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JohnWBurns
@johnwburns

Posts: 300
Joined: Jun 02, 2015

Autoimmune Diseases and Fatigue

Posted by @johnwburns, Jul 13, 2016

Fatigue is probably intertwined with the definition of “illness”, almost any illness, but with some conditions fatigue becomes ingrained into the afflicted person’s being and is a feature of their daily life. Such is the case with the highest profile disorders, cancer and cardiovascular disease, but it is just as true with at least some autoimmune diseases. I have a long history of dealing with autoimmunity and the complaint that kept bringing me back to doctors persisting in finding out what was going on was the dogged lack of energy, vitality. I got guess after guess after guess and when I got the “answer” it was basically that fatigue was part of the deal with the autoimmune disease that I have, Sjogren’s, as well as I’m sure many others. So what I’m asking here is if you experience it, fatigue, how has it impacted your life and how do you deal with it? Have you found anything that you are sure mitigates it?

In my case its exercise, rest, and a fairly regulary low dose, around 50 mgs (usual recommended dose 200 mg) of modafinil, which I don’t take for Sjogren’s but rather for “Excessive Daytime Sleepiness” linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I accidentally found out that it mitigated my general weariness. I’ve read some solid studies that found that American Ginseng can help cancer-related fatigue but apparently it doesn’t work for Sjogren’s, for me at least. Since fatigue impacts a person’s total life experience in all domains, any information that might lead to dampening or controlling it would be very helpful to a lot of folks I’m sure.

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John, I’m so glad you started this discussion specific to fatigue. As you know my mom suffers from fatigue and we’re still trying to get to the bottom of the cause. I’m tagging other members on this discussion in the hopes that they’ll share their experiences with autoimmune disease and fatigue.

@robbinr @jharsh @dawn_giacabazi @flowerbeauty @jillnc @kyjeanne @blindeyepug: John asks, Do you experience fatigue? How has it impacted your life and how do you deal with it? Have you found anything that you are sure mitigates it?

@colleenyoung

John, I’m so glad you started this discussion specific to fatigue. As you know my mom suffers from fatigue and we’re still trying to get to the bottom of the cause. I’m tagging other members on this discussion in the hopes that they’ll share their experiences with autoimmune disease and fatigue.

@robbinr @jharsh @dawn_giacabazi @flowerbeauty @jillnc @kyjeanne @blindeyepug: John asks, Do you experience fatigue? How has it impacted your life and how do you deal with it? Have you found anything that you are sure mitigates it?

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People say such and such “ruined my life”. Well fatigue “ruined” a good part of mine and that is said without melodrama. I’m sure that other folks can say something similar. At some point it becomes indistinguishable from what people describe as depression. Unfortunately, remedies for depression don’t always work for fatigue. Looking forward to hearing some takes on it. Never know what you’ll find.

I have started taking D-Ribose with Magnesium and Malate (Again) in the afternoon. I have slept beautifully for three nights in a row. Wow!
We forget and then we remember what helped last time the fatigue got so bad. I also think I will try adding Glutathione also. It is supposed to be the mother of the Amino Acids, and a deficit can affect sleep, energy, etc.

Fatigue/Lack of energy plus extreme belly bloat plus memory/recall deficit have totally taken away my life as I knew it. I have been to Mayo multiple times. I have tried supplements up the wazoo. I have changed my diet to keto. I have tried acupuncture and healing touch and prayer. Cannot think of anything I have not researched and tried. No positive changes noted just gradually gets worse. Can you relate? Is modafinal the only thing that helps for you?

Liked by Gem

@upnorthnancy

Fatigue/Lack of energy plus extreme belly bloat plus memory/recall deficit have totally taken away my life as I knew it. I have been to Mayo multiple times. I have tried supplements up the wazoo. I have changed my diet to keto. I have tried acupuncture and healing touch and prayer. Cannot think of anything I have not researched and tried. No positive changes noted just gradually gets worse. Can you relate? Is modafinal the only thing that helps for you?

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I can’t relate to belly bloat but I have tried everything except healing touch. Every possible supplement but I lay off of them now since I’ve had 2 bouts with cancer and per the oncologist supplements are Russian roulette. I guess I’m lucky in that I know the root cause, Sjogren’s with sleep apnea tossed in as a bonus. They don’t know why it causes fatigue but just does. Its not inflammation since I have no significant inflammation. It might be cytokines like IL-6 or IL-1. Lots of suspicion there but no proof as yet. Modafinil does help but there’s a price, as with all medications. The longer you use it, the shorter the effect. Can also cause severe headaches or migraines. Also very expensive if not covered. I don’t want to give the wrong impression. I’ve stitched together a decent life in spite of the fatigue, but it could have been a whole lot easier. Do you have any diagnosis that may point to a root cause such as thyroid disease, an autoimmune problem?

@robbinr

I have started taking D-Ribose with Magnesium and Malate (Again) in the afternoon. I have slept beautifully for three nights in a row. Wow!
We forget and then we remember what helped last time the fatigue got so bad. I also think I will try adding Glutathione also. It is supposed to be the mother of the Amino Acids, and a deficit can affect sleep, energy, etc.

