Fatigue is the most commonly reported symptom in people with PSC and affects quality of life.
Fatigue in PSC does not relate to severity of the liver disease 115.
We all experience tiredness at times, which can be relieved by sleep and rest. Fatigue is overwhelming tiredness that isn't relieved by sleep or rest.
The exact mechanism by which fatigue is caused in PSC is unclear 115 although studies have found that fatigue in PSC can be related to autonomic dysfunction 116, psychological distress and physical pain (rather than associated IBD or PSC severity) 117 and depression 115.
People with PSC often report that they have disturbed sleep patterns and insomnia, all of which can contribute to the feeling of tiredness and fatigue.
Symptom management: fatigue
Fatigue can also be explained by other causes such as thyroid issues, anaemia and diabetes.
While there is no treatment for fatigue in PSC 117, graduated exercise is thought to help in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome 119. There are other potential treatable causes of fatigue that should be considered.
Your doctor should ask you about fatigue. Alternative causes of fatigue such as hypothyroidism, anaemia, diabetes and depression should be considered.
At each review appointment
What does fatigue feel like?
How does fatigue impact day to day life? Is fatigue the same as being tired?
What does brain fog feel like?
Some people also describe 'brain fog' when talking about PSC.
Tips on managing fatigue
How to best live with fatigue and manage your time and energy.