Problems with fatigue

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi all. I'm 69 and was diagnosed with RA about 18 months ago. I also have mobility issues following Spinal Surgery 3 years ago - just to add insult to injury!

I've noted considerable problems with fatigue and poor sleep patterns - dropping off in the afternoon or early evening for several hours then going to bed and waking up at "silly o'clock".

I've spoken to my GP about this and she says that this sort of fatigue "goes with the territory I'm afraid".

My RA Physiotherapist says I should pace myself (whatever that means!) and have a couple of half-hour dozes during the day so that I get some quality sleep at night.

Is my experience typical of those shared by other RA Forum members?

Oh, and while I think about it - Happy New Year to you all!!! 

1 like, 7 replies

Report / Delete

7 Replies

  • Posted

    It may have sounded unhelpful but your GP was quite right - almost all autoimmune illness is accompanied by fatigue and we have to learn how manage our available energy. Just because our illnesses have different names doesn't mean the problem is different.

    If you follow this link

    you will find a post with links to some excellent resources - the one for ME/CFS is particularly good as I said there originally.

    Another very useful illustration is to be found in the Spoon Theory by Chrstina Miseriando - use your serach engine to find it. I should have put it in the post but never thought about it at the time.

    Resting BEFORE you get so tired will almost certainly give you more useful time in the day - and deciding you are going to have a "dad nap" or little zizz after lunch will help enormously! And sometimes the poor nighttime sleep is because you were overtired when you went to bed - remember saying the kids were "past tired"? Same for us too.

    Hope this helps explain - and Happy New Year to you too!

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Ah - useful thought about not sleeping being overtired! 

      My hubby couldn't understand why I didn't sleep well one night as all I could think was that I d done too much talking the evening before. The Spoon theory is helpful.

      happy new year to you!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Yes, it's a mix of the fatigue and the brain fog. I used to ski, even with my illness (not RA) but I had to be so careful not to overdo it! I once did my planned 3 short runs, got to the top and thought "I really feel good, just one more". About 2/3 of the way down I felt as if I had hit a brick wal! That last couple of hundred yards took forever! I never made that mistake again!

      It still happens occasionally, after a long period of a lot to do, travelling and keeping appointment. It hits about 7pm and I have no choice but to go to bed. I'm OK next morning though!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I m 65. Diagnosed nearly 3 years ago. My RA is well under control- in fact I m in remission officially, but still have to sleep more than I used to- and pace myself. So that means for me planning in some down time during the day- yes even a planned nap! Or having a quiet day after a busy day. I find crowds and noise difficult although I never was like that before RA!  But I am able to do a lot now I m not at my worse- like looking after grand children, dancing, decorating, walking. Sometimes I don't sleep well - don't know if it's RA or meds, but I just read or watch Tv and make up for it next night! So I think your physio is right that you just have to work around the fatigue in the best way you can- hard if you were very active before.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hello Mike

    HNY to you too

    You are not in this alone it is a very exhausting disease and

    Like you said you wake at stupid o'clock.

    I was prescribed with Amytriptaline by my GP this is a muscle

    relaxant.( originally was an anti depressant but was not fit for

    purpose but Doctors discovered it was a good relaxant)

    I reduced my working week to 4 days a week to give myself a

    balance of rest and work.

    The Amatriptaline helps me sleep ready for work most days.

    However as you have probably realised sometimes nothing helps.

    I do also have Quinine which helps with restless limbs, which can occur

    My GP started me on 30-50 mg per night it takes about 2 months to get into your system and for you to find your required level of


    After 16 years with RA i now take 75 mg per night because of

    Damaged joints.

    I am lucky and my GP is a muscle skeleton specialist and is very supportive

    I won't hurt to discuss with your GP

    Hope this helps

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Thanks I appreciate the info. Everyone has been really great here reaching out to me. Thank you.
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up