Feeling Tired? Five Tips To Overcome Lupus Fatigue

As a lupus thriver and nurse practitioner, I get a lot of questions about lupus.  Last week, the most popular question was “ What can I do to get over the fatigue?”

It’s a question that I’m asked quite often, as people describe themselves as waking up exhausted or dragging at work all day.

Some days, simply getting out of bed is too much.

Sound familiar?

Lupus Fatigue from httpwww.sxc.hu slash photo slash 406378

photo credit: stock.xchng

Unfortunately, fatigue is very common in individuals with an autoimmune disorder.  However, there are ways to overcome your lupus fatigue.

After being diagnosed about 7 years ago with lupus nephritis, I used to have severe insomnia from the high doses of prednisone.  Today I sleep pretty well, about 8-9 hours a night with no interruptions.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for many reasons, including giving your adrenals some time to recharge.  Your adrenals pump out the hormones that are critical to our vitality, so giving them a change to rest and regenerate at night is essential.

Here are a five ways to combat lupus fatigue:

1.  Are you waking up multiple times a night? If so, are you waking up from the prednisone or to use the bathroom? If it’s to use bathroom, stop drinking by 8:00 pm. Are you drinking coffee after 4:00 pm? This is a big no-no, especially since caffeine is a diuretic and may get you all wired up. So no liquids a few hours before bed, especially caffeine, even chocolate.

2.  Do you eat enough greens and fruits?  Most of us don’t, which means we aren’t getting enough B vitamins from our daily diet. B vitamins help out our adrenals, which take a hit with all that prednisone the majority of us have been on. The B’s give us that burst of energy and if our adrenals are happy, so are we! But remember to take your  B-complex supplement in the morning, not the evening.

3.  Check out your thyroid and iron levels.  There are several different anemias out there, not only iron deficiency.  You can have a folate or a B12  vitamin deficiency.  Ask your doctor to check these at your next blood draw. You may need weekly B12 injections.

4.  When do you experience the most fatigue? When you wake up? After a meal? Mid afternoon? Is it after a certain food? If it’s all the time, have your specialist check your blood levels. If you get drowsy after a meal, you may have a food allergy.  Keep a food diary and keep track of which food you just ate.

5.  If you are in the midst of a flare, its essential for your body to rest and recover. Can you take a an hour nap in the middle of the day?

I’d love to hear what you have tried that has helped you overcome your fatigue.

Was it a supplement? Sleeping more? Any tips you can offer to other people struggling with lupus fatigue?  Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,