Fatigue and Autoimmune Disease, How Do You Cope?

Updated on September 20, 2011
P.D. asks from Santa Fe, NM
8 answers

We get all of the household chores done and the kids are well taken care of. I do plenty with them through a mom's group and on my own - parks, play areas, etc. The fatigue is draining though. I was diagnosed with Behcet's Syndrome in Nov. of last year and was put on medicine. My disease was triggered by my pregnancy (kids are almost 4 now), the dr. believes. I since have felt better, a little more energy and have less outbreaks of ulcers. Being active means feeling rundown for a day or two after a busy day or being less sociable than I might otherwise be. I think I'm fairly positive, but not as much as I'd like to be because I'm tired all the time, lol. I guess I have less mental and emotional energy to deal with silly things with people and such like before I was ever pregnant - meaning I tend to avoid more rather than interact in these cases. If you have an autoimmune disease and have fatigue, how do you cope?

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So What Happened?

It sounds like I deal with things as best as anyone can. Thanks ladies! It does help to hear the stories of those who are in the same boat :).

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answers from Detroit on

I have autoimmune inner ear disease (that's the official name). It destroyed my balance, left me partially deaf and my head constantly feels like a heavy bowling ball. Not to mention the constant roaring in my ears. Anyway, I cope by using www.flylady.org to help manage my house cleaning. If you follow it well, you can get by with minimal house cleaning and still feel good about the house. Also, I make time several days a week to work out: bike ride, walk, weights. I am not the person I was physically before the disease but I've learned to cope with it and accept that I can't do it all. I am less sociable also but I just know my limits.

I do get to bed by 10pm and I make myself get out of bed at 6am. It would be too easy to give in to the disease otherwise.

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answers from Boston on

Try OPC3. You will feel better and have more energy. My friend Judy has Chronic Fatigue and the OPC3 really helps her. It will fight free radicals and free your immune system up to fight sickness and disease. It's really an amazing product.


I have a coupon for 20% off if you would like to try it.

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answers from New Orleans on

I have thyroid disease.I had my son(last child) in June of 2009. After him I had really bad depression and was sooo tired. I thought at first maybe it was adjusting to three kids. Well a few months later I didn't lose the extra pregnacy weight as I did the other two. I was still tired and then started with other signs. Got my blood work done in Dec/Jan of 2010 and sure enough I had delvelop thyroid disease.(I'm not sure if was from his pregnancy afterwards or just heridety b/c my mom and aunt has it)

I'm on medicine still. About 100mg and still get my days. Good and Bad. Days where I don't want to do anything but sleep. And days where I'm cleaning and doing everything under the sun. I know now I'm drinking about 3 cups of coffee a day.lol. And maybe a soft drink or 2 also. It kinda helps a little. I know I try to take my thyroid medicine on a empty stomach(like it tells me too) that way I can get into my system. I try to do stuff with my kids as much as possible. Its kinda hard to do things when you feel so tired most of the time. But all I can do is pray!!! :)

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answers from Boca Raton on

I have chronic epstein barr and understand the fatigue, unfortunately! I have all my energy from 7-11am and then I'm shot for the rest of the day, it totally stinks...
I eat SUPER healthy during the week and whatever I want on the weekends... Working out is tough for me nowadays. I went from kickboxing up to 6x's per week, to going for a 30 minute walk twice per week...My life has drastically changed....
I try to stay away from anyone that is sick, because i will always get it...Surrounding myself with good, "non judgemental" people is key...
I don't have a lot of answers, just wanted you to know, your not alone~

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answers from Houston on

My dear friend has Fibromyalgia among other auto immune diseases. It has really wrecked her body. If she overexerts herself one day, her body flares up for about a week and she is in constant pain and fatigue. One thing she has learned, is to delegate tasks, learn to say no and to pace herself. Which is hard for her b/c she was also so energetic and a go-getter and loved participating in activities. Also, avoiding silly drama is a wonderful coping strategy. She has studied natural therapy and she takes many supplements a day, as well as visits to the chiropractor.

As for chronic fatigue, I have that and am still learning to cope.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

The fatigue is the thing I can't get past. I stupidly took a friend's advice and started going back to bed after the kids were at school. I slept one or two hours, then three, and then all day. I felt even worse and struggled to stay asleep at night.
I did buy a bike because I can ride much longer than walk. Getting outside helps me feel a little less stuck. I dropped the gym because of the infection people got in the pool and I kept catching things.

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answers from Washington DC on

I have hashimotos, and like mommyof3littleones there are good days and bad days. If I make sure I go to bed before 11pm, then I am usually ok (I get up around 6-7am) But, I do have to have my caffiene of I won't make it through the day. I have a mocha first thing in the morning, and then 2-3 dr. peppers through out the day. There have been times when I have cut out the soda completly and even after 2 weeks of it, I feel like I'm going to die! I just can't function. I mean to the point of falling asleep while going 1/2 a mile to pick up my daughter from school. I am also taking meds every day for it. Today has been a good day for me. I got a lot done this morning and I am now about do clean the house. But, tomorrow, who knows!

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answers from Hartford on

I have Fibromyalgia so I'm immuno-compromised, and it's associated strongly with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The kids are taken care of and the house is... mostly taken care of. There are times when I need more help than I get. The pain and fatigue are just things I've always lived with, gradually getting worse over the years until my last pregnancy which triggered things to get dramatically worse during and after.

The warmer months are easier to handle. They're easier on my bones, my joints, my muscles. I have really bad seasonal allergies but in the past few years have finally gotten them under control. Being cold is a nightmare. The pain flares are nearly constant. I'm sick all the time when the weather starts to get cold. Between September/October and May, it's one respiratory infection after another. Sinus infections. Ear infections. I get everything that the kids and my husband bring home even if they're only mildly sick for a day. If they come home with mild flu-like symptoms from school, I'll get the full on flu. So flu vaccinations here all around are a must.

I have a very healthy diet and always have. I eat mostly vegetarian barring occasional meat and some lactose-free dairy and eggs. I think we have the most healthy diet of anyone we know without actually owning a farm and living off of it. ::sigh::

So I deal. I just... deal. I have a therapist that I see frequently. I keep in frequent contact with good friends. I stay active. When I have flare-ups of pain and fatigue, I just take it as a sign that I do what I can and leave the rest up to God. I ask for help and what gets done gets done and the rest can wait.

1 mom found this helpful
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