Tips for Managing Fatigue When You Have FAP

Tips for Managing Fatigue When You Have FAP
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Fatigue is defined as extended periods of exhaustion or lack of energy and can be a symptom for patients with neuromuscular disorders such as familial amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP). Fatigue can be physical, mental, or emotional.

FAP and fatigue

FAP is a progressive genetic disorder where abnormal proteins called amyloid fibrils build up inside tissues. The buildup of amyloid within the nervous system can lead to many symptoms, which can make it hard to rest and cause  fatigue.

FAP also can result in a buildup of amyloid in the heart, causing stiffening of the heart muscle. The stiffened heart muscle won’t be able to pump as much oxygen-rich blood to the body as before, which also can cause fatigue.

Lifestyle changes for managing fatigue

Several lifestyle changes can improve feelings of fatigue.

Eating healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables can help reduce fatigue as your body may be lacking key nutrients.

Also, make sure you drink enough water throughout the day; many people who experience fatigue are mildly dehydrated.

Even though you may feel as though you have low energy, research has shown that increases in physical activity can reduce fatigue. However, make sure you pace yourself and take frequent breaks so as not to exhaust yourself.

Other lifestyle changes that can improve fatigue are to quit smoking, reduce alcohol consumption, and avoid recreational drug use.

Life with a rare disease can be stressful and stress and anxiety can play a role in fatigue. Relaxation and meditation exercises can help reduce stress. Cognitive-behavioral therapy also can be useful to learn techniques to reduce and deal with stress in your life.

It is important to make sure you are getting enough rest. Try to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per day as The National Sleep Foundation recommends. Make sure that you limit the use of electronics before bedtime because light from the screens can interfere with your sleep cycle.

Also make sure to avoid caffeine, sugar, and large meals several hours before bedtime. Relaxing activities such as a warm bath or reading a book before bedtime can help with insomnia. Pain also can interfere with your ability to sleep, so pain management strategies, including medications or heating pads, may help you sleep more comfortably. 

Expert advice

If you are struggling with fatigue, consult with your physician about possible causes and remedies. Some medications you use may be contributing to drowsiness and fatigue. They also may be interfering with your ability to sleep.

There may be some medications your physician could prescribe to help increase your energy levels.

It also is important to consult with your physician before making any large changes in your lifestyle, such as starting exercise and making dietary changes.

 

Last updated: Sept. 10, 2020

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FAP News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

 

Brian holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has co-authored numerous scientific articles based on his previous research in the field of brain-computer interfaces and functional electrical stimulation. He is also passionate about making scientific advances easily accessible to the public.
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Özge has a MSc. in Molecular Genetics from the University of Leicester and a PhD in Developmental Biology from Queen Mary University of London. She worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester for six years in the field of Behavioural Neurology before moving into science communication. She worked as the Research Communication Officer at a London based charity for almost two years.
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Brian holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He has co-authored numerous scientific articles based on his previous research in the field of brain-computer interfaces and functional electrical stimulation. He is also passionate about making scientific advances easily accessible to the public.
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