Managing MS Fatigue
Fatigue is a very common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis. The type of fatigue associated with MS is very different than simply being tired and worn out. MS fatigue muscle deep and affects both the entire body and brain. Your limbs may feel like way 2000 pounds all of a sudden. It may seem impossible to keep your eyes open and sometimes even hold your head up. Fatigue can have suddenly and without warning. You may feel fine an energetic one minute and completely exhausted the next.
While MS fatigue can't be treated or cured, it can be successfully managed. Most importantly, be sure to get enough sleep. You may find that you cannot stay up as late, or keep the same schedule as you did before multiple sclerosis. Listen to your body and adjust your schedule as necessary. Some people find it necessary to leave room in their schedules for a nap in the early afternoon. Many employers are open to this, as it can be considered a reasonable accommodation under ADA rules. However, to maintain your employer's trust you must be sure to be back at work at the scheduled time.
Plan your day around those times when you know you will be most tired. If you know your body falls into exhaustion at 3 pm, don't plan on doing anything important after 2pm or so.
Proper nutrition plays a big role in managing MS fatigue. If your body isn't getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals, calories, and water, it can't perform at its optimal level. It might be helpful to have a nutritional screening done to see which vitamins and minerals you are deficient in.
Exercise is important, too. When you exercise, even lightly, your body releases natural endorphins, burns fat, and builds muscle. Endorphins lift your mood and give you energy to do other things. Again, listen to your body and don't over do it. Too much of anything is not always a good thing.
MS fatigue can be disabling, but with a little planning and careful attention you can reduce its effects on your life.