RA Leaving you in a fog?
It makes me wonder how many others feel this way? Does anyone else wish they could punch Mr. Arthur right in his face? It also got me curious as to where this fog really comes from, some answers may help me deal with this a bit better. Having this disease for 22 years, I never questioned why I always feel tired.... it seems to be getting worse as I get older. I figured it was just that, I'm getting older. Yet.... I'm 25. That's not old. Although, most days I feel as if I'm 25 trapped in an 85 year old body, heh.
After doing some digging around, I found out that RA can cause brain fog via the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. Cytokines create fatigue and interfere with sleep patterns. They are one thing responsible for what has been termed "brain fog". Autoimmune conditions are named or categorized according to where in the body cytokines are being overproduced and how the disease manifests itself. For example, an overproduction of these cytokines in the joints causing pain and swelling is RA.
Fatigue is also sometimes the first sign of inflammation. Fatigue can make it harder to concentrate or deal with pain – it can even make people feel helpless. Like pain, fatigue is a signal that something is wrong. Coping with fatigue can help you feel better.
Start a fatigue diary, keeping a diary can help you discover the causes of your fatigue. Write down the times of the day or week when you feel fatigue and what seems to trigger it. Sometimes you may see an obvious solution to the problem. For instance, you may blame over activity when you feel tired, but by reviewing your diary you may see that your fatigue is a sign of increased disease activity.
There could be something else going on, and if it is really interfering in your life, it's time to see a doctor.