Casey: What are the best ways to help alleviate fatigue?
Matt Justin, MS Nurse: Fatigue’s a really difficult symptom to manage. There’s a big difference between tiredness that we all get after a really busy week, you know, and having fatigue related to MS. And the best way to manage it is looking at your lifestyle, trying to manage your fatigue as best as possible. A lot of the charities have really good booklets about managing fatigue and looking at specific triggers. Some people have a physical fatigue where they tend to fatigue quickly after walking distances, for example. Sometimes it’s a mental fatigue where people are tired after concentrating looking at a computer screen or potentially driving, something that’s a combination of both. There’s also an element of conditioning as well, so the physically fitter you are, the better your fatigue is. But to try and accommodate that when you’ve got underlying fatigue and potentially other symptoms, it can be very difficult. So in general the advice is to build things up as gradually as possible, look for specific triggers and try and manage your fatigue as best as you can.
Casey: And how can medication affect fatigue?
Matt Justin: Medication that you take for other symptoms, such as pain for example, can make fatigue worse, so it’s important to look at those and it’s balancing that between being fatigued because you’re in pain, for example, and being fatigued because the medication’s making you tired. So you have to try and manage that pretty well. In general, the medications that are supposed to help with fatigue we don’t really use that often because although they might keep you awake, they don’t take away that underlying fatigue, which again is different for people with MS compared to just being tired.
Join the Shift.ms community: https://shift.ms/
Watch more videos here: