When you’re suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, fatigue is simply unavoidable. But sometimes, the level of exhaustion is so profound, that doctors might think that you’re experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome, and in a sense, you are. The last thing you want to deal with now that you’re retired is the pain and lack of energy. You’re free of the hassle of having to earn an annual income to survive. Now that you’re a retired senior, you need to grab life by the proverbial balls and enjoy it. So here are some cool ways to build and maintain your energy when you suffer from RA so you can actually embrace your golden years with happiness.About 70 percent of those who suffer from this crippling condition, also suffer from profound exhaustion, making it impossible to do even the easiest tasks, like going for a walk, jogging, shopping, or sightseeing, which you should be doing now that you’re in full-on retirement mode. But there are some ways to manage your energy.
Get treatment. There are a variety of medications that your doctor can prescribe to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis fatigue. Even a temporary relief can give you the best of energy you need to lead a more productive, retired life .
So figuring out how to manage your pain is an important part of improving the quality of life for seniors, and anyone else suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Granted, a lot of people hate taking pain meds. But what’s the alternative? Lay there until you can’t stand the pain anymore? Taking prescription pain meds on a regular basis, will free you from enduring pain.
Getting enough sleep is important at any stage in your life, regardless of whether you’re young or elderly. But people who live with rheumatoid arthritis can avoid fatigue if they simply rest when their bodies tell them it’s time to rest. If you feel like taking a nap, take a nap. If you can’t fall asleep, ask your doctor for prescription sleep meds.
So make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark, and is set at the right temperature. Also make sure that the pillow and mattress you’re using are comfortable. If any of these things are off, it can exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms that can lead to serious fatigue in seniors.
A doctor can determine if your body isn’t getting enough iron, Vitamin D, and Vitamin B12, all of which can make you feel drained. Vitamin D also helps with painful rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. But doctors can also determine if your level of fatigue is the result of hypothyroidism.
So look into taking energy boosting supplements like Vitamins D and B12 or iron. You might want to go to a nutritionist or a doctor that’s knowledgeable in Naturopathic medicine so that they can recommend the right supplements to fight off your RA-related fatigue syndromes.
To put it simply, when an elderly person pushes their body beyond its limits, they run the risk of flaring up their rheumatoid arthritis, resulting in pain, which can lead to exhaustion. It’s not that you should vegetate all day. You just need to do a little bit every day as opposed to a lot in order to conserve your energy.
But ironically, exercising can help boost your energy levels, and it doesn’t have to be a full on workout. Just some light walking or swimming on a daily basis can stave off rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and give you more energy. Just be careful not to strain your joints while having an RA flare up.
Being alone and quiet on your living room couch or lying in bed is counterproductive and boring, which can lead to feeling tired. So try to invigorate your life by talking to friends and neighbors. You don’t even have to get out of the house. A simply chat over the phone will do just fine, or Skype.
Activities you enjoy doing don’t wear you out. On the contrary, it can actually give seniors energy and motivation. Studies have shown that elderly people who engage in their favorite hobbies tend to have more energy and experience less RA symptoms.
Healthy foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help your body produce the energy you need. Also make sure to include some protein in your diet like eggs and yogurt, along with some carbs like whole-grain bread and oatmeal. Remember, that your body is like a temple, and it can reward or punish you based on what you eat, especially when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
After all, the simplest movement can stress the hell out of your joints and the muscles surrounding them, leading to fatigue. So try and use a cane when you feel it’s necessary or wear a brace in areas that hurt the most because of an RA flare up.
We know this isn’t always easy, especially with an unreliable bladder once we become seniors. But try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will train your body to remember when it’s time to rest. If you can’t sleep, try listening to music, reading a book, or taking a warm bath to ease your mind and body.
So when you’re out doing an activity, listen to your body. If it’s telling you that it’s time to take a break, then do it. Remember that rest allows your muscles to heal and refuel, which can reduce flare ups and painful episodes caused by your RA.
Physical therapists can do wonders for your body. They’re also a very important part in helping you come up with an RA management plan because they have extensive knowledge of how joints work. So they can teach you better ways to stretch and difference exercises that can conserve your energy while giving you what you need.
They can be your mentor, your life coach, and even provide you with the medical resources you need to manage your RA pain. After all, the primary goal of your occupational therapist is to help you get to a point where you can cope with your rheumatoid arthritis so you can lead a more productive life.
The more fat you accumulate, the more weight and pressure you’ll put on your joints, particularly your knees, which could result in a flare up for RA. So as tempting as eating sweet and salty things might be, you simply have to cut back in order to take some stress off your joints.
Don’t stay in the dark, especially if you’re 65 and older. Remember that sunlight lets your brain and body know that it’s time to get up and get active. Now we realize this can be tough in the winter time because of the lack of sunshine and the shorter days, but try to get 30 minutes of sun exposure every day, and you’ll feel a difference in your energy levels right away.
You can either use the oil on your body, have someone else rub it on you, which is a bonus because you get a massage, or you can simply inhale it. Studies have shown that oils like lavender, cedarwood and geranium can send a chemical message to your brain to relax you and energize you, while improving your mood all at the same time.
In fact, fatigue is often the result of prolonged stress and it simply isn’t healthy for you. But even if you can’t avoid stress due to an illness in the family or debt, which unfortunately is quite common among seniors, try to find a constructive way to relax through meditation, yoga, or even self-hypnosis. You’ll be surprised how these things can reduce stress and keep you re-energized.