6 Common Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue

As part of MS Awareness Month, we’re talking about how chronic fatigue can play a big role in multiple sclerosis. If you suffer from a chronic illness like MS, then it’s highly likely that you’ll experience fatigue from time to time. Fatigue is different than just feeling tired, and generally it’s not something that can be fixed with an early night or by taking a little break.

With tips from the pros at prevention.com, we’ve put together a list of six ways that chronic fatigue can affect sufferers on a daily basis.

You feel extremely exhausted. 

Everyone experiences feeling tired and worn out from time to time but chronic fatigue takes this a step further. People will often avoid doing things they enjoy because they don’t have the energy to go out or even get off the sofa. Getting through a day at work or school will leave them feeling extremely exhausted as though they have gone through their energy reserves and have nothing left.

You can’t get a good night’s sleep. 

You would imagine that fatigue could be solved with sleep, but patients who suffer from chronic fatigue often have trouble falling asleep or wake constantly throughout the night. This lack of sleep (or disturbed sleep) only adds to the problem and makes the fatigue worse. Even if you do get to sleep, many find that they don’t feel any better when they wake up.

Find out more about Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month here.

29 comments

  1. Teena Quinn says:

    Thankyou. I think i have finally clicked why I only sleep 3 hours a night and why I walk into walls. Fatigue! Thanks so much!

  2. Dave Garrett says:

    I’ve had MS now for 8 years and just now it affects my balance, speech, walking among other “ordinary” things that we all take for granted!!

    Please appreciate these things while you still have them!
    MS being a progressive Disease can strip you from your common abilities overnight!!!

    • Beverly says:

      Dave, I have a son Jacob who has MS. I will pray for you and ask For God’s amazing healing for you. I know how you feel, and watch my son struggle all the time. However, he is my hero and never complains and holds a full time job that he loves. I pray that a cure will be found soon. God Bless you, Dave! Bev

    • Theresa martin says:

      Amen.ive had ms for 23 years just in the last my walking ,speech and my right side is weaker then left.good luck with everything.i have realized that things could always be worse.i am greatful because I am still walking,etc,etc,etc,oops systems have gotten worse in last year and I beleave they r permanent.

  3. Gstine says:

    How do you find a good neurologist? My primary doc sent me to one suspecting ms with my complaints of balance issues, pain & complete exhaustion. All he did was blood work to check my cholesterol & b12. Which were fine. Then never heard back from like next step should be. No follow up at all. Any ideas? Help. I’ve missed days of work literally due to exhaustion or problems walking & knee problems

    • LaVerne says:

      I had an MRI and lumbar puncture or spinal tap. The Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) gotten from the spinal tap definitive proof they were looking for. I had the specific enzymes like elevated levels of leg antibodies, as well as proteins called ologoclonal bands and other proteins indicating the breakdown of products of myelin. These indicate and the bodies immune response against itself; MS is an autoimmune disease. Not everyone has these proteins, but many if us do along with myriad other symptoms.

      Good luck to you!

    • Mary says:

      Call your MS society or google neurologist in your area. It’s a trial and error situation like anything else. You’ll know when you have a good one. I’ve had MS for 30 years and have been going to the Sam’s neuro the entire time.

      • Nora Fryman says:

        I was diagnosed in 1990 with MSso it been 27 yrs. My primary doctor sent me to my neurologist and have had a pretty good 27yrs except for the fatigue. It stinks but you have to try to go on with your life as much as you can. Sometimes you just have to get away from everything and rest as much as you can. I know everyone can’t do this, but just a day sometimes lets you recharge. I have been with the same neurologist all this time. He is wonderful Dr and by this time I consider him a good friend. He has been there for me in so many ways. Always answers my question as much as he can. I am 70yrs old so I feel blessed in so many. I didn’t have to start on injections until 2008 after having an MRI that was scheduled just to check and had a few new lesions,did not have a lot when I was first diagnosed and he kept pretty close watch on me and that was 18 yrs after first being diagnosed. I thank God that He brought me to this wonderful Dr and also for being in such good health other than the usual little things that pop up. I wish everyone good days and that you have a good neurologist that is a good MS Dr.

    • R Reicherts says:

      Get a spinal tap, mri done and check you D levels in blood work up find a neurologist who specializes in ms good luck

      • Pam says:

        I am scheduled for MRI soon but its for spinal stenois. I have felt for long time I have MS. I have all signs. Plus my older brother had MS. I am having full spine MRI will they be able to see if I have.
        Thank you
        Pam

    • Karla says:

      Sometimes it takes a while to find a Neurologist that you click with, they are kind of a strange group! , but there is a great one out there for you! Just keep looking until you find one that you like. It’s important to have a Dr that you can talk to and will listen to you. Sometimes they are the ones that know what you are going through. Just keep looking, I promise there are some good ones out there! Just look until you find the one for you!

