Friday, January 27, 2012

Battling MS Fatigue

Lassitude a.k.a. physical or mental weariness a.k.a. MS Fatigue.  This is fatigue like no other.  It's not caused by lack of sleep or running around like a headless chicken even though it feels that way.  Fatigue typically hits me between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  I start to feel very sluggish despite the fact that I slept for 6 to 7 hours the night before.  I don't drink more than one cup of coffee per day because I am naturally hyper.  Some doctors might be tempted to diagnose me with ADD if they were to ask my family what I'm like between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.  For me that's my down time which is usually spent blogging, talking, doing puzzles, cooking, reading, or watching TV and doing at least 3 of these activities at the same time.

Here are some things I found about fatigue that I thought would be helpful for the MS community or anyone  else trying to combat fatigue.

Get a B12 boost, especially if you take meds used to treat heartburn, cholesterol and diabetes which hinder B12's absorption.  Also if you are a vegetarian since the vitamin is found in red meat.  By taking 1,000 mcg. of sublingual (under the tongue) B12 daily, your energy levels can improve within 3 weeks.  They are absorbed 5 times better than regular B12 pills.  Always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.

Potassium beats fatigue!  Fatigue is the number one symptom for those who are low in potassium.  Eat one cup of potassium rich foods daily, which is essential for energy production inside muscle and brain cells.  A few great picks are: spinach, sweet potatoes (love these), beans, lentils, tomato sauce and potatoes with skins.  Of course you could always go BANANAS!

Brighten your mood with clary sage.  Yes, this essential oil locks onto the same brain receptors that antidepressant medications do which increases serotonin output and can cut fatigue and tension as much as 50%.  Keep a vial of clary sage oil handy and inhale slowly and deeply four times daily or whenever you need an energy boost.  You can find this oil at just about any health food store.

Skip coffee.  Hmm, did I just say that?  Well, maybe in the afternoon, once you've already had at least one cup of coffee for the day.  Really, try cocoa made with dark chocolate instead.  Antioxidant rich flavanols in dark chocolate pump more blood to the brain, providing it with energy-revving nutrients.

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