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Preventing Fatigue Due to Lupus

Fatigue is a very common complaint of all people with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), even when no other symptoms of active disease are present. The fatigue of lupus isn't just being tired. You may feel an extreme fatigue that interferes with many aspects of your daily life. You may find that you are unable to participate in your normal pattern of daily activities, such as working, caring for your family and home, or participating in social activities. The exact cause of this fatigue is not known.

Your doctor and nurse will probably ask you about your lifestyle and patterns of daily living and activity. They will also evaluate your overall fitness, health, nutrition, and ability to handle stress. Your doctor or nurse will then be able to advise you about how your fatigue can be reduced. It is important to remember that getting enough rest, maintaining physical fitness, and keeping stress under control are absolutely necessary for anyone with lupus.

Recommended Related to Lupus

WebMD Expert Discussion: Managing Lupus and Work: Is Disability an Option?

How can you keep a job when lupus lands you in the hospital a few times a year? When you literally can't get out of bed many mornings? What if you're self-employed and have to meet tight deadlines? These are some of the questions about work issues voiced by people in the WebMD Lupus Community. And, as lupus activist Christine Miserandino points out, working when you have lupus is not just a matter of struggling with logistics. At some point, some people with lupus need to consider whether they should...

Read the WebMD Expert Discussion: Managing Lupus and Work: Is Disability an Option? article > >

Changes in your lifestyle and patterns of daily living and activity may not be easy to accept. In addition, the changes necessary for you to cope with your disease today may be different from the changes you may have to make later as your disease changes. A positive attitude and a well-thought-out, but flexible, plan of action will increase the chances that you can make these changes successfully.

Caring for Yourself

  • Get enough sleep. You may be able to get by on 8 hours a night, or you may need more.
  • Plan for additional rest periods throughout the day, as needed. Do not exhaust yourself.
  • Getting enough rest does not mean no activity at all. A well-designed exercise program is important to maintaining strength, endurance, and overall fitness.
  • Every week, make a simple plan of your work and activities. The plan can help you organize the events of your life and ensure that you have a good balance of rest and activity.
  • Each day, review your plan and decide if you are physically up to the activities for that day. Be flexible; if you don't have the strength to do an activity today, do it another time.
  • Don't try to complete a large task or project all at one time; divide it into several steps.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Dealing with stressful issues and problems takes a lot of energy. If you feel stressed out, talk with your doctor or nurse. They may be able to provide you with help for your problem or direct you to someone else who can.

WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health

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