As I was doing my hair this morning, my arms were incredibly heavy, I could barely lift them up to finish. It got me wondering exactly why those of us living with MS suffer from more fatigue than others?
I Googled it and found some very interesting articles!
The National MS society has a great write-up about fatigue that contained important information that I already know.
They tell us how fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in about 80% of the people with the disease. Fatigue can significantly interfere with a person’s ability to function at home and at work, and the MS society said that, “Fatigue is one of the primary causes of early departure from the workforce.”
Many of our symptoms take away from a good night’s sleep.
- Pain and muscle spasms that accompany MS also take away from our quality of sleep.
- Many of us suffer from incontinence, which causes us to wake up during the night, diminishing our quality of sleep.
- The emotional turmoil that comes with having MS might cause disruption in the normal sleep patterns also.
- A good nights sleep is imperative to feeling energetic.
I learned something new from an article written by Pamela Martin of Healing Well.
To help us understand, Pamela told us of when she was walking home carrying two bags of groceries, she came across construction that prevented her from taking the normal manageable route. She followed the detour signs and ended up walking much farther to return home. By the time she made it home after the roundabout way of getting there she was exhausted!
Pamela explained how with MS, the messages are being sent throughout our myelin-damaged central nervous system similarly to the detour she was taking to get home, the result was the same, exhaustion.
What Makes MS Fatigue Different?
No one really knows what makes MS fatigue different, yet a few theories are a possibility.
- Maybe it depends on where the myelin has been attacked and how many detours are necessary in brain activity to complete a task.
- Perhaps another MS symptom, the feeling of ‘lead’ when moving our limbs could be the cause. The amount of energy it takes to complete the simplest of tasks like doing a load of laundry expends as much energy as a healthy person doing a more rigorous activity.
- Poor overall health. It is possible that the general deterioration of the body afflicted with MS exhausts the body’s storehouse of energy causing the feelings of fatigue.
I know I’m not the only one who is Mentally Fatigued, but I never thought about the work that the brain has to do to make up the difference in the pathways to obtain the usual results!
I’m not making this up but it really is all in my mind!
Pamela’s article is very helpful in understanding this aspect of MS Fatigue! You can read the entire article right here~ Pamela has done the research to verify her findings and also gave suggestions for treatments.
I’d like to tell you myself, but I’m too fatigued to do the research myself, no lie!
It’s time for my 20 minute stationary bike ride and a cat nap! This is a sure-fire way of combating fatigue for me!