Sometimes it can be helpful to monitor your activity to assess your fatigue.
Fatigue is one of the invisible symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It is more than just everyday tiredness. It is a complete loss of energy and can take a lot longer to get over.
Explaining what fatigue is and the impact it can have on your daily life really hard. You can’t fully understand it until you experience it. Fatigue can stop you from finishing an activity or even stop you from starting one.
As well as physical fatigue, you can also experience mental fatigue, affecting your short-term memory, recollection, speech and the ability to think clearly. It is one of the main reasons that people with multiple sclerosis stop work or reduce their hours.
HOW DOES MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS CAUSE FATIGUE?
Not enough is known about fatigue to say exactly what causes it when you have MS. It is primarily caused because it takes more energy for messages to go from the brain to your body if you have MS. It can also be caused by your MS symptoms too – such as being in pain or not sleeping well. Inactivity may also lead to fatigue. But it can also be a side effect of medications or infection too.
It is thought that it can also be a combination of these factors which causes you to feel fatigued.
HOW CAN I MANAGE MY FATIGUE?
There are different ways in which you can manage your fatigue to reduce its impact on daily life and you can continue to do the activities you love.
- Ensure you have the best energy levels possible – eat well, get lots of sleep, reduce stress, keep active.
- Learn how to maximise your energy and use it efficiently – taking planned breaks, delegating tasks.
We run regular online Fatigue Management Programmes. These used to take place at the Centre but have moved online due to the current pandemic. Running for 6 weeks they give practical advice on how you can manage your fatigue and still have the energy for the things you love doing.
We also have short tips on managing fatigue below.
TIPS FOR MANAGING MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS FATIGUE
Our Occupational Therapist, Amy, shares some of her tips for managing fatigue.