Updated April 7, 2021
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has a reputation for causing serious joint pain, but RA fatigue is another symptom that can be just as debilitating as the pain. The reason for RA fatigue isn’t clear, but some experts theorize it’s the chronic inflammation itself that may cause lethargy, according to Richard C. Chou, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine. The bodily pain that comes with rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t help either, he explains. “The pain is with you, often 24/7, and that will wear you out,” says Chou.