7 Tips to Fight MS Fatigue

How to Preserve, Boost Your Energy

7 Tips to Fight MS Fatigue

By Jeff Martella Published at August 2 Views 9,813 Comments 1 Likes 2

Although MS fatigue is common and frustrating, there are things you can do to fight fatigue and increase energy.

If you think getting rest is the "cure-all" to eliminating fatigue, you're right in that it certainly helps. But you also need to think of your energy level like an energy bank. Take frequent breaks and don't use up all your energy early in the day. Here's a few energy-boosting tips:

  • Work closely with your MS healthcare providers. We all know that our condition requires constant monitoring to make sure our disease is under control. Proper treatment can and does help control fatigue.

  • Avoid heat exposure. I had a friend tell me to, "Just stay out of the heat," like it was that simple. Yes, we all know that heat is No. 1 in terms of draining our energy level, so adjustments to lifestyle have to be made early on. You might even considering moving.

  • Take good care of yourself. A healthy diet and a regular exercise program can really help with fatigue, so remember to stay focused on the prize: good shape while not being overweight.

  • Combine exercise with mindfulness. Exercises that include some form of meditation and mind-body connection, such as tai chi and yoga, have been shown to be helpful for MS fatigue. You can easily add a few extra hours of energy to your day by combining simple exercises with a healthy mind.

  • Yes, medications can help. Wakefulness-promoting medication works for some people. Central nervous system stimulants assist others, and an antiviral medication amantadine can also be helpful. Talk to your doctor about your fatigue and ask if there might be prescription options to help.

  • Treat depression. If you are feeling down and hopeless — and you can't seem to overcome these feelings — talk to your healthcare provider. Depression makes fatigue worse; a mental health professional can help.

  • Simplify your life. "Chaos" only adds to the fatigue, so put a strategy together for managing/simplifying your life. If your job is too stressful, think about a new job if possible — just remember that your employer thrives on you making a success of the stress and "chaos." Plan and delegate some tasks to friends and family, or consider joining a support group.

Almost everyone with MS has to deal with fatigue and while medications can help, there is also a lot you can do on your own. Take care to eat right, exercise regularly, and lower your stress levels. MS fatigue and other MS symptoms can be frustrating, but most people with MS do lead full and productive lives.

Now go make it happen!

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