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. But in some
patients, it is related to fibromyalgia,
which is a common, chronic disorder
characterized by widespread fatigue and
muscle pain, as well as multiple tender
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.
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. A
positive attitude and a well-thought-out,
but flexible, plan of action will increase
the chances that you can make these
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 welldesigned
is important to maintaining
strength, endurance, and
- 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
- 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.
Source: National Institutes of Health, U.S.Dept of Health and Human Services