And while you may not be able to eliminate fatigue altogether, through trial and error you may find some things that can make it less severe — so you can do more of the things you love.
Here’s what folks who use the RA Healthline app to learn and connect have to say about what works for them.
“I listen to my body. If my body is telling me I need to rest, that’s what I do. I slow my activities and don’t over do anything. This is the only body I’ve got.”
“I go through time where I feel fatigued, but not always. Before I was diagnosed, I didn’t know what was going on; I thought I had some type of sleep disorder. I would find myself just closing my eyes and falling asleep in a chair or just sitting anywhere!
The doctors I was seeing didn’t pick up on my pain and fatigue as part of an RA issue.
Now that I know what’s happening, I’ve learned how to deal with my bouts. My wife and I will take a short walk which seems to relax me and take my mind off of how I’m feeling.”
“I take my multivitamins daily. I recently started taking Asian Ginseng and drinking organic coffee that has superfoods added. I’ve noticed my fatigue isn’t as bad and it helps tremendously.
I’ll usually get some sun when I feel too fatigued. Somehow that helps.”
— Mary Quiroz-Saenz
“Over the years, I’ve found these strategies helpful. I call it my 5 Rs to fight fatigue:
- Recognize: emotional, environmental, physical, dietary triggers. Not everything is related to the foods I eat. Identify the root cause of the problem if possible.
- Rest: sleep hygiene. Aim for at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. It’s my most challenging thing to do though.
- Reflect: practice mindfulness as much as possible. Being present without judging my feelings (good or bad).
- Renovate: nourishing my body with healthful foods without unnecessary restrictions that can further compromise my health.
- Refocus: trashing my negative self-talk. Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy.”
— Cristina Montoya, RD
“I’ve had good luck with yin yoga. There was a time when it was the only thing I did that made me feel more energetic after doing it.
I had to be careful not to overstretch or irritate any tendons and ligaments. It’s the kind of yoga where you hold positions for several minutes and just let gravity do the work. I could feel connective tissue releasing, and felt more energetic after class.”
— K a the beach
RA fatigue is no joke, but there are so many others out there who understand what you’re going through.
Download the RA Healthline app and share your own fatigue-fighting tips.
Find a community that cares
There’s no reason to go through a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis or long-term journey alone. With the free RA Healthline app, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest RA news and research.
Kristen Domonell is an editor at Healthline who’s passionate about using the power of storytelling to help people live their healthiest, most aligned lives. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, meditation, camping, and tending to her indoor plant jungle.