have MS with the diseases affecting people between 20-40 years. Women are more likely to fall prey to MS as opposed to men.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Chronic Fatigue

Coping With Fatigue Associated With Autoimmune Disease

The inflammatory response associated with autoimmune conditions and arthritis is systemicmeaning it affects the whole body. These conditions can cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, swelling, stiffness, loss of joint functionand fatigue. In fact, fatigue is one of the most commonand frustratingsymptoms.

How Can Teachers Help

If your student is not having a flare-up, encourage them to participate in all classroom and physical education activities. Regular exercise can help prevent fatigue and joint stiffness.

During flare-ups, students with lupus may feel much more tired, sick, feverish, and achy than usual. Make sure you know your student’s symptoms, and work with parents and other educators to make a plan that promotes your student’s academic and personal success.

Students with lupus may:

  • need to sit in a warm area of a classroom and be able to move away from sick classmates
  • need to visit the school nurse for medicines or to rest during flare-ups
  • need accommodations for missing class time or assignments due to absences because of flare-ups or medical appointments
  • need to sit out or take a break from physical activity during flare ups
  • need to wear sunscreen or protective clothing, or limit time outdoors
  • have trouble concentrating and staying on task
  • need extra time to move between classes
  • need adaptive equipment to complete assignments
  • benefit from having an individualized education plan or 504 education plan

You can find more information at The Lupus Foundation of America.

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Sleep Problems With Lupus

I need more sleep. Not just one good night of it either, but a regular schedule of it.

Every day, I drag myself through all of my obligations, fighting to be an alert and a fully functioning version of myself. Then at night, when my head finally is allowed to hit the pillow, sleep becomes elusive.

When I do sleep, it is for one-hour increments. I literally wake up every single hour throughout the entire night. Is this deep or restorative sleep? Absolutely not.

The question is how can someone as exhausted as I am still not be able to fall asleep and stay asleep each night? The answer lies in the root cause of my fatigue lupus.

In fact, it is hard for me to determine which came first my lupus fatigue or the abundant sleep issues I suffer from that perpetuate the fatigue.

In a study published in 2013 by the Journal of Rheumatology, researchers discovered that patients with lupus had far more problems with sleep than the rest of the population. And it really is a which came first scenario, since lupus causes a feeling of incredible, debilitating fatigue as well as these sleep disturbances.

Get Regular Exercise To Boost Energy

Lupus symptoms: Joint pain, fatigue and face rash are ...

Although working out may be the last thing you want to do if youâre feeling tired, exercise can actually boost your energy level.

âI started walking as soon as I could,â says Adam Brown, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2007, at age 23. âI couldnât do much at first, but as soon as I started walking my energy level really jumped. Then I started walking everywhere, and my problems with fatigue literally went away.â

Although Utterback still deals with fatigue, exercise has helped her as well. âWhen I exercise, I can add another good hour to my day,â she says. âAnd when I donât exercise, I definitely feel worse.â Because she experiences joint pain, Utterback usually exercises in a heated pool, which is easy on her joints. But she also walks and lifts weights.

âItâs important to get as much exercise as you can tolerate,â says Jolly. âFor some people that may mean just a short walk, while others may be able to do a whole exercise routine. The key is to find whatâs right for you. Listen to your body and let it be your guide.â

Donât be afraid to push yourself a bit. âSome days I really donât want to go to the gym, but I force myself to go anyway, because I know Iâll feel better once I exercise,â says Utterback. âOne of the biggest mistakes Iâve made is not exercising when I feel really lousy. Iâve learned that if I can get on the treadmill and just do a few minutes, I end up doing more and feeling better.â

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Heart Attack Or Stroke

While you may be on the lookout for chest pain to signal problems with your heart, you should also add sudden-onset fatigue to the list, per the American Heart Association. .

In addition, the AHA points out that fatigue or confusion can be one of the initial symptoms of a stroke. Other signs might include a severe headache, arm weakness and difficulty with walking or talking.


If you have sudden exhaustion along with any other symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, call 911 immediately. In either case, your likelihood of recovery is better the sooner you get treatment.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a group of symptoms that occur when your blood doesn’t circulate properly, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Doctors don’t totally understand the condition or why it happens, but they know that when a person with POTS stands upright, more blood collects in their lower body, causing the heart to beat faster to pump blood up to the brain.

Some people with POTS describe it as having sudden fatigue attacks, while others say it’s like having waves of sudden extreme fatigue and nausea or extreme fatigue “out of nowhere.” It can present differently depending on the person, but other symptoms might include:

  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy when standing, or fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle cramps or muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Feeling shaky
  • Sweating a lot

POTS tends to run in families, and there’s a link between POTS and having highly mobile joints , per Johns Hopkins Medicine. If you think you have it, see your doctor, who can run a test and make a diagnosis.

Also Check: Is There A Test For Chronic Fatigue

What Is Lupus Fatigue

Lupus fatigue is reportedly experienced by more than 80% of all people who suffer from the disease. Fatigue associated with lupus encompasses both mental and physical tiredness and may be linked to cognitive dysfunction. There are many symptoms of lupus that can lead to fatigue, including sleep disorders, pain, and anemia. As with any type of fatigue, lupus fatigue is particularly difficult to diagnose and treat, as there are no simple tests doctors can perform to isolate the cause.

The link between lupus fatigue and cognitive dysfunction has been extensively studied, but whether the dysfunction is the cause of lupus fatigue or the result of the disease itself is still unclear. Cognitive dysfunction is a mental condition that is characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, and the inability to concentrate, all of which commonly cause fatigue. What researchers still do not understand is which comes firstthe lupus fatigue or the cognitive dysfunction.

What Causes Weight Loss In Lupus Patients

Dr Natasha Jordan – Fatigue in Lupus (Causes and Management)

Lupus weight loss can be related to the disease itself or the treatments for it.

If youre losing weight, it means that you may have no appetite. According to doctors, lupus is caused by an overactive immune system and it can attack nearly every part of the body. The skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, brain and heart are often affected. As a result, pain, or inflammation can occur. Struggling with those symptoms can cause you to lose appetite. Even if youre trying to eat, your weight can also come off so fast. This is due to your body being busy at war, and using all of the nutrients youve eaten to gain strength.

Many studies showed that 90% of people with lupus have some levels of fatigue at some time. This is known to reduce appetite and put you at risk for weight loss.

The thyroid is important to control the bodys metabolism. If it doesnt function properly, you can have weight gain or weight loss. In the case of lupus, the immune system usually attacks healthy organs of the body. The thyroid is no exception. When it produces more hormones than the body needs, you will lose weight rapidly.

Lupus can also affect the gastrointestinal system, causing you a lot of problems related to weight loss, such as:

  • digestive difficulties
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Crohns disease

Learn more: How Corticosteroids Can Affect Emotional Health of Lupus Patients

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