Multiple sclerosis fatigue can be successfully managed, according to research studies. Fatigue is a common complaint among multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and, unfortunately, it can negatively impact a person’s life. This is why it is so important to properly manage MS fatigue in order to improve quality of life and overall health.
Dr. Sarah Thomas, Professor Peter Thomas, and colleagues created a group-based fatigue management program for multiple sclerosis patients called FACETS (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioral and Energy effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle). Patients are provided with tools and strategies in order to properly manage their energy and explore different ways to think about fatigue.
The program is conducted through weekly sessions, facilitated by two health care professionals.
FACETS was evaluated and tested by dividing patients into two groups: those who attended FACETS and those who received routine care. The FACETS group had greater improvements in fatigue severity after a four-month follow-up, compared to the routine care group. Overall, the researchers received positive and overwhelming feedback from those in the FACETS group, not only about their enjoyment, but how they would recommend it to others, too.
Across the United Kingdom, health care professionals are cautiously becoming trained in the FACETS course in order to administer it to their own patients increasing the access and availability of the program.
Tips to beat multiple sclerosis (MS) fatigue
For now, the FACETS program is only available in the U.K., so if you live on the other side of the pond, you will need other coping mechanisms to combat multiple sclerosis fatigue.
Some tips to beat MS fatigue include:
- Exercise regularly.
- Conserve energy by taking a nap and complete the bulk of the tasks during high-energy times (usually in the morning).
- Review your medications as they could be causing fatigue – speak to your doctor about changes in medications, but never stop them without your doctor’s consent.
- Stay cool as MS fatigue can be linked with getting too hot.
- Try occupational or physical therapy to learn coping mechanisms for simplifying activities to minimize your energy use.
- Ensure you are sleeping properly and stick to a sleep schedule/routine.
- Minimize caffeine and alcohol intake – especially prior to sleep.
- Talk to your doctor about your concerns for any treatment options that may be available.