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MS fatigue funk

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  • MS fatigue funk

    Unrelenting fatigue has got to be my most frustrating symptom. The occasional tiredness, I can deal with. The fact that my leg doesn't always listen to me, I can deal with. The fact that I purposely inject myself with meds that basically give me the flu once a week, I can deal with. The fatigue funk that hits me like a train at least one week every month, not so much.

    The best way I can describe it is: (1) take the most physically exhausting thing you can think of and do it. When you're done, don't take a nap or a shower or whatever you would normally do to re-energize yourself. (2) Now take the most mentally exhausting thing you can think of and do it. Again, don't do anything to re-energize yourself. (3) Now take that feeling of pure and unrelenting exhaustion and imagine feeling that way 24/7 and attempt to get even the simplest must do things done - go to work, clean your house, run errands, make yourself something to eat. Not so easy, huh?

    I think the worst part is most people just don't understand. They get upset when I cancel plans or think I'm just looking for sympathy or complaining about nothing. So frustrating!

    If anyone has any suggestions on keeping these funks a little more at bay, I'm open to suggestions. I take vitamins. I try to eat healthy. I force myself to go to the studio a couple hours a week. Other than that, I'm at a loss. I live by myself, so there's really no one here to pick up the slack. So, that's not really an option.

    Oh well -- enough rambling. Time to drag my ass off the couch and pick up a little around here before I lay down again.

    Until next time... be well.

    P.S. Forgot to add in that it's gotten worse since it's really started heating up here. It's 110 during the day here in Arizona and now it's monsoon season so it's humid as well. Oh and a cold shower? Yeah, there's no such thing here in the summer.
    Last edited by AZgal; 07-20-2013, 02:08 PM.

  • #2
    I take the combination acytl-l-carnitine and alpha lipoic acid for fatigue and it seems to really help me, but this could be just anecdotal. But there is growing evidence that once nerve demyelination occurs, the axon requires much more energy than normal nerves. There is also evidence that the amont of mitochondria in the exposed axon increases over that of normal nerves in an attempt to supply more energy (fatigue may also be a side effect if this). So, MS may degenerate into a Mitochondrial disease. Here is a link to an organization that has suggestions that may help mitochondrial disease:


    • #3
      Fatigue funks are no fun, and you are right, it is hard to explain. It's on my to-do list for a future blog.

      As for busting out of it, how much cardio are you doing daily? As counterintuitive as it sounds, that's one way to break the fatigue funk. That combined with cold (and for many, Provigil). An active cooling vest might do wonders, although they are pricey. Keep us posted....
      Dave Bexfield


      • #4
        ..... oh hi! just rousing myself from yet another close examination of the back of my eyelids .... glad you brought this up!

        It is certainly true for me that getting some aerobic activity, something to get my heart rate up, helps counteract fatigue. It's a better quality fatigue somehow and resting after a short workout puts something back that's been missing. So I start slowly, a walk around the block, 20 min spin in my living room, heck even walking the aisles in the grocery store counts in my book.

        I've also used and like, acytl-l-carnitine, but when I'm really having a problem with fatigue I have yet to find something that works for long. And you know, it's really ok to rest - don't beat yourself up, that takes energy too.

        I have had occasion to travel to AZ for work during the summer.... it is incredibly hot there this time of year and I marvel that anyone with MS survives that kind of heat. I would imagine that finding a way to stay cool while you exercise would be a challenge.

        I also live alone, except for the cat; he's good company but he doesn't have thumbs so he's not much help. I totally know what it's like to have to fend for yourself when your body is not cooperating. I'm having to put all my tricks through their paces lately, and I'm thankful for the many really good reminders on this forum.


        My Two Numb Feet - An MS Diary


        • #5
          Thanks for the comments! I went to see my neuro yesterday. Sometimes he just cracks me up

          Re the fatigue funk I've been having lately, especially since it's gotten warmer, he says "yeah the heat and MS do not play well together." On top of that the Horizant I'm on to keep my RLS under control (thank you MS for making my RLS take over my whole body) also makes me tired. He says to try and stay as cool as possible and stay inside in the summer. BOO to staying inside.

          He won't put me on Provigil because I am able to drag my ass to work everyday and make it through a work day without falling asleep. After work though, not much else gets done.

          I don't do much "cardio." I go to the studio a couple times a week, but that's not really cardio and that doesn't seem to help. I've also been on a few hikes (well, now they're more like strolls). That didn't help, but then again that's outside in the lovely heat.

          I started PT yesterday though, as my drop foot has gotten worse and I don't want to wear a brace. They had me do a leisurely warm up on a reclining bike and them a million different heel and toe lift exercises. I did feel a bit better yesterday after that. If this is a result again tomorrow when I go, I think I'm going to look into getting one for the house.

          Be well everyone and keep cool



          • #6
            Oil of oregano helps keep that funk away from me. Two gelcaps a day, in the morning. If I miss a dose I'm sleepy. It's a cheap experiment to see if it works. Buy a little bottle and take some every day for a week. You'll know if it works or not by then. If it works, buy in bulk!