Addressing underlying medical issues
In comparison to the general population, if you have RA, you are more prone to additional health problems. Such health problems include:
- Anemia – You may have abnormally low levels of red blood cells (anemia) that cause you to experience symptoms such as fatigue or dizziness.
- Depression – If you are depressed, you are more prone to feeling physically weak and exhausted.
- Heart disease –If you have a type of heart disease, particularly ischemic heart disease, it can restrict blood supply to your heart, thus leading to fatigue.
- Infection – A common symptom of infection is fatigue. Although it is still not clear as to why individuals with RA are more prone to getting infections, experts believe that it could be related to RA activity, RA medications or both.
- Sleep disorders – Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea and insomnia, affect over 17% of adults between the ages of 30 and 67. They can cause fatigue and daytime drowsiness.
If you suspect that you may have an underlying medication condition or are confused by some of your symptoms, talk with your doctor about performing a screen test or any other additional tests, if necessary. By coping with RA and another underlying medical condition, you are more prone to experiencing stress, anxiety, mood swings and poor sleep quality.