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  • Writer's pictureDr. Chris Phillips

How to Combat Arthritis Fatigue

Arthritis and fatigue go hand in hand. It’s a symptom many have but most do not want. But the good news is, there are ways to combat your fatigue.

Living with arthritis (or experiencing symptoms that mimic arthritis) is exhausting to manage day in and day out. It’s safe to say that arthritis impacts near every aspect of a person’s life, including:

  • recreational activity

  • exercise capacity

  • sleep

  • Relationships

  • Employment

  • financial security

  • food intake/diet regime

  • emotional well being

Arthritis also often leads to fatigue, extreme tiredness, and lack of energy. Not everyone experiences fatigue for the same reasons though. It is usually from a combination of these 6 contributing factors:

  1. Depression or Anxiety: Arthritis takes a mental toll on an individual. It’s hard to deal with the chronic pain while not getting proper rest, missing work, avoiding social events, and the list goes on and on.

  1. Weight: When overweight or obese, arthritis can be even more debilitating due to the lack of movement. Exercise is critical for joint health. Weight management is key.

  1. Decreased Strength and Mobility: As the saying goes, use it or lose it. Extended inactivity hurts your muscles, heart, lungs, and more. On the other hand, physical activity combats fatigue and strengthens all parts of your body.

  1. Medication: Medicine has side effects. Drowsiness or fatigue might stem from the type of medication a person takes.

  1. Inflammation: While not always the case, arthritis is often linked to rheumatic diseases, otherwise known as inflammatory diseases or autoimmune diseases. Your body gets exhausted battling against the constant state of inflammation.

  1. Lifestyle: Daily choices add up. It’s all about looking at the big picture - lack of nutrition, inadequate sleep, smoking, alcohol consumption, excessive sitting time, no exercising - and whether your lifestyle behaviors are part of the problem.

If you are dealing with arthritis, what can you do to reduce fatigue?

For starters, take a few minutes to think about the areas listed above and how these contributing factors could be impacting your personal circumstances. And then, ask yourself these questions:

Do you need to begin a regular exercise routine?

Are you making poor food choices?

Could you benefit from professional counseling or therapy?

Is your medication hindering you more than helping you, and is it time to explore a different prescription?

Do you have an undiagnosed autoimmune disease, leading to uncontrolled inflammation?

Is your body weak and needs more movement?

At Paducah Rheumatology, we understand that fatigue is real. If you are experiencing fatigue, more than likely there are multiple reasons as to why.

Our healthcare team helps you explore the reasons behind your extreme tiredness. We strive to find and target the root issues causing your fatigue. With those answers, we then create an individualized treatment plan designed just for your body.

Let’s fight your fatigue together. Call our office at 270-408-6100.

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