Managing Multiple Sclerosis- Fight the Fatigue

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Brief overview about Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis is the chronic disease of the Central Nervous System affecting spinal cord, brain and optic Nerves.

In Our brain nerve fibers are covered with myelin sheath which protects them. Myelin sheaths help in transmitting signals from the brain to the rest of the body parts.

In Multiple Sclerosis, myelin sheath disappears and leaving a scar. The areas where no myelin, known as lesions. When lesions get affected, damage nerve fibers making situation worst.

Therefore electrical signals do not get transmitted and affect the brain working efficiently.

Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis

MS affects all age groups, yet is found to be diagnosed in the main age group of 20-50 years. Symptoms including tingling, numbness but vision loss, paralysis may occur at severity.

Fatigue is the most common symptom of Multiple sclerosis and affects 70-90% of the patients.

In Medical terms, MS-related fatigue is not as a feeling of tiredness after doing certain activities and even normal tiredness would get resolved after getting a sound sleep.

MS-related fatigue is the daily lack of energy and the whole-body tiredness and even not get relieved by sleep. It has mainly impact on daily living activities and affects a person’s quality of life.

Causes of Fatigue

  • The primary cause of fatigue is mainly the demyelination or inflammation in the brain.
  • MRI Scan of the patient shows that they use larger areas of the brain to carry out some activities and leads to more energy consumption.
  • There are also some other factors contributing to fatigue:
  • Lack of sleep because of bladder problem.
  • Lack of physical activity also has a lower energy feeling which makes fatigue.
  • Insufficient nutrition also has an impact on health and lead to tiredness.
  • Changes in temperature, an overheated room also have a temporary effect on fatigue.
  • Some medications also have the side effects of fatigue.

Signs and Symptoms

In this condition, Symptoms differs from person to person and depends on affected nerve fibers.

  • Numbness or weakness in one side of the body parts
  • Electric shock sensation with certain neck movements like bending the neck forward
  • Tremors or lack of coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • Temporary vision loss in one side of the eye and also sometimes pain in the eye during eye movement.
  • Slurred Speech

How to manage and treat Fatigue

  • Non-medical treatments
  • There are some nonmedical treatments to overcome fatigue.
  • Doing regular exercise, aerobics on some music helps in changing the mood.
  • Try to avoid overfilling your day.
  • Important to use the principal of energy consumption. Example: use the best time of shopping in the morning and resting in the afternoon. Thus brief nap helps in recharge your body.
  • If you have a drinking or drug addiction habits, try to avoid such behaviors.
  • Some persons are heat sensitive as they feel tired in a hot environment. Use of AC may be helpful.
  • If you are feeling fatigued after taking medicines, discuss with doctors for eliminating the effects.

Medical Treatments

  • Generally, it is good to avoid medicines in MS. As it helps in reducing costs and affecting health as well.
  • However, if fatigue interferes the daily activities then these are the following medicines may be helpful.

Aspirin

This is easily available OTC medicine used to treat MS-related fatigue.

However, some patients are sensitive to aspirin and stomach ulcer might occur.Therfore it is better to consult a doctor before taking it.

Amantidine

This antiviral medicines helps used in a no.of MS related cases. The drug effect is moderate and side effects are skin rash, nausea, vomiting Amantidine drug 100 mg twice a day is given in the morning and in the midday.

Modafinil

The drug is used to sleep disorders in MS patients and it has some significant effects.