Fatigue is more than just a desire for a shot of espresso in the morning or the need to hit the sack a little early to make up for a late night out. Fatigue can be a physically and emotionally debilitating condition – one that is not easy to solve and it goes beyond curling up on the couch with a throw blanket and a good movie waiting for of sleep to take its course. Fatigue can mean that sleep itself is troublesome.
Getting to know yourself and your limitations, however, and developing the patience and skill to cope with fatigue will give you the control you need back in your life so that you can cope with whatever life throws at you. The ability to manage your time and energy can have profound effects that reach well beyond coping with autoimmune disease and can give you hope.
You may actually be your own best expert in understanding what completely wipes you out, though having an idea about what affects your energy level may not make it that much easier to find a solution on your own. Experts speculate that certain medications and overlapping diseases such as anemia, fibromyalgia, and/or depression can be the cause of fatigue. Vitamin D sufficiency is a large contributor to fatigue in auto immune disorders.
Auto Immune fatigue can manifest itself both physically and/or emotionally. You may physically feel like your bones and joints are exhausted and worn down from constant pain and inflammation. You may feel emotionally fatigued from the stress of having an auto, the difficulties in coping with the changes to your life that a diagnosis brings, or the guilt you may struggle with because your role in your family or at work has drastically changed. All of this can understandably cause a significant amount of anxiety and depression.
Your cognitive function can also be affected by fatigue as you may experience brain fog. You may find yourself not being able to think as clearly, quickly, or coherently as you did before your diagnosis and this can be both frightening and frustrating. It’s also a vicious cycle because the more fatigued you become, the more you may experience brain fog – and vice versa.
Feelings of fatigue can make everything seem and feel worse. It is no wonder how debilitating and exhausting dealing with and auto immune disorder on a daily basis can be. Becoming in-tune with how you are feeling both physically and emotionally – both the good days and the bad – can be the key to discussion with a trusted healthcare practitioner, here at The Emperor's Medicine, about how to address the root causes of your auto immune disorder, not just taking the medications to cover up the symptoms and further damage your body.
Ahn, G., & Ramsey-Goldman, R. (2012). Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus. (2), 217-227.