Fatigue in lupus, Sjogren’s and related disorders: concise, practical video from the Sjogren’s Foundation below
- the different types of fatigue
– practical advice on how to approach and treat fatigue
– Download my free Fatigue Management and Sleep Hygiene Handouts in my Lupus Secrets.Vitamins for lupus fatigue? Vitamins only help if there is actually a deficiency causing the fatigue. This most commonly is either iron, vitamin D, or vitamin B12. However, vitamins rarely help most patients’ lupus fatigue.
Exercise and fatigue? This is actually the most successful treatment in people who have lupus, Sjogren’s, fibromyalgia, sleep disorders and related problems.
When are medicines most likely to help? If you have a high anti-dsDNA, low C3 or C4 complement, or high EC4d, then medications such as belimumab (Benlysta) may help fatigue. Hydroxychloroquine can help many patients as well.
Should you get lab tests for fatigue? Yes, I generally check blood counts, liver enzymes, kidney function, muscle enzymes, electrolytes, thyroid function tests, iron levels, vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels, hepatitis C titers, and lupus disease activity. Many people should get a sleep study to make sure they do not have other treatable causes such as sleep apnea.
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The causes of fatigue and dealing with autoimmune disease fatigue.
Tips on how to improve energy with Sjogren’s, lupus, and related disorders
Thank you to the Sjogren’s Foundation for producing this video as a part of their “Town Hall” series during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.Although this was directed towards people who have the autoimmune disorders, Sjogren’s, it also pertains to other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, polymyositis, and dermatomyositis.
Some facts about fatigue in lupus and other autoimmune diseases:
- It is one of the most common problems
- It is one of the most difficult symptoms to treat
- Hydroxychloroquine and belimumab (Benlysta) can help some systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients with fatigue that is due to active inflammatory disease
- SLE patients with high anti-dsDNA, low C3, low C4, or high EC4d who have fatigue may improve with belimumab
- Surprisingly, the one treatment found to benefit more patients with autoimmune diseases than any other treatment is exercise!
- If you get less than 8 hours of good quality sleep each night, it is imperative to work on getting enough sleep. Taking a course in CBT-I is one of the best ways to learn to sleep well
Also, get a copy of my in depth talk about autoimmune disease fatigue from the Sjogren’s Foundation on their website: https://www.sjogrens.org/shop/2019-cd-fatigue-and-sjogrens-by-donald-e-thomas-jr-md