7 Tips to Manage Your Fatigue When Living With Scleroderma

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by Marta Ribeiro |

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Fatigue is a well-known, chronic, debilitating and severe symptom for many autoimmune disease patients, including those with scleroderma. Managing it can be extremely challenging.

According to the John Hopkins Scleroderma Center, there are some tips you can follow in order to manage your scleroderma fatigue.

1. Tiredness and fatigue might not be easy to notice: Fatigue usually develops over time in scleroderma. In some cases, you might not even notice how tired you feel until someone else brings it to your attention and you find you cannot do as many things as you once could.

MORE: The effects of living with scleroderma

2. Your fatigue is NOT a personal failing or a weakness: It’s easy to fall into a trap where we think of fatigue as a lack of motivation or a sign of laziness, even when it’s not the case. People with scleroderma often feel bad and blame themselves because of their fatigue.

3. Figure out its cause: It’s important to keep in mind that fatigue can be caused by and made worse by things other than scleroderma. Talk to your doctor about your fatigue and he/she will help you identify other causes and the best ways to cope with it.

4. Get to know your new limits and listen to your own body: You may find that balancing work and family leaves you more exhausted than before. Even doing simple household tasks can leave some scleroderma patients feeling fatigued. It is extremely important to listen to your needs and acknowledge the limits of your body. This way, you  can manage your day more efficiently and gradually increase your limits.

MORE: Six complications of scleroderma that need treatment

5. Try to get some exercise: Patients often find themselves in a Catch-22 situation where they don’t exercise because they feel fatigued. But it’s important to keep in mind that this is a vicious cycle. Too little activity can make fatigue worse. Try starting with simple exercises, such as taking a short walk instead of lying down when you feel tired to see if it helps.

6. Keep an eye on your sleep habits: It’s possible that one of the sources of your fatigue is not getting a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep or having poor quality sleep can add to your fatigue.

7. Think about your diet: Make sure to pay attention to what you eat. The quality and the quantity of the food you eat can impact your fatigue both ways.

MORE: Six common symptoms of chronic 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.