May 10 is World Lupus Day. Do you know that lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) share similar symptoms? Both can cause joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. The joints that are most commonly affected – the small joints in the fingers, knees, ankles, and toes – are the same. Both lupus and RA can cause morning stiffness lasting for at least an hour and symptoms usually appear symmetrical (i.e., both wrists are in pain).
Below are symptoms that people with lupus experience and are rare in those with RA:
In a recent study published in Sleep Health, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City identified 20 common sleep myths and found little or no evidence in support of these beliefs. These myths could potentially be affecting your overall health.
These sleep myths underwent an internet and literature review and a Delphi process (a systematic protocol for collecting expert opinions) with 10 sleep experts from the field of sleep medicine and research. The goal of the study was to change the general mindset about sleep, especially the belief that getting by on less sleep is desirable. The research occurred in 3 phases:
Phase 1 – focus groups
Phase 2 – email-based feedback to edit, add, or remove myths
Phase 3 – sleep experts rated myths based on falseness and public health significance, using a 5-point scale (1 being “not at all” and 5 being “extremely false”)
Below are some of the common myths mentioned in the study:
For many people living with arthritis, “I’m so tired” is an often spoken phrase. Fatigue is their constant, very unpleasant companion. It is a symptom which is often overlooked or overshadowed by other concerns when treating arthritis, but it can be life-altering to people living with the disease.
Often, research into treatments for arthritis has focussed on other disease symptoms, sometimes leaving out the importance of managing fatigue. Some recent research, however, has focussed on fatigue, why it is harmful, and how it can be better treated.
In an article published in Clinical Care in the Rheumatic Diseases, Basia Belza and Kori Dewing examined fatigue in arthritis and described some strategies for dealing with fatigue and minimizing its impact.
This article cites other research to conclude that 80 – 100% of people living with certain types of inflammatory arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia, live with fatigue. Most types of arthritis are associated with some fatigue, and it can be one of the most difficult symptoms to live with, and treat.
Fatigue has been defined as “usually or always being too tired to do what you want” (Wolf et al). For people living with extreme fatigue, completing even the simplest tasks, or participating in normal day to day activities, can feel nearly impossible. People who face fatigue as a symptom of their disease can simply feel “too tired” to do the things they want or need to do in their lives.
Causes of fatigue
There are several causes of arthritis-related fatigue, which very often occur together. Belza and Dewing note several causes of arthritis-related fatigue, including: Continue reading →
The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability (CIRPD), with The Arthritis Society and OASIS (Osteoarthritis Service Integration System), will be hosting a free webinar tomorrow on overcoming fatigue with arthritis.
The webinar will be held in conjunction with CIRPD’s 28th Annual General Meeting. Due to this, the CIRPD will be having a live, in-person presentation in Vancouver, BC, as well as hosting the webinar online. Below is the time and location of the presentation. To attend the presentation online or in-person, please follow the links.
Time: October 1, 2014 at 1:00pm PDT, 4:00pm EDT
Videoconference Room Life Sciences Centre
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Dealing with fatigue on a regular basis can be a challenge. When you also have osteoarthritis, it can make performing every day activities very stressful. However, there are many practical strategies you can use on a daily basis to manage your fatigue and perform your daily activities with greater ease.
The webinar will present some current research on fatigue and discuss strategies and tools to help you identify fatigue triggers. You will also discover adaptive aids and pain management strategies to enable you to be more independent with many daily activities. At the end of this lecture, attendees will be able to answer the following questions: