Managing fatigue

Breathlessness Advice and Support (BAS)

BAS is for those who:

  • Experience breathlessness at rest and/or during activity
  • Live with/support someone who suffers from breathlessness

Introduction

Breathing problems are very common in people who have heart and lung conditions, cancer and neurological conditions. Breathlessness can be disabling and frightening.

Being breathless can affect your appetite and the types of food you eat.

This leaflet provides basic advice on how to manage breathlessness through diet and nutrition

Managing your Fatigue

What is fatigue?    

Fatigue is the feeling of extreme tiredness. It is a common symptom in many long-term conditions.

The aim of this information sheet is to help you to manage your fatigue in day-to-day life. Much of the advice here is common sense, but it can be helpful to have it written down as a reminder.

What can cause fatigue?

  • Anaemia
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Medication
  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor nutrition and weight loss
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Lack of sleep
  • Other medical problems

How fatigue can affect you:

  • Decreased energy levels and general tiredness
  • Poor concentration and difficulty remembering things
  • Generalised weakness, reduced mobility and joint stiffness
  • Lack of motivation and difficulty completing daily tasks

What can help?

Friends and relatives – understanding your fatigue patterns. This will enable them to help you make lifestyle adjustments.

Planning your day – Consider which time of day is best for you and try to plan activities around that time. Alternate heavier tasks with lighter ones and try to space activities out over the course of the week.

Prioritising – With limited amounts of energy it may help to prioritise your activities. Think of the tasks you need to do, would like to do, those you can delay and those you can delegate to others.

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