    • Lyn says:

      Have your primary doctor refer you to a MS Clinic. The Neurologists specialize in MS and you will have more treatment options if you do have MS.

      • Linda SansSouci says:

        I agree. An MS Clinic, especially associated with a Medical School is the best place. Those docs see MS patients in all different kind of stages, and ages, and situations, and they know best how to tailor the treatment to a particular patient. I have had MS now since 1980, mostly in my eyes. My mother had it and my oldest daughter has it also. Theirs was very similar in progression, whereas, mine has been quiet for the most part. I feel very fortunate and almost guilty. Right now, however, after no relapse since 2002, both my legs are very weak, and my regular neurologist is 65 miles away. I have been off the Avonex now for years after taking it for 15. I am reluctant to go to any other doctor, but can only take medication for which there is financial support, as Biogen does. I was lucky enough to work until retirement age. Prayers to everyone in their own struggles. A positive attitude does seem to help!

    • Edith Cheney says:

      Gstine, most neurologists see very few MS patients. Don’t know where you live but try to find an MS Clinic. The one I go to sees thousands of people and you have a better chance to get a diagnosis there and get treatment started as soon as possible.

      • Theresa martin says:

        I have just in the last year found a new doctor he is an ms specialist.i foundly found someone who New what they were doing.

    • Candace Skeen says:

      I have major problems with my neurologist. See if your primary will order an MRI with and without contrast of brain, upper thorasic. Maybe with those actual results the neurologist will treat you like a real patient? I find with specialists, you have to be your own doctor to a degree… but I’m on medicaid…so the test that too.

    • Malora says:

      Your regular doctor can order tests like an EMG(which is not pleasant) or an mri. From the results of the mri is when they sent me to a neurologist who ordered a spinal tap and confirmed MS.

    • Brenda says:

      Diagnosed 10 years ago. I first had a spinal tap, but what confirmed diagnosis was a PET scan to rule out other conditions.

    • M. Lynn Gorman says:

      If your neurologist just did blood work, when you had balance/neurological problems, you need a new neurologist. Check around and see if any specialize in MS. At least the neurologist should do an MRI and maybe a lumbar puncture.

    • Judy Clark says:

      It took my neurologist a year to determine I has MS. I was still falling and not getting any better so he did a spinal tap and it determined that I did have MS.

  4. carla ryan says:

    I have had MS for 30 years now have had some major ups and downs with it. In the hospital several times with it. I want to thank you for this site. All these years and finding out there is a chronic fatigue syndrome. I have that a lot.So thankyou.

  5. Jim Bachelder says:

    Definitely get an MRI done and a spinal tap. That will give a good neurologist all he needs to know. I was DXed in 2003 after years of “mysterious” symptoms. I was blessed in that I fell and broke my arm while trying to play golf. I told of weakness in my extremities and loss of balance. Mine remained fairly benign for a few years then worsened rapidly. Good luck and don’t give up!

  6. Rhonda Waldroup says:

    I have had MS for over 13 years and experience chronic fatigue often. Before I was diagnosed I had it so bad for 2 years that most days I stayed in bed and slept the days away but still woke up 3 to 4 times a night.

  7. Dee Bentley says:

    Hi there,

    Hope you read my quiteMS lengthy comment I left you the other day.
    I was the one from SC and moved up to NC…
    Went to a Specialist that only takes MS patients and I gave her all the Neurologist records and a CD of my MRI, she stated I did not MS??!!
    Hope you can remember me, as I’m not certain I gave my name.
    Truly

  8. Dee Bentley says:

    Hi there,
    I left you a quie lengthy post a few days ago.
    I was the one Who lived in South Carolina and had the same Neurologist for 22 years not all for
    MS.
    About nine years ago he diagnosed me with an S and I was on medication review 44 MCG’s three times a week .
    Trying to get used to having MS and having to change my whole life circle, which I did I had all the symptoms of MS had several relapses had to go to the hospital for infusions several times.

    I recently moved to North Carolina and went to MS specialist in a row and she had all my records and a CD of my MRI and what I went back to visit her she’s told me I did not have an MS!
    S
    So I’m hoping with this information that you can find the comment that I Left.
    As you can imagine here I’m treating myself for MS have all the symptoms and such when I moved up to North Carolina want to wait forest and that’s the news I got.
    So I went to another neurologist up and wake forest and he said I did not have a mess and I cried of course as you can well imagine.
    So I deseed the rebirth and I asked him what do I have he says I cannot give you a diagnosis of what you have there are many people that come to me with the same symptoms and their MRIs don’t show any flareup so this is part of the comment I sent you a couple days ago maybe you can locate it thank you so much!

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