How does CFS/FMS fatigue differ from MS fatigue?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by SweetT, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    I have a friend who has MS and while she uses a scooter or wheelchair to get around, she can actually do things in the evening, after working all day. She said she gets more energy at night. But for me, I can only do things for a couple of hours at a time, whether a weekday or weekend. She said she takes Provigil and that helps her. Any ideas????
  2. tansy

    tansy New Member


    From The MS Information Sourcebook, produced by the National MS Society.

    Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of MS, occurring in about 80% of people. Fatigue can significantly interfere with a person's ability to function at home and at work, and may be the most prominent symptom in a person who otherwise has minimal activity limitations. Fatigue is a most important cause of early departure from the workforce.

    What Makes MS Fatigue Different?
    Several different kinds of fatigue occur in patients with MS. For example, patients who have bladder dysfunction (producing night-time awakenings) or patients with nocturnal spasms, may be sleep deprived and suffer from fatigue as a result. Patients who are depressed may also suffer fatigue. Patients who need to expend considerable effort just to accomplish daily tasks (e.g., dressing, brushing teeth, bathing, preparing meals) may suffer from considerable fatigue as a result.

    However, in addition to the other sources of fatigue, there is another kind of fatigue that affects MS patients. Researchers are beginning to outline the characteristics of this so-called 'MS fatigue' that make it different from fatigue experienced by persons without MS.

    Generally occurs on a daily basis

    May occur early in the morning, even after a restful night's sleep

    Tends to worsen as the day progresses

    Tends to be aggravated by heat and humidity

    Comes on more easily and suddenly

    Is generally more severe than normal fatigue

    Is more likely to interfere with daily responsibilities

    MS-related fatigue does not appear to be directly correlated with either depression or the degree of physical impairment.

    Cause of Fatigue in MS Remains Unknown
    The cause of fatigue in MS is currently unknown. Ongoing studies are seeking to find an objective test that can be used as a marker for fatigue and for precise ways to measure it. Some people with MS say that family members, friends, co-workers, or employers sometimes misinterpret their fatigue and think the person is depressed or just not trying hard enough.

    Medical Recommendation to Deal with Fatigue
    Because fatigue can also be caused by treatable medical conditions such as depression, thyroid disease, or anemia, or may occur as a side effect of various medications or be the result of inactivity, persons with MS should consult a physician if fatigue becomes a problem. A comprehensive evaluation can help identify the factors contributing to fatigue and develop an approach suited to the individual.

    Options for dealing with fatigue include:

    Occupational therapy to simplify tasks at work and home.

    Physical therapy to learn energy-saving ways of walking (with or without assistive devices) and performing other daily tasks, and to develop a regular exercise program.

    Sleep regulation, which might involve treating other MS symptoms that interfere with sleep (e.g., spasticity, urinary problems) and using sleep medications on a short-term basis.

    Psychological interventions, such as stress management, relaxation training, membership in a support group, or psychotherapy.

    Heat management—strategies to avoid overheating and to cool down.

    Medications—amantadine hydrochloride and modafinil (Provigil®) are the most commonly prescribed. While neither is approved specifically by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MS-related fatigue, each has demonstrated some benefit in clinical trials. The most recent trial of modafinil, however, reported no difference between modafinil and placebo in relieving fatigue.
  3. SweetT

    SweetT New Member

    I know how MS fatigue is similar, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how it differs from CFS fatigue. I have those exact same symptoms, struggles, yet I don't have MS (per an MRI done almost a year ago).
  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    that comes to mind is post exertional malaise.

  5. jadibeler

    jadibeler New Member

    I have FM, not CFS, but the fatigue has always been my worst problem. I didn't see any difference in the list of MS fatigue and mine.

    I do believe the cortisol connection is valid. I took Drenatrophin for a year and improved so much that I felt NORMAL! (along with Cellfood) A year and a half after I stopped both of them I'm back to a lot of the fatigue, not able to sleep, more awake at night (I'm up all night, sleep from around 5:00-6:00 AM until noon or so) but I was also treating Candida with very low carb diet and Oil of Oregano, which I have also stopped.

    I wonder if any of these things can relieve the fatigue in MS. (I was sure that's what I had instead of FM but MRI said no)
  6. wuki1

    wuki1 New Member

    and I can't really tell the difference in fatigue. I believe most of my fatigue comes from the fibro side but who knows?? Provigil and Amantadine are 2 drugs they use to try to help MS fatigue. I used Amantadine and felt no difference.

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