One of the most debilitating and frustrating symptoms of lupus for many is fatigue. More than merely feeling tired, fatigue can disrupt your entire life and lead to other health concerns such as depression and anxiety.
The level of fatigue a person suffers will differ from one lupus patient to the next. There are many factors to take into account such as severity of lupus, age, overall health, which medication they take, mental health, and the level of support they receive.
Your healthcare team will assess you if you’re suffering from chronic fatigue to establish if there’s an underlying problem that needs treating, such as kidney failure or anemia. If no underlying cause can be established, then according to lupus.org, there are ways to self-manage fatigue to improve quality of life.
Be honest about your fatigue.
- You need to be honest with your healthcare team about your level of fatigue and how it affects you. This will help them establish if there’s anything they can do to improve the situation, such as changing medications, treating any underlying medical conditions, or simply suggest ways to manage fatigue.
- You also need to be honest with your friends and family about your fatigue so they don’t expect too much of you and understand why you can’t do as much as they would like.
Prioritize and plan ahead.
- Prioritizing tasks will help you conserve energy but still allow you to do what really needs to be done.
- Try to catch up when you’re feeling well. Batch cooking will ensure you have healthy nutritious meals at the times you’re suffering from flare-ups.
- Don’t accept every social invitation – be picky about who you want to spend your time with and what you want to do. True friends will understand.
Don’t push yourself.
- Understanding your limits is extremely important. You will need to learn how to conserve energy and not overdo things.
- Exercise is good for managing fatigue, but you will need to take things slowly and gradually improve your strength and stamina over time.
- Rest up as much as possible. Take short naps if you need to. Make life as simple as possible: shop online, ask for help with chores around the house, don’t go out unless you absolutely need to.
Accept that fatigue is a part of having lupus.
- It’s nobody’s fault — especially not yours so don’t feel guilty about fatigue.
- Explain to others why rest is so important to you and why you need to conserve energy.
- Learn to ask for help, and take people up on their offers to help. They’re offering because they care and want to help you.
Look after your health.
- As well as getting plenty of rest, ensure that you eat a healthy balanced diet. You may want to try an elimination diet to see if any foods trigger lupus flares so you can avoid them in the future.
- Take all your meds as directed by your healthcare team.
- Exercise when you can, even something simple as a walk or gentle yoga class.
- If you smoke, ask your doctor for advice on how to quit.
Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.