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Chronic fatigue associated with rheumatiod arthritis more debilitating than pain

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Chronic fatigue is more debilitating for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) sufferers than stiffness and pain, according to research

A survey by the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) has found that while only 2% of patients are unaffected by fatigue, 40% never discuss it with their doctor.

It has now produced a booklet - Fatigue: Beyond Tiredness - intended to help sufferers recognise the symptoms and take steps to manage them.

It provides help and advice on complementary therapies, talking to specialists, relaxation techniques, diary planning, sleep, diet and exercise.

Says NRAS chief executive Ailsa Bosworth: `Chronic or ongoing fatigue in RA is not like tiredness. It can last for days and no amount of sleep will relieve it.

`The research revealed that the main reason people don’t discuss fatigue with their healthcare professional is because they feel it is a symptom of RA they just have to put up with.

`This is simply not the case. We hope that this booklet will encourage patients to discuss fatigue during consultations and make small changes to their lives to help manage it.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Interesting reading

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  • As a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer, I agree, and this highlights a situation few people are aware of and needs much more publicity. People may think I am being lazy, but energy in the evening is usually low for me

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