When talking about rheumatoid arthritis, sore knees and stiff hips may be the first thought one has in mind. However, there are also troubling, invisible symptoms that are of importance. 75% of patients admit they experience fatigue and other sleep issues. That’s because rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic condition that affects your joints and the whole body.
Many experts believe that fatigue occurs because of antibodies that circulate through your blood and trigger inflammation. Functional Medicine Burbank healthcare professionals say the same thing.
This can develop a troubling cycle where physical discomfort affects sleep, and the lack of sleep makes physical discomfort more unbearable.
If you’re tired of rheumatoid arthritis interfering with your life, there are solutions. Learn more about the lifestyle changes and medical treatments that can help you.
Simple lifestyle changes can make rheumatoid arthritis easier to manage.
See how self-care can help you manage fatigue and other symptoms:
- Exercise regularly.
How can you encourage yourself to exercise when it’s a struggle just to stand and move? Remember that physical training provides long-term relief; it extends your range of motion, strengthens your muscles, and brightens your mood.
- Eat healthily.
Choose foods that provide anti-inflammatory effects. This includes most fruits, nuts, fatty fish, vegetables.
- Stay hydrated.
Fatigue is a common sign of dehydration. When you have a condition like rheumatoid arthritis, drink enough water to reduce and manage your symptoms well.
- Organize your home.
Conserve your energy by transforming your home and office into a more user-friendly space. Place items you use frequently within easy reach. For moving supplies from one room to another, buy a small cart with wheels.
- Get enough sleep. While sleeping more may not eliminate fatigue, it can help. Aim to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Ensure your bedroom is dark and quiet.
Your attitude also greatly affects how rheumatoid arthritis interferes with your life.
See how transforming your outlook can boost your energy levels:
- Lighten up.
Treat yourself with compassion and respect. Cut back on your responsibilities if need be so you can protect your health. Focus on your strengths and skills instead of comparing your weaknesses with others.
- Prepare for setbacks.
With rheumatoid arthritis, frequent and dramatic fluctuations are normal. You’ll probably experience easy days and at times, experience more challenging ones. Permit yourself to rest when you’re feeling under the weather.
- Seek support.
Even your loved ones and friends may find it hard to understand your fatigue. Search for support groups or look through online forums where you can meet others who have similar experiences.
New and more effective treatment options for rheumatoid arthritis have been introduced during the past two decades. Following the recommendations of your doctor specializing in Functional Medicine Studio City could help you reduce and eliminate the inflammation that causes fatigue.
Consider these strategies:
- Change your prescription.
Several categories of drugs for rheumatoid arthritis are now available. Discuss with your doctor about the side effects and ask about trying a different medication if you experience excessive fatigue. Your functional medicine doctors can help you in this department.
- Increase mobility.
Physical therapy can improve your strength and overall physical fitness. Your doctor can provide you with a referral to a therapist, or you can find a specialized expert through the American Physical Therapy Association.
- Manage depression.
Rheumatoid arthritis increases your risk for depression. Ask your doctor and loved ones for help if you need it. Moreover, medication and counseling have a high treatment success rate.
While there is no definite cure for rheumatoid arthritis, appropriate self-care and medical treatment can improve the quality of your life. Reduce fatigue so you feel happier and more independent and self-reliant.
If you are battling arthritis and fatigue, Functional Medicine chronic fatigue experts can be of service. We have those at Functional Medicine Los Angeles. Call us!