By Michael Russell
Fatigue is probably one of the most complained about Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. We’re not talking about some ordinary fatigue here; but fatigue that incapacitates you physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally as well. As if having Multiple Sclerosis wasn’t depressing enough, the degree to which your already low reserve of energy and strength is sapped is sufficient to halt any and all activities and often does.
Did you have a plan to do this or that? Well guess what? There’s a very good chance it may not happen. At least not when you had originally planned. Of course, if you’re the one with Multiple Sclerosis, we’re preaching to the choir here. You already know how it can profoundly affect your daily activities, but you should also be encouraged to know that you can do something about it. If you want to counteract the way fatigue impacts your daily life, read on.
As with any health concern, a healthful and well balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals found in whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables and legumes is encouraged and offers the best source of nutrition. Large doses of any supplements should only be taken with the guidance of a trained nutritionist or physician. Use of stimulants like caffeine and over the counter sleep preventing drugs are discouraged because of their addictive properties and more of a concern is their ability to further load down an already stressed nervous system. Although some physicians will occasionally prescribe antidepressants, which offer some relief from fatigue, there is little else in the arsenal of drugs that offers any real benefits without costly side effects.
The idea of lifestyle changes is not a new concept but neither is it without merit. It remains your best ally in your battle against fatigue. It is simply this: conserve your energy as much as you possibly can. How can you do this? You carefully monitor and pace your day-to-day activities. Only you can do this and only you should. Don’t let anyone else set your schedule for you. Only you know how you feel from day to day. Start a journal and record various activities and grade each one on a scale of the degree of their energy draining power. Use this information to decide which activities should be done in the morning, afternoon or evening or maybe not at all. You will have to begin to prioritize and schedule activities that are important to you. The following are tips to help you make your battle plan against fatigue a success.
Tips For Battling Fatigue
– Rest when you feel tired, don’t be heroic and push on. Break up any large projects into small manageable segments.
– Always sit when possible. Most tasks can be performed sitting. Standing will use up much needed energy.
– Keep frequently used items accessible and in the rooms in which they are often needed. Keep items out in the open to prevent unnecessary reaching and stretching.
– Make use of daily living aids for reaching, dressing, cooking, reading, writing, etc. They will save you time, energy and frustration. Use as many as you can.
– Ask for outside help when need it.
The way that fatigue impacts your life is very real. Don’t be an MS Fatigue Martyr. Fight back by readjusting your daily activities to conserve your precious energy.
Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Multiple Sclerosis
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