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I’ve tried both d-ribose and magnesium without an discernible result but that doesn’t mean it might not help you. This site tries to concentrate research on supplements: https://examine.com/supplements/d-ribose/
so it might be a useful resource. MD Anderson also has a site dedicated to alternative therapies. I now believe that jacking up an amino acid say without a proven need to isn’t the greatest idea, but that’s me. Pushing hard on any system in the body will likely cause a compensating reaction. Getting pretty conservative about supplements 1000’s of $ later. Lean more on exercise, sensible diet and trying to have a laugh now and then. Good luck with it though.

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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Sjogren’s and Hashimoto’s seem to cluster together. The “many other illnesses” might be related to Sjogren’s too but that’s speculative of course. It seems to impact more the nervous system more than people thought 10 or 20 years ago. Have your doctors tried any therapies aimed directly at the fatigue? Have you been tested for a sleep disorder? A sleep study might help give you some clues. Since you have restless legs maybe you have periodic limb movements interrupting your sleep. Also speculative, of course. I have the opposite problem re dreaming. I rarely do.

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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I was tested for a sleep disorder. I was told I only have sleep apnea when sleeping on my back, which I rarely do, so nothing was prescribed. The same doctor discovered my restless leg though. Nothing except the 2 medications listed have been suggested for fatigue. I actually just filed for disability, mostly because of the fatigue. Doctors don’t seem to treat it as a real problem. 🙁

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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If you had significant apnea, you might want to revisit getting it treated unless you’re sure that you will never sleep on your back. I hate CPAP but it helped me somewhat. The rheumatologists acknowledge the fatigue as a big factor in Sjogren’s but treating it effectively is another thing. Presumably your thyroid is being replaced if you have Hashimoto’s. Iron deficiency has been linked to restless legs so I assume that your iron has been evaluated. A lot of things are being studied but obviously no smoking gun as far resolving fatigue. Moderate exercise, as in walking, might help, helps me, and it can’t hurt so its worth a try. Good thing that you have a supporting environment and spouse. Gives you time to develop a strategy.

Liked by kyjeanne, Doreena

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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I take Tramadol for leg cramps with great results and I don’t know if that or Temazepam I take occasionally for sleep causes me to dream horrible dreams. Would like to stop these drugs but haven’t found anything else to relieve my pain like these do.

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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What else have you tried?

Not really that many viable options out there for pain meds.

@kyjeanne

Fatigue has been a major impact. I had to quit my job last October due to extreme fatigue. I have Sjogrens, Hashimotos, Fibromyalgia and many other illnesses. I’ve found that since I don’t have to force myself to get up for work, I can sleep later and rest some during the day as needed. That has been my life saver. Plus, I have a very supportive husband. I have Restless Leg Syndrome and a lot of aches and pains, which make it difficult to sleep. I use 5 pillows at night, which helps, and take Ropinorole (for RLS) and Trazodone (for sleep). When I do sleep, it seems I dream a lot. Is dreaming a problem with anyone else?

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My oncologist met my reponse to its us for islet cell cancer with
a No from me. Check out the medicines uses, etc., also
side affects and interactions.

irvkay312

@upnorthnancy

Fatigue/Lack of energy plus extreme belly bloat plus memory/recall deficit have totally taken away my life as I knew it. I have been to Mayo multiple times. I have tried supplements up the wazoo. I have changed my diet to keto. I have tried acupuncture and healing touch and prayer. Cannot think of anything I have not researched and tried. No positive changes noted just gradually gets worse. Can you relate? Is modafinal the only thing that helps for you?

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About 7 years ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease and 2 years ago I was told I have Sjogren’s. Apparently it is not unusual for the 2 to go together. I have had these 2 problems for many years but the doctors just didn’t figure it out. Long before Celiac was diagnosed, I had horrible bloating, cramps and tummy pain so bad that at times I couldn’t stand up straight. Soon after I went gluten free that problem went away. John, have you tried that for your belly bloat? I also have chronic back pain which is another unrelated problem but not an insignificant one, and with dry mouth and eyes from the Sjogren’s and then add in the back pain I would say I have “fatigue”. There are days when I don’t feel like doing anything but sitting. I am a dedicated quilter and when I get together with my quilting friends or when I am working on a project at home I feel so much better. My sewing room is my “therapy room”. I think having a good hobby you enjoy and get together with friends is the best treatment anyone can have. Just my 2 cents.

@upnorthnancy

Fatigue/Lack of energy plus extreme belly bloat plus memory/recall deficit have totally taken away my life as I knew it. I have been to Mayo multiple times. I have tried supplements up the wazoo. I have changed my diet to keto. I have tried acupuncture and healing touch and prayer. Cannot think of anything I have not researched and tried. No positive changes noted just gradually gets worse. Can you relate? Is modafinal the only thing that helps for you?

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Thanks but no “belly bloat” issues and have been checked for celiac.

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