Multiple sclerosis (MS) has a wide set of symptoms, which are variable and unpredictable. Fatigue is among the most common symptoms, affecting more than 80 percent of all patients.
The causes of fatigue in MS are not fully understood. Current studies are seeking tests might identify fatigue as a disease-related condition, and be used as a reliable way of measuring its severity in patients.
Common symptoms of MS caused fatigue
Fatigue in MS patients is different from just feeling tired. It is usually overwhelming and may have no obvious cause.
Many wake up from a night’s sleep feeling as tired and run-down as they were before going to bed, and feel extremely tired even with very little activity. Frequent complaints are that the limbs become heavy, and basic tasks such as writing or getting dressed become difficult.
With fatigue, some of the disease’s other symptoms may worsen temporarily, such as difficulty seeing and concentrating, or with maintaining balance.
Types of MS-related fatigue
Fatigue can show up mentally and/or physically for patients. Unfortunately, both types prevent patients from performing their everyday activities.
- It occurs on a daily basis
- It gets worse as the day progresses
- It tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity
- It is more severe than normal fatigue
- It is more likely to interfere with daily activities, at home and at work (fatigue is a major reason for changes in employment among patients)
Lassitude does not appear to be linked to stages of physical disability in patients, and is a condition apart from other types of fatigue associated with MS, such as fatigue caused by bladder problems that disturb sleep, fatigue by disease-related depression, or fatigue resulting from difficulties in performing daily tasks, like walking, bathing and dressing.