It is normal for people to get tired, especially after strenuous activity. However, not every person experiences fatigue in similar ways. MS Fatigue (Multiple sclerosis fatigue) is different from the usual feeling of tiredness. This condition is also characterized by muscular fatigue and extreme tiredness. This can significantly affect a person's daily routine and work performance.
What is MS Fatigue?
WebMD stated that tiredness and fatigue could happen to everyone. In one of its published article, it mentioned:
"Fatigue is a daily lack of energy. It's unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness not relieved by sleep. It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from 1 to 6 months or longer). Fatigue can prevent you from functioning normally and affects your quality of life."
MS Fatigue is described as an extreme feeling of exhaustion that involves a sudden energy loss and the inability to perform an activity. This type of fatigue can be either mental or physical, or both.
According to Healthline.com, MS fatigue is different from the typical tiredness.
"Some people with MS describe the fatigue as feeling like you're weighed down and like every movement is difficult or clumsy. Others may describe it as an extreme jet lag or a hangover that won't go away. For others, fatigue is more mental. The brain goes fuzzy, and it becomes difficult to think clearly. Fatigue may affect the eyesight, as well as your ability to speak without slurring your words," the leading medical website stated.
Multiple Sclerosis Trust termed MS fatigue as an "invisible sign of multiple sclerosis. It stated:
"...fatigue is sometimes not properly understood by family, friends or colleagues. Until it is experienced, it is hard to understand the impact of fatigue and how debilitating it can be. Fatigue is a major cause of stopping working or reducing working hours."
Based on an article published by WebMD, MS fatigue can get worse due to humidity and heat and can be riskier than normal fatigue.
Symptoms of MS Fatigue
An individual who has MS-related fatigue can be observed experiencing fatigue with the following characteristics:
- may happen suddenly
- occurs on a frequent or daily basis
- aggravated by humidity and heat
- usually occurs in the morning or even after having a good night' sleep
- may hamper daily tasks at work and home
You might be thinking about how it feels to have MS fatigue. Healthline.com mentioned that during MS fatigue, the brain could be fuzzy, and the patient may have difficulty concentrating. MS fatigue may also affect the patient's eyesight. Not only that, but it can also lead to slurred speech in some cases.
Causes of MS Fatigue
Medical experts still have not fully discovered the exact cause of MS fatigue. Other studies have revealed that fatigue may also be related to the constant immune system's activation, similar to acquiring the flu virus.
MS fatigue can also be the result of the weakening of the muscles related to multiple sclerosis. There are also theories that fatigue can be due to the need for the brain to function better.
There is also a theory stating that fatigue can happen due to the brain's decreased electrical transmission.
With the help of MRI scans, patients with MS fatigue utilize a bigger portion of the brain to work on tasks than individuals without fatigue.
Effects of MS Fatigue
Aside from muscle weakness and lack of concentration, MS fatigue can also cause the following complications:
- reduced physical wellness
- chronic pain
- depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders
- weight issues
- lowered thyroid function
- sleeping problems, such as sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome
- bladder dysfunction
- blurred vision
- problems in taste
- and other possible health issues.
Tips to Consider to Lessen the Effects of MS Fatigue
Some tips can help reduce the impacts of MS fatigue. Below are some of them:
#1 Be aware of the warning signs of fatigue.
Yes, we already know that tiredness is a common condition experienced after a particular activity. However, when tiredness appears not to be normal, you should take action.
An online medical source website highlighted:
"Fatigue warning signs may include tired eyes, tired legs, whole-body tiredness, stiff shoulders, decreased energy or a lack of energy, inability to concentrate, weakness or malaise, boredom or lack of motivation, sleepiness, increased irritability, nervousness, anxiety, or impatience."
When you think you're having most of the symptoms mentioned, it would be best to seek professional help to make sure your condition won't get worse.
#2 Practice and promote proper body mechanics.
Some people do not pay attention to how activities should be done properly. They can be reckless in using their bodies to do their daily routine. Thus, the result can be frustrating. Practicing proper body mechanics will ensure that your health can still be protected. Use a comfortable chair when sitting. It would be better if you can use an ergonomic chair with good lumbar support. Bend your knees and not your back when bending to lift an object. Use the leg muscles to lift a heavy load. Do not try to bend forward in your waist with your knees straight. It is also advisable to carry loads in smaller amounts instead of having it in just one full, heavy load.
#3 Learn to handle stress properly.
Stress can worsen MS fatigue and its symptoms, including headaches, muscle pains, and problems with concentrating. That is why it is essential to learn how to manage stress. Stress management tips can be applied to your daily routines, such as managing your emotions and doing activities that will make you relaxed.
#4 Keep optimum physical health.
Health is always one of the best investments in life. A healthy body and strong immune system will help prevent and alleviate the risks of MS fatigue. Make sure to have a proper diet, exercise daily, and get rid of bad health habits.
#5 Work in a comfortable workstation
Proper ergonomics play an essential role in every successful workplace. This is more than just arranging your equipment and devices to let you work efficiently and productively. It is also important to find and use high-quality materials and equipment to perform your job.
For instance, a standing desk can help you work with the proper posture, thus avoiding risks like backaches, neck pain, and leg fatigue. Using an anti-fatigue mat is also recommended.
Other ergonomic accessories can help reduce the risk and effects of fatigue while working. They may include but not limited to desk converters, ergonomic mouse and keyboard, LED desk lamp, and monitor mounts.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) has been affecting many people in the world on how they live their daily routines. Thus, alleviating the risks of MS fatigue is crucial. Both employees and employers must implement a comprehensive program or awareness in the workplace on preventing and managing this condition. Applying the tips mentioned above can lower the effects of MS fatigue, improving your daily performance at work or home.