Lifestyle changes to cope with MS fatigue

If you're suffering from MS-related fatigue, it's important to see your doctor first to pinpoint the causes of your fatigue. Fatigue is often related to MS symptoms and medical conditions that need treatment. However, there are also a few simple lifestyle changes that can help you cope with fatigue.

Embrace the nap. Used appropriately, napping can help give you a real energy boost. The ideal nap lasts 10-30 minutes. It should be a time for quiet rest. Even if you don't fall asleep, the rest will still help recharge you. You can nap up to three times a day. Talk to your doctor or occupational therapist about the best nap schedules for you – napping shouldn't get in the way of a good night's sleep.

Keep cool. Hot temperatures can make fatigue worse. Talk to your doctor or occupational therapist about ways to beat the heat. Having a cool drink, staying in the shade, taking breaks when you get overheated, and using air conditioning can all help you stay cool and refreshed.

Exercise. Does the thought of exercise make you feel exhausted? Believe it or not, exercise can actually help you feel less tired and give you more energy. Check with your physiotherapist to find the exercise that's right for you, and inform your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Prioritize. We only have so much energy. Don't waste time and energy on things that aren't really important to you. Focus on the things that matter, and schedule them for times when you have the most energy.

Take good care of yourself. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about starting a healthy eating plan. Poor nutrition can make you feel tired and weak. If you are a smoker, consider quitting. Smoking makes it harder to breathe, and not getting enough air can tire you out. Quitting could be the breath of fresh air that you need.

These lifestyle changes can help you cope with fatigue and find new energy. If you're still struggling with fatigue after trying these tips, talk to your doctor.

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