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Old 06-21-2013, 06:38 AM   #1
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I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

Hello!
First of all, thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm a 28 year old female and 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Sjogren's Syndrome, and Degenerative Disk Disease. I've always had an issue with fatigue. I've been tired ever since I could remember. It has become so bad that in order to not fall asleep while driving or at work, I'm drinking energy drinks constantly (which I know isn't good). I don't even have the energy when I get home from work to play with my son (he's 6).

I have a good healthy diet/lifestyle, and drink plenty of water everyday... so I don't understand why I'm so exhausted. I know that having SLE, RA, and Fibro can zap your energy, but this is ridiculous. I am consuming around 6-8 energy drinks/ day and am terrified of having a heart attack.

I don't know what to do anymore. I need help in finding alternatives and ways to boost my energy levels without having to drink energy drinks. Any suggestions you have would be much appreciated.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 06:51 AM   #2
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

I understand and feel for you. I too have lupus, RA, DJD and a bunch more. I do have some thoughts and suggestions. First off, lupus and RA do cause severe fatigue. BUT, there could be something else going on, especially since you describe it as sleepiness as well. People with lupus have a higher incidence of sleep apnea. It causes you to stop breathing and your oxygen drops many times during the night, leaving you exhausted and sleepy the next day. It can occur in young women. I would ask your husband if he notices you gasping, snoring, stopping breathing or anything like that in night. I have it and was shocked, because my husband didn't notice a thing! You can get a screening test (nightime oximetry) that just checks for low oxygen dips, or a full sleep study if you have known nighttime symptoms. At least that is treatable and will improve your energy. It can cause serious consequences if untreated. The other thing if sleep apnea is absent, is to make sure you are not anemic, have no thyroid problems that are treatable. Many with lupus have low thyroid and anemia too. Some Drs will prescribe stimulants for excess daytime sleepiness, but it is important to get the other treatable causes checked out first, You can look up online the Epworth sleepiness test, and see where you score. It is a screening test for sleep apnea.

Last edited by ladybud; 06-21-2013 at 06:52 AM. Reason: typo

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:04 AM   #3
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

Hello! Thank you for your reply!!

I do have anemia and also Epstine Barr. My boyfriend is a very heavy sleeper, but has said that he has noticed that I "catch" my breath when I sleep sometimes, but I don't snore... I was checked for thyroid issues, and the test came back negative. It seems like it doesn't matter how early I go to bed, or how "well" I sleep at night, I always wake up feeling drained and it doesn't go away. :/

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:07 AM   #4
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

Also- I just took the Epworth Sleepiness test and scored a 16... which probably isn't a good thing.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

That is a very high score. You should look for a sleep center to get a full sleep study done. You essentially are not getting restful sleep at all when you have sleep apnea, because everytime you stop breathing, you awaken and never get to deep sleep or even REM sleep. I would also make sure you are doing everything you can to treat the anemia. Need to know what kind it is first.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

I guess I'll be looking into doing a sleep study :/ As far as the anemia goes, I'm not sure what type I have. I do take folic acid, iron supplements, and B-12 supplements though.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:17 PM   #7
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

That covers the usual reasons for anemia. I would make sure your B12 is sublingual (under the tongue) rather than the swallow type to be sure it gets absorbed well. Good luck with the sleep study.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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Re: I'm in DESPERATE need of help!

It is! And thank you!

 
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