Multiple Sclerosis and Fatigue
3. Eat Right
Fatigue is often made worse if you are not eating enough or if you are not eating the right foods. Maintaining good nutrition can help you feel better and have more energy.
Decreased physical activity, which may be the result of illness or of treatment, can lead to tiredness and lack of energy. Scientists have found that even healthy athletes forced to spend extended periods in bed or sitting in chairs develop feelings of anxiety, depression, weakness, fatigue, and nausea. Regular, moderate exercise can decrease these feelings, help you stay active, and increase your energy.
5. Learn to manage stress
Managing stress can play an important role in combating fatigue. Here are tips to help keep stress in check:
- Adjust your expectations. For example, if you have a list of 10 things you want to accomplish today, pare it down to two and leave the rest for other days. A sense of accomplishment goes a long way to reducing stress.
- Help others understand and support you. Family and friends can be helpful if they can "put themselves in your shoes" and understand what fatigue means to you. Support groups can be a source of comfort as well. Other people with MS understand what you are going through.
- Relaxation techniques. Audiotapes that teach deep breathing or visualization can help reduce stress.
- Participate in activities that divert your attention away from fatigue. For example, activities such as knitting, reading, or listening to music require little physical energy but require attention.
If your stress seems out of control, talk to your doctor. They are there to help.
When Should I Tell My Doctor About My Fatigue?
Although fatigue is a common and often expected symptom of MS, you should feel free to mention your concerns to your doctors. There are times when fatigue may be a clue to some other underlying medical problem. Other times, there may be medical interventions that can prevent fatigue.