Fatigue in Scleroderma Video Presented by Amanda Thorpe
Mild to extreme fatigue is a common symptom of scleroderma. It affects your daily activities and overall quality of life. Fatigue is not in your head. It is caused by physiological problems as well as psychological problems associated with the disease or other symptoms of the disease. However, it is not part of the diagnostic criteria because it can occur with many other illnesses. (Also see: What is Scleroderma? and Symptoms of Scleroderma)
Fatigue can affect your ability to carry out daily activities and overall quality of life. Fatigue is not in your head, it is caused by both physiological and psychological problems of the disease and its symptoms.
There is no cure for fatigue although there are some treatments that may help such as antidepressants and low impact aerobic exercise.
Fatigue is difficult to explain because most people think that rest or sleep relieves it. This lack of understanding can be very frustrating for those of us with scleroderma and our family and friends. We are frustrated by a perceived lack of understanding and sympathy and family and friends are frustrated by our inability to function as we once did because of something that seems so trivial.
It is important to give yourself permission to acknowledge that fatigue is a real problem and you have to accommodate it with lifestyle changes, pacing yourself, resting and/or sleeping when you need for as long as you need and most importantly learning to say NO!
Fatigue. Fatigue can refer to a subjective symptom of malaise and aversion to activity or to objectively impaired performance. British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Fatigue. A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment, usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness. Fatigue can be acute and come on suddenly or chronic and persist. MedicineNet.com
Causes of Fatigue
Fatigue Causes. Heart disease, lung disease, connective tissue disease, electrolyte disturbances, GERD and many other disorders. eMedicineHealth.com.
Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease often characterized by fatigue, with significant effects on physical functioning and wellbeing. Int J Clin Rheumtol. 2012 Apr 1;7(2):217-227. (Also see: Lupus)
Fatigue in psoriasis with arthritis. Patients have frequently described fatigue in association with chronic diseases, including cancer and a host of neurologic, metabolic, and psychiatric diseases. Carneiro C. Skinmed. (PubMed) 2011 Jan-Feb;9(1):34-7. (Also see: Psoriasis)
Cancer-Related Fatigue. Fatigue is a daily lack of energy; an unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep. It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from one month to six months or longer). Fatigue can prevent a person from functioning normally and impacts a person's quality of life. Cleveland Clinic.
Measuring fatigue in Systemic Scleroderma (SSc). The FACIT discriminates better than the SF-36 Vitality subscale at average to high ranges of fatigue, which is common in SSc, suggesting that it is preferred for measuring fatigue in SSc. PubMed, Rheumatology (Oxford). 2012 Dec;51(12):2177-2185.
Biliary Cirrhosis Symptoms. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, intense and unrelenting skin itching, gradual darkening of the skin, small yellow or white bumps under the skin (usually around the eyes), dry eye syndrome, thyroid problems, and arthritic aches and pains. ISN.
Cardiac Involvement. Diffuse scleroderma can cause arrhythmias, pericardial effusion, and heart failure. Formation of scar tissue in the heart and lungs has recently been recognized as a general pattern probably contributing to overall fatigue. ISN.
Fatigue Treatment. Medical treatment of fatigue depends on the treatment of its underlying cause(s). Fortunately, many causes of fatigue may be treated with medications. eMedicineHealth.
Alexandra: SclerodermaMy scleroderma symptoms arrived in great style: reflux, itchy swollen skin, joint and muscle pain and tiredness. Plus hundreds of little red spots (telangiectasia). My mouth was tight and getting smaller too...
Dawn M: Linear/Systemic SclerodermaMy family
and I were informed by the doctors, that the localized/linear form of scleroderma that I was diagnosed with, would never progress into the
potentially fatal, systemic form...
Dee B: Limited Scleroderma/CREST SyndromeI also
had the problem with people saying I was a hypochondriac, as at that
stage all the doctors I saw found nothing wrong with me, but I constantly
felt weary and ill...
Donna: CREST, Raynaud's, possible FibromyalgiaI was diagnosed with CREST (Limited Systemic Scleroderma) by a rheumatologist in 2006. This wasn't really a surprise to me as my mother was diagnosed with diffuse scleroderma in 1998...
Iko H: Limited Systemic Sclerosis(Belgium) I am fifty-one years old and in May 2011 my diagnosis of scleroderma was confirmed. I am studying for horse veterinarian and am in my last year...
Jaci: MCTD and Autoimmune HepatitisOut of fear of going back to the doctors, I tried just to live with it, whatever it was. What I found strange was that nobody seemed to noticed how terrible I was feeling, not even the doctors...
Janet Q: UTCD or MCTDI also experienced new symptoms; joint pain, muscle aches, headaches, very painful carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, back and neck pain, the list grew on and on...
Janice E: CREST/FibromyalgiaAt some point I came to the realization that what I was feeling just could not be normal. By this time my hands were swelling...
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. ISN.
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