Autoimmune Fatigue….Tips To Cope When You’re Tired


Overwhelming fatigue….just the phrase itself sends sufferers of autoimmune disorders into a chorus of affirmative head nods.  Whether the fatigue stems from Lupus, MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome itself, the debilitating feeling of completely “running out of steam” is universal. Just like every person is an individual, no case of autoimmune fatigue is the same. Some people experience long periods of incapacitating fatigue while some even endure months of it. The key is to be familiar with your body and work with it. For instance, on the days that you are symptom free, you can schedule more activities and on those days where you have unrelenting symptoms, you can plan fewer activities. Feeling tired all the time can lead to stress and depression so it is vitally important that you plan your coping skills in advance.  Here are a few tips to help you through those days.

Keep a journal of your symptoms 

On the first sign of autoimmune fatigue, take careful note of what you did previously. For instance, were you under a bit more stress than usual, did you eat differently or forget to take your medication?  By diligently maintaining your journal, you may be able to recognize a pattern.  Note the times of day when you feel fatigued and speculations on what triggered it.

Get a good night’s sleep

This is easier said than done in a Spoonie’s day to day life. When you have an autoimmune disorder, pain may keep you from falling asleep easily, or it may awaken you during the night. Disrupted sleep inevitably results in day fatigue. Try to develop a nighttime routine and not deviate from it.

Prioritize your time and energy

There may be times when you feel more fatigued than others, and you will have to deal with limitations to your energy. Your energy is a commodity that you must protect and sometimes ration out. This may involve saying no to lower-priority activities that take up too much of your energy. When you’re feeling exhausted, foregoing some activities is  necessary to get the rest you need.

Ask for help

Asking for help may be difficult at first, because autoimmune disorders are not always visible, you may be afraid that co-workers and friends will perceive you as lazy.  It is very important to recognize that asking for help actually benefits everyone.  Allowing someone to assist you in completing an activity may yield more time to spend with loved ones.

These are just a few tips. Do you have any fatigue tips to share, please comment below.

  • Gracie Ward

    Addiction and depenncy are two different things. I too am helped by pain meds. Not that they treat the disease, but the relief is remarkable. Fatigue is not helped for me either, but the meds help me to be able to move and do things when I have the energy. That’s what they are for. To give a better quality of life. Bless you for being able to find a compassionate woman. I just recently found a compassionate man. It definitely makes life easier and less stressful to have a partner not demand more than you can give.

  • Gracie Ward

    I can only say to you from what I read is don’t marry your fiancé. Unless he chooses to go with you to Dr appts, get counseling. Before you tie the knot. Living by yourself is difficult with children to take care of. Apply for disability if you haven’t done so yet. Social Services can help you with that. They helped my son. Start delegating as much as you can. Insist that the ones in diapers puck up after themselves. Put totes around the house to keep things a little organized. Make games of picking up toys, clothes, and dishes.
    I really do get it. I was normal when I came down with CFIDS and Fibromyalgia. It isn’t easy on the relationship and if he’s not willing to learn about your disease then honey, stop, think hard about your happiness. It’s not healthy for the kids to be around the arguing either. The stress will only make you sicker. I wish I could tell you differently. But this is what I got from reading your message.
    My heart cries for your situation. Hugs big soft hugs to you and your family.

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  • Bee Wood

    would you be willing to share this template? [email protected]
    i keep track of taking meds and hours of sleep but don’t have the space/organization to track many other things in the same place. i often forget to journal or to even pay attention to what i eat let alone record it.

  • Lupie mommy

    I just was diagnosed with lupus the dry after Christmas. I felt some relief to find a name for what i had been dealing with for at least ten years. They started testing me for various things about 3 years ago and finally it showed its ugly little face in the last blood work. I am trying to handle everything one day at a time, I’ve been under a massive amount of stress, as usual unfortunately. This time it started with with a sinus infection which lead to a respiratory virus, to asthma ( which I’ve never had in my life) to tonsilitis, all in a matter of a few days. I was put on bed rest after the first hospital visit but that is really impossible for me to do as i have 3 children two of whom are I’m diapers and very energetic. I feel like my world has been caving in on me. I am 29 years old and i feel i can’t do much of anything. My house is a constant disaster. I cleaned one area yesterday and started having an asthm attack so i sat down for a few minutes and with in that short period of time the babies destroyed the room again. I feel like I’m falling down a never ending hole. I’ve been called lazy and a hypochondriac many of my close family and friends for years. I thought after i got the diagnose they would change but my finance still doesn’t understand what i go through. He works all day every day and the few days he does get off he doesn’t help with the house, and barley with the children. We are constantly arguing over the house work, i try so hard and wind up sick in the hospital at least once a month from what i know now was a flare up from lupus. Just trying to keep the kids happy is hard enough, but doing that and tying to keep a clean home is impossible for me. I’ve fallen into depression many times over over it feeling that something is wrong with me, Maybe I am lazy. But I’m tying to understand this lupus thing out and take it easy on myself wich seems to make it harder honestly because the fighting is worse. My fiance thinks i dont respect him because i can’t keep up with the house work and washing his clothes or going on a search for all his dirty clothes since he leaves them laying around the house. Its like caring for another child. Im at my wits end. I am not sure what to do at this point. I can not work a normal job, every time i do i can only work for 3 months before i have to quit or am fired because I’ve missed to much work from being sick. I often wonder if i would be better off living alone. I’ve handled it before with only one child. I am unsure how to make him understand what i go through. I have given him information on it, for family members and friends what they will go through and what I’m going through. It hasnt seemed to help him understand. Honestly idk if he even bothered to read it. I know he’s under a lot of stress as well, working trying to support our family and still not making enough to even buy Christmas presents for our kids. It just seems like nothing will ever change and i need the support i have never had. I know my family is trying to help me more but they are all busy with their lives and i try not to ask for much from them as i feel that i should be getting the extra support at home. My oldest daughter is 8 and she helps more than my finance with the house and her little sisters. I don’t like asking her for the extra help either because she is still a child and deserves a normal life. I try to rest when the children do but it is hard when i know it is also my only chance clean anything. If any one has ever gone through this and has any advise please help me! I just don’t know what to do anymore. I can’t please everyone, I’m not wonder woman. I think even a normal person in this situation would be going crazy.