I just recently attended an MS seminar hosted by the MS Society. It was very very interesting. I took copious notes and I am now willing to share (bore you?) with you all that I have learned. I want to break this up into more easily processed chunks. I hope you find it easier to read. I just cannot read LONG posts.
I learned about MS and how it is affected by:
*bowel and bladder
*the body as a complex system
Ok, I hope you learn something and I am not just prattling on about stuff you already know!
Let's start with fatigue.
Fatigue is caused by poor nerve transmission. It takes incredible amounts of energy (both physical and mental) to push neuro transmissions through damaged/demyelinated axons. It tends to get worse as the day wears on.
depression, heat, sleep deprivation, deconditioning, dietary factors, illness (cold etc.), medications, other symptoms such as vertigo, spasticity, cognitive issues.
Fatigue causes all other symptoms to increase. When you are fatigued, you will notice that your spasticity is worse as well as your bladder problems, cognitive problems etc. That being said, you MUST manage your fatigue in order to minimize all of your MS symptoms. So, if you feel your spasticity worsening as the day wears on, that is actually fatigue. You need to take some time to rest as soon as possible. It can be as simple as sitting for ten minutes and having something to drink and resting your brain. You may need to take an actual nap for an hour or more.
Know your limits and experiment with what works for you. Try to plan your day accordingly. Do things that you know are more difficult for you early in the day. See what kind of breaks and rests you need to incorporate in your day in order to minimize fatigue. Managing your core body temperature is a critical part of managing fatigue. Learn to be tolerant of your own limits. Be aware of what you normally can accomplish and use it to track your overall functioning so you can report to your doctor on clinical progression.
Professionals that can assist you with creating strategies:
Neurological physical therapist, occupational therapist, neuropsychologist.
Medications that can assist you with fatigue:
(psycho-stimulants) Provigil, Focalin, Ritalin, Adderall, (anti-depressants) Prozac, Zoloft, (Anti-spastics) Zanaflez, Baclofen
I hope this gives you some helpful strategies to consider. The next installment will address heat.
Gretchen co-moderator MS board diagnosed with MS July 2006
Post Edited (Gretchen1) : 7/3/2008 10:56:36 AM (GMT-6)