One of the major consequences of fatigue is losing the ability to focus, which can have a negative impact on a person’s academic or work performance. Because of it, people who suffer from MS are forced to abandon their careers and fatigue eventually begins to limit their activities.
Fatigue can be caused by multiple situations that are related to a person suffering from MS. For example, a person that suffers from insomnia will experience fatigue that’s caused by disruptions in the sleeping cycle. Other people can experience fatigue because of strain in the muscles, which prevent them from doing things because their body can’t handle the stress. In simpler terms, people that have to go through physical strain to perform daily routine activities, will experience fatigue.
What Is lassitude?
Lassitude is a very specific type of fatigue. It’s unique to people who suffer from multiple sclerosis. As it is still under observation, researchers are still outlining the characteristics, in order to better determine what are the exact traits of lassitude. Here is what they’ve discovered so far:
- Lassitude interferes with a person’s ability to perform tasks that a person who doesn’t suffer from MS could easy accomplish. These are normal, routine tasks, but ones that take a great toll on the body of someone who has MS.
- Heat and humidity are two factors that can drastically increase the sense of lassitude.
- Even if a person manages to get plenty of overnight sleep, lassitude can kick in early in the morning, which makes it more common among people that have MS.
- People who have experience both normal fatigue and lassitude throughout their lifetime, claim that the latter is more severe.
- Lassitude can appear suddenly throughout the day, and it shows up every day.
Occupational therapy can help
Occupational therapy is learning how specific activities can help people recover from mental or physical conditions. This kind of therapy can teach people that suffer from multiple sclerosis how to enjoy life and deal with everyday activities despite their condition. Specialists can provide an individual evaluation, to best determine what are the person’s goals, and how OT can help them achieve those goals. Based on the conclusion, the therapist can create a customized intervention plan that helps people perform daily activities.
So can physical therapy
It’s not uncommon for people who suffer from MS to turn to physical therapy. While MS is known to cause difficulties in movement, a patient must not be tempted to cease all physical activity. Therapy for people who suffer from MS can either make use of assistive devices or can be undergone without them. A regular exercising program is recommended, but it takes a specialist to determine what is the best path to take.
Conserving energy is important
People that have MS are already experiencing difficulties in doing even some of the most basic things people do on a daily basis. Since fatigue is omnipresent, patients must learn techniques that help them conserve energy. For example, heat is a factor that can drain energy from the body, so a person with MS should constantly avoid overheating.
Delegating is also an important part of this energy-conservation process. Sharing responsibilities with the people they live with can help MS patients get rid of some of the triggers that cause fatigue. It can be anything as simple as assigning grocery shopping to another family member.
Perfectionism is an enemy
Humans are typically ambitious, but it is this precise ambition that causes them to lean towards perfection. Obsessing over some unimportant details takes a toll on people who suffer from fatigue that’s related to their MS condition. Striving to be perfect is exhausting even more people who don’t suffer from MS. People need to fine-tune their standards, in order to avoid obsessing over small things and start seeing the bigger picture.
Learn how to rest often
One of the most common mistakes that people with MS do is not learning how to divide their energy throughout the entire day. If you’re suffering from MS, and are tempted to perform a lot of activities as soon as you get up, this mistake can lead to an increase in fatigue.
Naps are an important part of a proper lifestyle, especially when dealing with a condition that’s as consuming as MS. In order to determine when the right time for napping is, one must first observe some patterns, like when the body feels most stressed throughout the day. A fruitful rest implies carefully planning your coffee intake. It’s best to avoid coffee hours before you plan your daily nap.
Finding a quiet place where you can rest and relax is also important because people that suffer from MS are already prone to experiencing sleep disruptions. It’s best to avoid any potential triggers that could cause them to wake up (measures include turning off the intercom, switching the phone to silent mode, etc.).
MS-related fatigue is a dozen times more severe than the one people without MS normally experience throughout their day. The good news is that there are a lot of ways for people that have MS to manage the stress and symptoms that fatigue causes. There have been cases where constant MS-fatigue lead to depression, so it’s important to understand how much your body can handle, and plan your daily activities according to those patterns.
Despite the fact that specialists have studied the causes of fatigue, there is no precise test that can pinpoint the exact cause of this problem. People that are dealing with MS are often tempted to confuse this symptom with depression, but the two are, in fact, quite different. A person that suffers from MS can be optimistic and coping with this condition, but experience fatigue simply because this is how the body reacts to physical stress.