Fighting Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis: Practical Ways to Create New Habits and Increase Your Energy by Nancy A. LowensteinPeople with multiple sclerosis commonly resort to caffeine, sugar, medications, and other substances to combat the problem of fatigue, with mixed results and uncertain health effects. Research has shown that the drug-free energy conservation techniques taught by occupational therapists have a positive impact on an individual’s ability to deal with this debilitating symptom. Written by Nancy Lowenstein, an experienced occupational therapist, Managing Fatigue with Multiple Sclerosis offers those with MS easy-to-learn techniques that help them regain the energy to fully engage in life. Too often, people with MS give up the activities they enjoy in order to accomplish the day’s chores. This book supplies the tools they need to manage their time and activities in order to do both. Lowenstein’s expertise on fatigue management, rehabilitation, and environmental modifications make this an essential guide for dealing with fatigue and multiple sclerosis.
Life with MS
Am J Occup Ther ;61 1 This study describes the use and perceived effectiveness of energy conservation strategies by persons with multiple sclerosis after participation in an energy conservation course. One hundred twenty-three participants completed a survey about their use of energy conservation strategies. Strategies that involved rest and delegation were used most and rated most effective, followed by modifying priorities and standards. The most common reason for not implementing strategies was that participants were already using them.
Energy conservation and work simplification refer to completing tasks in the most energy efficient way, in order to have enough energy for the activities you enjoy most. The following are some principles of energy conservation and work simplification that will help you plan your activities to conserve your energy, and pace yourself appropriately. Plan, set priorities, and balance your activities when planning your day. While planning your day, keep in mind the tasks that must get done and the leisure activities you want to do. The key is balance. Spread heavy and light tasks throughout the day or week, and make time for leisure.
The goal of occupational therapy is to help you maintain everyday skills needed for independent living and productivity at home and work. Your occupational therapist will help you improve strength, movement, and coordination, train you to carry out functions of daily living including use of adaptive and assistive technologies , help you compensate for cognitive and sensory impairments , and instruct you in strategies for maximizing energy. In the following sections we introduce some occupational therapy interventions to address various symptoms or functional areas, such as mobility or household tasks. One area where adaptive or assistive technologies really come in handy is that of personal hygiene and bathroom use. Your occupational therapist is uniquely qualified to work with you to make your bathroom and your personal care routines safe and efficient with the right equipment and training in the best way to carry out certain tasks.
Description Overwhelming lassitude or tiredness at any time of day Not correlated with activity level or quality and quantity of sleep Often exacerbated by heat. Description Mood disorders-depression, anxiety Stress Commorbidities-acute infection, injury and chronic diabetes, thyroid disorders Poor diet Sleep disorders Nocturia Pain and spasticity Decreased physical activity-muscle weakness and deconditioning Environmental factors-temperature Medication side effects. Inability to carry out activities at home and at work a major factor in early departure from the workforce and changes in family roles Fatigue of this magnitude affects mood and quality of life Invisible symptom that is easily misinterpreted by others as laziness or disinterest.
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