5 Ways to Fight Cancer Fatigue

Posted on: December 9, 2015

Cancer fatigue is described as feeling tired, weak or exhausted as a result of cancer or cancer treatment. There are many factors attributed to cancer fatigue such as, the cancer itself, chemotherapy, or side effects of treatment such as anemia, pain, hormone changes, and other medications. Cancer fatigue can linger after treatment is completed for weeks or several months.

While it is unknown how much fatigue, if any, an individual may experience during cancer treatment, it is important to keep track of your fatigue and know what you can do to combat it. Speak with your doctor if your fatigue becomes unmanageable; if you’re unable to get out of bed, feel confused, dizzy or short of breath.

What you can do to minimize cancer fatigue:

  1. Prioritize activities and have them as easily accessible as possible. Situate your home in way that makes it easy for important tasks to be completed by you without much strain. Make sure you know what activities are most important to you to complete yourself.
  2. Ask for help from friends and family. Though it may be difficult to lose the ability to do everything yourself, it is important that you reach out and ask for help cleaning, running errands, cooking meals, caring for pets and completing other daily tasks.
  3. Stay active, even walking has been shown to ease fatigue. Exercise has been found to improve outcomes and lessen chances of reoccurrence. Every person’s ability to exercise and type of movement, will vary. Speak with your physician about physical activities that are right for you, like walking, yoga, pilates, or cycling.
  4. Eat a healthy, well balanced diet to ensure that your body is getting the required nutrition needed to help give you strength. Be sure to drink fluids and to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight. Speaking with a narrational counselor can be helpful for many individuals, especially for tips on coping with sides effects of treatment, such as lack of taste, nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
  5. Rest – take naps, ideally for about half an hour, once or twice a day. Sleeping too much can make symptoms of fatigue increase. You should be achieving deep sleep during the night, sleeping 6-8 hours.
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