Always tired of being tired
I have Lupus Nephritis, I was diagnosed three years ago and have completed chemo, prednisone and am still on Plaquenil. I take B-Complex, Flax Oil, Fish Oil, and DhEA everyday. I still feel so tired all the time and am desperately trying to work, but it has become so difficult to do more than 4-5hr. days a week. Financially this kills and I never feel refreshed upon wakening. Does anyone know of anything that helps? I am starting to get really depressed.
Have you been tested for or discussed the possiblity that you may also have Fibromyalgia with your doctor? One of the symptoms of this condition is a pervasive fatigue!!!!
Here is what I've found:
Inflammation (common in autoimmune diseases like LUPUS) can lead to fatigue. During inflammation, substance called interleukins are released into the body. These are cytokines, chemicals that signal cells to perform certain actions, and some of them are known to cause fatigue and sleepiness.
Drugs typically used to treat LUPUS and LUPUS complications may themselves cause fatigue. These include NSAID's; Pain medications, Seizure medications and medications for IBS.
However, Hydroxychloroquine (plaquenil) is believed to help combat fatigue.
Depression and anxiety can both cause fatigue. Depression may happen either because of the physiological effect of ILs on the brain or because of the psychological effect of the presence of a chronic illness. Likewise, anxiety may be associated with fatigue, as may certain medications given to fight both depression and anxiety.
Disease complications also may be to blame for fatigue, including kidney involvement that creates a toxic state in the body; seizures or other abnormal features of the brain; and anemia. Even a person's cultural background, faith, and beliefs may have some connection, as it is possible that those with strong faith and religious backgrounds may be better able to cope with disease and its complications.
Finally, there is fatigue which may be due to a coexisting condition called fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes extreme fatigue, muscle pain (myalgia), difficulty sleeping or restoring sleep, and a component of anxiety or depression. Fibromyalgia is common in people with lupus (up to 40 percent have both) and fibromyalgia can occur anytime during the course of lupus.
Decreasing the fatigue
All of the aforementioned factors should be kept in mind by you and your physicians in trying to eliminate the many causes of fatigue. You should be regularly checked for any clinical signs of disease activity, such as fever, arthritis or arthralgia, pleurisy and/or pericarditis, anemia, and certain indications in the blood like DNA serum complement. If no disease activity is seen and other causes for fatigue can be ruled out, fibromyalgia should be considered and treated appropriately.
There are some behavioral adjustments that you can make to lessen your fatigue. Probably the most important is starting a regular program of aerobic exercises. This type of exercise has been proven to decrease fatigue in people with lupus. Begin very gradually, but strive to make it strenuous enough to increase the secretion of endorphins. These substances help to combat pain and stress and are very effective against fatigue.
You may find that medication which restores the late stage of sleep is very helpful in decreasing your fatigue. Most, if not all, of these drugs fall into the category of antidepressants. This class of drugs can be used to treat symptoms other than depression, but you should be aware that their use for other purposes, i.e., restoring sleep, does not necessarily induce depression.
Avoidance of smoking, and limiting your intake of coffee and alcohol, are other steps you can take toward decreasing the fatigue of systemic lupus erythematosus.
There are a lot of drugs on the market which claim to restore energy and reduce fatigue. However, I would be very, very cautious about taking these drugs as they may have serious interractions with some of the medications that you must take for your LUPUS and lupus complications. I would not take any of them without consulting with my doctor first!!!
I keep myself on a regular routine of exercise..every single day for a minimum of 20 minutes. I find that it truly does help me to get through the rest of the day, to combat the pain of Fibromyalgia and to get restful sleep.
I hope I have been of some help to you
Peace and Blessings