Among other symptoms, lupus is often characterized by pain and fatigue. The fatigue may be debilitating, and is often reported to cause greater impairment and greater loss of quality of life than does the pain.
Like most auto-immune conditions, lupus patients generally experience times of remission – times when disease activity is reduced. Among those lupus patients for whom pain is an issue, the severity of pain will generally diminish during remission and may cease altogether.
However, fatigue generally remains, even during an extended period of remission. Given that fatigue accounts for a substantial portion of the disability of lupus, this is of great concern.
It is unknown what causes the fatigue of lupus, or that of other auto-immune conditions. While fatigue is often said to result as a consequence of pain, that seems not to be the case, at least not in lupus.
How can we eliminate the fatigue of lupus? If fatigue remains, is lupus really in remission? Would the ability to relieve the fatigue of lupus define a ‘more complete’ remission?