6 Effects of Chronic Fatigue in Autoimmune Diseases


Autoimmune diseases and chronic fatigue go hand in hand, as anyone with lupus, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, IBD (and a host more) will testify. Chronic fatigue affects daily life and your ability to go about your business. It’s incredibly debilitating and yet, very misunderstood by those who don’t suffer from it. We’ve put together a list of six of the most common effects of chronic fatigue that people with autoimmune disease experience with help from prevention.com.

It’s more than just being tired. 

Frailty and lupus

Chronic fatigue is more than just needing an early night or feeling a bit under the weather, everything you do feels like it takes an enormous effort—even the littlest of things. While sleep helps, it doesn’t necessarily fix things or instantly give you more energy, in fact, some days all you can do is sleep.

You can’t sleep, or get enough sleep.

Even though you’re exhausted, you may still be unable to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. Disturbed sleep or poor quality sleep only compounds the problem of chronic fatigue so people feel trapped in a never-ending cycle.

You can’t concentrate.

brain fog

Many people with autoimmune diseases will be familiar with “brain fog.” Being unable to concentrate or keep your mind on one thing is very common with chronic fatigue. Many find that they’re unable to think of the words they want to say when in conversation, they’re forgetful, or they’re easily distracted and unable to focus.

Despite there being approximately 300,000 people in the U.S. who have scleroderma, it seems that many people are either completely unaware of the disease or are confused as to what the disease actually is.

Physical activity is draining.

lupus fundraisers

For many with chronic fatigue, even the mildest of physical activities can wipe them out. Walking up stairs, fetching groceries, or doing household chores can all make you feel like you’ve tried to climb Everest or run a marathon.

You’re dizzy and lack balance.

Extreme fatigue may affect a person’s sense of balance, particularly when they stand up from sitting or lying down. They may also find themselves unable to stand for long periods of time without feeling dizzy and needing to sit down.

You’re in more pain.

Inflammatory arthritis research

Autoimmune diseases usually mean pain for patients, but this pain can feel worse when you’re suffering from chronic fatigue. Feeling so worn out can intensify joint and muscle pain and lead to headaches and other symptoms.

Here are seven tips to manage your fatigue.

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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  1. julieanna Anna KOLANKOWSKI says:

    My name is Julie I have crest syndrome. acdf surgery linked to scleroderma titanium cobalt, chromium, nickle etc. but no one will test for this allergy. vomit alot 147 pounds down to 136. going to see scleroderma autoimmune doctor. i am hopeful that my implant can come out 1-2 years the autoimmune will reverse itself. tired. go down for a nap wake up the next day. 13 hrs sleep ok. no joke. chronic pain, fibro, asthma, headaches. Please do not give up find ways to cope support groups are great, diet, exercise, etc.

    • hello my name is Tater, I have been to some doctors and no one understands. I’m so tired and can sleep 14/16 hours a day like you and still feel soooooo tired. I have lots of headaches for days and chronic pain and got where with any activity around even my house bout kills me and and I break out into a sweat and become clammy and dizzy.

      I was wondering have you experienced any of this too?? I really hope that I can hear from you. thanks so much and take care

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