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News and Opinions about MS, Health & Disability

Fatigue makes it difficult to push on

on January 12, 2018

I love writing. No surprise there, it has after all been a major part of my life. But, today, it’s not so easy because I have been hit by a bout of fatigue.

Fatigue is just one possible aspect of multiple sclerosis – but there are plenty of other causes too.

And for anyone fortunate enough not to be affected by fatigue, please don’t tell us to get a good night’s sleep. Be assured, that is not enough.

So, what is fatigue?

The medical information website healthline.com says:

Fatigue is a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. It isn’t the same as simply feeling drowsy or sleepy. When you’re fatigued, you have no motivation and no energy. Being sleepy may be a symptom of fatigue, but it’s not the same thing.

Fatigue is a common symptom of many medical conditions, which range in severity from mild to serious. It’s also a natural result of some lifestyle choices, such as lack of exercise or poor diet.

If your fatigue doesn’t resolve with proper rest and nutrition, or you suspect it’s caused by an underlying physical or mental health condition, see your doctor. They can help diagnose the cause of your fatigue and work with you to treat it.

Why do we get fatigue?

Causes of fatigue can be described, in general terms, as your lifestyle, and your physical or mental health.

Healthline lists lifestyle factors as physical exertion, lack of physical activity, lack of sleep, being overweight or obese, periods of emotional stress, boredom, grief, taking certain medications such as antidepressants or sedatives, using alcohol on a regular basis, using street drugs such as cocaine, consuming too much caffeine, and not eating a nutritious diet.

We know that those of us with MS can get fatigue but there are other physical conditions that can also cause it. Healthline says these include, anemia, arthritis, bromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, infections such as cold and flu, Addison’s disease – a disorder that can affect your hormone levels, hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid, sleep disorders such as insomnia, autoimmune disorders including MS, congestive heart failure, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

As for mental health conditions, fatigue is a symptom of anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder.

In my case, I’ll blame the MS but today the level of fatigue has been made worse by trying to do too much, too quickly.  Right now, I feel totally worn out and am having trouble keeping my eyes open.

Goodnight.

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Affiliate disclaimer: This affiliate disclosure details the affiliate relationships of MS, Health & Disability at 50shadesofsun.com with other companies and products. Read more.

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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.

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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. I am not a doctor and cannot and do not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely my own unless otherwise stated.


6 Responses to “Fatigue makes it difficult to push on”

  1. Ed Tobias says:

    Me, too. Fighting a cold. Hard to concentrate and write. Do you know any ghostwriters?

    Hope the sleep helps.

  2. Helen says:

    I for one, like reading what you write so rest up and write again. Hitting a brick wall due to very hot, humid weather is another factor involved to lay an MS body flat. Many people I know living without any health problems, have some difficulty in the very hot conditions we have here in abundance in Australia. Sooo many ways to feel the fatigue. I am taking small steps this summer. 😊

  3. Suzanne says:

    I have been known to fall asleep at the dinner table when we have guests. Sometimes I literally can not put my leg onto the wheelchair plate. Before m s started to drag on me like a metal ball and chain, my nickname at work was “The Energizer Bunny.” Is it the disease or the accumulation of the side effects of the drugs for side effects?
    P S. My daughter is a ghost writer.

    • ian0811 says:

      Hi Suzanne. Fatigue can be part of MS itself, and it can also be caused by some medications. Of course, it can also be a combination.

  4. Ken Collins says:

    In my experience fatigue has always been a constant MS symptom. All that changes is the extent. Usually brought on by hot weather conditions, or, as you said, the push “beyond” effect.

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