This Infoguide contains information about fatigue in myeloma, including its causes, how fatigue is treated and managed, and living with fatigue. It is written for anyone affected by myeloma, including patients, carers, family and friends.
This Infoguide covers key questions and topics about fatigue in myeloma, including:
- What is fatigue?
- Assessment of fatigue
- Causes of fatigue in myeloma
- Treatment and management of fatigue
- Living with fatigue
- Top 10 tips for living with fatigue in myeloma
- Caring for someone with fatigue
Key points you can read about in this Infoguide include:
- Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness, lethargy or exhaustion, which persists most or all of the time. It differs from ordinary tiredness and is not fully relieved by rest or sleep
- Fatigue affects almost all myeloma patients at one time or another
- Fatigue can vary from mild, with little impact, to severe and challenging to live with
- Symptoms can include reduced energy levels; reduced concentration and memory; shortness of breath after minimal activity; and changes to sleep patterns
- It is important that you tell your healthcare team how you feel, so that they can assess your fatigue and identify the causes
- Causes of fatigue can include the myeloma itself and its complications (such as anaemia, kidney problems and pain); side effects of myeloma treatments; emotional impacts of myeloma; and lifestyle changes due to myeloma
- Treating and managing fatigue will usually involve some or all of these: rest and improving sleep quality; treating underlying issues such as anaemia; controlling pain; treating infections; adjusting myeloma treatments if necessary; emotional support; eating well; and modifying activity levels
- Many patients find that fatigue can be one of the most difficult side effects of myeloma to live with. However, there are steps you can take to help you cope at home, at work, and in your social life and family life
- “Plan, pace and prioritise” are key things when you have fatigue. Do the things that matter to you each day, spread activity and chores through the week, and do things when you have energy to do them
- A small increase in physical activity, and gentle exercise, can make a big difference. Check with your healthcare team before starting any new form of exercise
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