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What Causes Fatigue in People with Multiple Sclerosis?

Although multiple sclerosis and fatigue are very closely linked with those suffering from the disease, scientists still don’t actually know what the cause of the fatigue actually is. There are many theories, of course – some believe that fatigue may have some relation to the repeated activation of an individual’s immune system, while others theories show that fatigue develops as a result of the brain being overworked in people with multiple sclerosis. Some theorise it may simply be due to muscle weakness in people with MS. In any case, there are quite a few simple ways to prevent fatigue in people who experience multiple sclerosis – in this article, we take a look at few ways you can do so. 

What can cause fatigue?

If you’ve has issues with MS and fatigue, you’re certainly not the only one. Although feeling tired is a very normal for people, fatigue is something that happens on a very regular basis. Fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis occurs on a daily basis, will regularly occur in the morning (regardless of whether a good sleep was had), will get steadily worse as the day goes on, worsens in heat and humidity and can develop at any time unexpectedly. Due to these factors, fatigue can significantly interfere with daily tasks, including household chores and work. It is also the case that certain complications related to MS can cause fatigue flare ups. Complications that may lead to fatigue symptoms include things like chronic pain, emotional disorders (including anxiety and depression), a lack of fitness, sleeping disorders, being overweight and diabetes. People might also find that certain medications can trigger fatigue, and are often those used to treat spasticity, pain, and bladder dysfunction. With all of these factors at play, it can be very hard to actually determine what the issue is – a good start is to make sure you cover the basics, such as making sure you’re fit, healthy and eat well. 

What does fatigue feel like in people with multiple sclerosis?

The nature of fatigue makes it a very difficult thing to assess – it will vary to some degree between patients with multiple sclerosis, which can make it very difficult to explain the symptoms to others. Overall, though, there are two kinds of fatigue that people with multiple sclerosis can experience – a general feeling of extreme tiredness and fatigue of the muscles. The physical aspects of fatigue with multiple sclerosis differ significantly to a regular feeling of tiredness, and may be experienced as a heavy weight or increased difficulty of movement. For people who experience fatigue mentally, it can be extremely difficult to think clearly and process thoughts. Some might even find that they slur their words or have their eyesight impaired in some way, which can negatively affect daily life in another way entirely. 

Are you affected with fatigue and multiple sclerosis?If you are someone with multiple sclerosis and find that fatigue is significantly affecting your daily life, it’s a good step to first isolate any lifestyle issues that might contribute. If this doesn’t work for you, it’s worth consulting a health professional as they might be able to help you better establish issues you can manage. This way, you won’t have to worry about fatigue in addition to other symptoms related to multiple sclerosis.

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