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Wednesday

 

6 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY WHEN YOU HAVE MS FATIGUE

 

If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), chances are good you could use an energy boost now and then. Fatigue is an issue for 4 out of 5 people with the disease. It’s a challenging symptom, but one you can manage with lifestyle changes and, if needed, medication. Here’s how to rev up your energy when you have MS:

Energy Boosters That Work:

Work with your doctor to find the causes of your fatigue and develop a plan to maximize your energy. These are some strategies to consider:
  • Talk with your doctor about treating symptoms—such as overactive bladder, muscle spasms, and depression—that can disturb your sleep. If you’re already exhausted from lack of sleep, ask whether taking sleep medication for a short time might help.

  • Work with an occupational or physical therapist. Learn energy-saving ways of getting around and doing everyday tasks. Use helpful devices and mobility aids—such as a cane, walker, or scooter—if recommended.

  • Exercise on a regular basis, with your doctor’s approval. When you’re tired, exercising might seem like the last thing you want to do. But it can actually help you stay in shape and give you more energy. In a 2013 study in Clinical Rehabilitation, MS patients who took part in a 3-month exercise class reported less fatigue than those who didn’t.

  • Be realistic about how much you take on. Prioritize your daily to-do list. Then tackle high-priority activities first. Take rest breaks when needed. Don’t hesitate to skip lower-priority tasks or ask someone else to do them, so you have more energy for the things that matter most.

  • Avoid getting overheated, which can sap your energy. On hot days, drink extra fluids and use a fan or air conditioner. Schedule outdoor activities for early morning or evening, when it’s cooler. Instead of exercising outdoors, consider working out in your home or a gym, walking in a mall or swimming in cool water, about 80° to 84°F (27° to 29°C ).

  • Learn relaxation methods—such as breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi, or meditation. These can help to keep your spirits high and energy up. Consider mindfulness—focusing fully on what’s happening here and now, and accepting your experience without judging it. A 2010 study in Neurology showed that practicing mindfulness reduced fatigue in MS patients.

  • Ask your doctor about fatigue-fighting medications. Your doctor may prescribe modafinil, a sleep disorder medication, and amantadine, an antiviral drug. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved either specifically for treating MS fatigue. But preliminary evidence suggests that they might help some people. READ MORE

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