Almost everyone who has multiple sclerosis (MS) also has fatigue. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), around 80 percent of those diagnosed with the condition will experience fatigue at some point during the course of the disease. However, the exact cause of MS-related fatigue remains unknown.
A Different Kind of Tired
Before learning how to beat fatigue, it’s useful to understand the types of fatigue you may face when you have MS. Researchers have started to identify a number of distinct characteristics associated specifically with MS that make it quite different from garden-variety tiredness, such as:
- Onset: It can begin suddenly.
- Frequency: It often occurs every day.
- Time of day: It can occur in the morning, despite having slept the night before.
- Progression: It commonly worsens throughout the day.
- Heat-sensitive: Heat and humidity may aggravate it.
- Severity: It tends to be more severe than other types of fatigue.
- Effect on activities: It is more likely than regular fatigue to disrupt ability to perform everyday tasks.