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Fatigue

Fatigue - an overwhelming tiredness - is one of the most common invisible symptoms of MS.

Some people find it's the symptom that affects them most. But there are ways to manage it and minimise its effects on your life.

What causes MS fatigue?

Different factors can cause fatigue when you have MS. We separate them into primary fatigue and secondary fatigue.

  • Primary fatigue is caused by MS damage in the brain and spinal cord. And lots of processes might be involved. One idea from researchers is that passing messages around nerve damage takes extra energy.
  • Secondary fatigue is caused by living with MS symptoms like pain, or disturbed sleep.

What does MS fatigue feel like?

MS fatigue isn't like normal tiredness. In this video, people with MS speak about how their fatigue feels to them. Want to find techniques and tips to manage your fatigue? Explore our online fatigue-management course

In this section

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About fatigue

Fatigue in MS is not just an ordinary tiredness, like you might get at the end of a hard day's work.
Read more about fatigue
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Causes of fatigue

There are two main ways we talk about what causes MS fatigue: primary and secondary.
Find out the causes of fatigue
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Managing fatigue

There are lots of things you can try to minimise your levels of fatigue.
Find out how to manage fatigue
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For me, fatigue feels like I'm swimming in thick chocolate (I can dream!) and usually I can't carry on. But I've learnt not to put pressure on myself. I can only do my best. Joanne, a mum with MS
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Find support near you

We can't meet face-to-face right now. But there's still lots of ways to connect with people near you who understand what life's like with MS. From coffee mornings to online yoga classes. Put in your postcode to find out what's near you.

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