Everyone feels tired sometimes but usually it can be explained by a busy day or lack of sleep. Post-stroke fatigue for stroke survivors is different and is one of the most common effects of stroke. Post-stroke fatigue is not necessarily related to activity level or quality of sleep and does not always improve with rest.
What is post-stroke fatigue?
Post-stroke fatigue, the invisible symptom, affects between 40 and 70 percent of stroke survivors. It can make you feel unwell and like you are not in control of your recovery. The lack of energy and the need for frequent rest breaks can make it difficult for you to participate in rehabilitation and other everyday activities.
Post-stroke fatigue is often confused with “being tired.” It is not necessarily the same as tiredness, because it arrives without warning and rest does not always make it better. It occurs differently in every individual. It may feel like you are hitting the wall, physically, emotionally, and/or mentally.
Many factors can influence your level of fatigue following a stroke, including:
Can post-stroke fatigue be treated?
There is no specific treatment or medication to treat post-stroke fatigue. Talk to your healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis for the cause of your fatigue. If fatigue is a side effect of medications you are taking perhaps doses, time of day, or an alternative medication might help. If depression seems to be the root cause of your fatigue it can be treated in a number of ways. An accurate picture of the cause of the post-stroke fatigue is necessary for proper treatment.
Tips to live with post-stroke fatigue
Most stroke survivors start feeling less tired after a few months. Making changes to some of your activities can help reduce the grinding burden of fatigue and promote recovery. Being tired is very common after a stroke, so remember it is not your fault. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your daily life that can help as you move forward with recovery:
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