What causes the fatigue?

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What causes the fatigue?

Postby Karazhan » Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:13 pm

I think I have a moderate understanding of the way MS works, T cells attack the myalin sheath of specific nerves which affect certain body parts. What I don't understand is how it causes general fatigue.
When asked about fatigue as a symptom of MS, I never really know how to answer. I mean, am I more or less tired than the average person? Am I just lazy, unmotivated, depressed? I don't have a definitive answer to these questions. What I do know is this; I avoid social situations and recreational activities that I used to LOVE because it just doesn't seem worth the exhaustion I'll feel during and after. I mostly blame the Rebif now but this goes back a lot further than the meds. Any thoughts?
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Postby Lyon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:02 am

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Postby Terry » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:18 am

I have a feeling it is an oxygen issue. Just my guess.
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Postby Lyon » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:32 am

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Postby chrishasms » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:54 am

I always figured it was a tiredness resulting from your body working constantly by attacking itself.
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Postby cheerleader » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:00 am

Karazhan-
So sorry the fatigue has got you down (literally) It's the most difficult part of my husband's MS. He was falling asleep driving, talking, mid-sentence. He takes provigil now as well as a combo of EGCG, quercetin and bromelain and can make it thru the day. He also takes medication for depression. Like you, he is far from lazy or a downer. Prior to MS he was a pretty up and energetic guy.

His new dr. thinks it is part of the cerebral congestion he shows due to bilateral jugular vein stenosis, and is expecting Jeff will get relief once his stent is in place. He also hopes Jeff will throw those pills away. It will be anecdotal evidence (at first)- if he and the 100 other liberation procedure folks get relief. We'll see more in the coming months, as the research is documented.

Hope you find some relief. Know that you are not alone in the troubling issue of fatigue...
AC
Also...most of Jeff's lesions are in his brain (20) and one on the cervical spine, adjacent to his jugular vein blockage. Do you know if your damage is more in the head or spine, K?
Last edited by cheerleader on Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Husband dx RRMS 3/07
dx dual jugular vein stenosis (CCSVI) 4/09
http://ccsviinms.blogspot.com
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Re: What causes the fatigue?

Postby HarryZ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:08 am

Initially, MS docs thought that the fatigue in patients was caused by the difficulty nerve signals from the brain experienced when trying to move along scarred or damaged nerves.

Then, about 5 years ago, I attended a MS info seminar here and the neuro stated that researchers had found some evidence that the majority of MS fatigue came from a lack of certain chemical reactions in the brain. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to ask the doc to elaborate about her comment.

This brings me to the huge amount of fatigue that my wife suffered in the late 90's as her MS became SPMS. In 2000, she started to use the alternative treatment Prokarin. As they saw in the clincial trial for Prokarin, the amount of Acetyl Aspartate (important chemical in the brain) rose dramatically in the patients who were on the Prokarin. Very shortly after starting the Prokarin, my wife's fatigue levels dropped dramatically and they never reached the previous levels prior to her death.

So I'm not sure the docs really know exactly what causes the fatigue in MS patients and the variance of this symptom in the patients doesn't make the answer any easier.

Harry
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Postby peekaboo » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:53 am

i think the fatigue comes from many factors. When i try to walk it is very difficult just going 5 steps w/a walker. the extra energy it takes must cause some fatigue...

having to work harder at certain tasks even cognitive tasks can create mental fatigue.

the fact that one has ms must effect emotional fatigue.

we get it from all sides :cry:
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Postby robbie » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:02 am

we get it from all sides

everything peekaboo said
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby Bubba » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:05 am

robbie wrote:
we get it from all sides

everything peekaboo said


But let me ask you this...
What about those of us who have not progressed that far yet? Those of us in the early stages who dont need the use of a walker or any other medical device. I still workout, and have to run a mile and a half once a year for my job, and believe me, I count my BLESSINGS everyday. But, I still get that massive, quick onset of extreme whole body fatigue. I kinda was leaning towards what chris stated. I believe that we have so much constantly going on in our body, that the body just reaches a point where it says.... Enough Already! Relax, or I will make you...
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Postby robbie » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:21 am

Enough Already! Relax, or I will make you...

i agree Bubba i use to be the same way
Had ms for over 19 years now.
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Postby mrhodes40 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:41 pm

Harry can you link the study that showed the increase in NAA for us?
marie
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Postby itsjustme » Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:24 pm

Last year my neurologist, at Rush University - Chicago, said it was something about brain biochemistry.

I don't remember exactly which two compounds he spoke of - which is why I went with the generic term "brain biochemistry". He said something about how the brain is erroneously consuming, let's say serotonin when it should be using tryptophan. This leaves as excess of tryptophan making the brain sleepy.

I guess it's similar to how a general anesthetic can put you to sleep even though you are nervously wide awake. The brain is going to sleep first and then the body after wards.
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Postby HarryZ » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:49 pm

mrhodes40 wrote:Harry can you link the study that showed the increase in NAA for us?
marie


Marie,

I can direct you to the abstract of the Prokarin clinical trial but it doesn't go into the detail about the brain chemistry that was found by Dr. Richards who did the brain scanning and discovered the info about the acetyl aspartate. I can remember seeing a video of his comments on this but it was data collected outside the formal trial. If you want, I can make an attempt to locate this information from my sources but it will take some time since the trial was done in 2002. Please let me know if you want me to do this. Thanks.

Harry
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Postby flipflopper » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:50 pm

Fatigue is really taking its toll on me today. After a one minute search on Google, I have included some articles to read on the topic. (It should be noted however that the studies had a small number of participants)

Essentially the studies have pointed to the fact "that widespread axonal dysfunction is associated with fatigue in MS. Increased recruitment of cortical areas and pathways in response to brain injury may be responsible for the patient's sense that the effort required to perform actions is disproportionately high."


http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/469596

http://archneur.ama-assn.org/cgi/reprint/61/2/201.pdf

http://www.springerlink.com/content/7m12054t72008703/
Last edited by flipflopper on Thu May 07, 2009 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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