Fatigue and Exercise


Was hoping for some advice please. Been diagnosed with MS for about 2 yrs now, I am fortunate that on the scale of things at present i am not too bad (about 80% of the time) but one of the biggest things for me is fatigue. The MS nurse mentioned a drug for parkinsons ? but i want to keep off medication as much as possible but know that there is a good chance in future that i will need to take something, possibly?

It feels like being permanently exhausted with lead in my legs, sleep does not refresh me and feel like i am running on empty. On top of this my iron (ferritin) level is quite low which adds to it, GP prescribed Iron and i will try and modify my diet :frowning:

The big thing for me is exercise 2 yrs ago i lost 3 stone and i also suffer quite bad with anxiety and depression and exercise helps, i guess i was wondering has anyone else had a similar problem and how did they get through it …

Thanks for taking the time to read, appreciated :slight_smile:

Hi, I find if I do gentil exercise my fatique isn’t bad, also I do Taichi which I find really helps with fatique, often I feel really exhausted but make myself either go horse riding or just a walk and I feel so much better,I take Spiraline powder which really helps with fatique, I think you just have to find what works for you.

hope this helps


Yoga & gardening, or being in natural sunlight makes a big difference for me. It’s proven to aid both mental & physical wellbeing. I use to do tai hi but my balance gave up long ago. Tbh they were weirdly obsessed with all things Chinese, which I will never appreciate.

From what I’ve read, exercise is very good for people with MS, and actually helps with fatigue. It’s important not to get too tired by exercise - you have to try and find the limit of what you can do without exhausting yourself. Put ‘exercise’ into the search box and you’ll find a lot of threads talking about what different people find is good for them.

the MS Society does a DVD of exercises

Hi Kirsty, :slight_smile:

Fatigue has always been one of my worst symptoms, and I have been taking Modafinil (Provigil) for some time. It really helps (particularly with the ‘brain fog’), but I’m not sure if it’s prescribed by many neuro’s now. Amantadine is another drug prescribed for MS fatigue, and it may be what your nurse has mentioned?

Having said that, there could be a couple of things that may be worth looking into if you’re reluctant to take meds.

If you’re waking unrefreshed, it could be that you’re not sleeping properly. It can have an enormous effect on energy levels, so it may be worth looking into. It could be pain (if you suffer from that), muscle spasms (more like twitches really (legs in particular) that interrupt your sleep, or other issues stopping you from reaching the level of deep, restorative sleep.

Low iron levels will also make you feel fatigued. It’s good that you’re taking iron, but have they identified why your iron is low?

If you haven’t had your thyroid levels checked, that could also be another possible reason. Hypothyroidism can lead to fatigue and weight gain.

In terms of exercise, I’ve just bought a ‘slow yoga’ DVD. It seems to be quite good, and concentrates on holding various poses and stretching muscles, without having to turn yourself into a human pretzel! ;-D

Mags :slight_smile:

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I always go for a swim in the morning+exercise in the pool, when I get tired have an espresso. Can’t sleep in the afternoon but sleep really well through the night. :-)))


It sounds like you may be in the same place as me right now.
Also diagnosed for 2 years now, and also at about 80% strength.
My exercise loves are cycling & swimming, both of which support your body weight.
I also do a fair amount of gym, mainly on the legs for obvious reasons.

Balance is my main issue, along with a ‘stiff’ lower right leg.
I take no medication, but I do eat dark chocolate every day, if that counts.
I am currently in South Africa on a business trip, so haven’t done anything for 6 days, and yes I am suffering for it !!!

Obviously a good diet is key to all of this, and stay away from the bread, and the usual food hazards.
The more you keep your weight down the better.
I do my utmost on the exercise/diet front for good reason. Although not hereditary, my Dad also had PPMS, so I know whats round the corner.

Fortunately I can still manage 40-50 miles on the bike with few issues, but I do ‘snack’ off a crossbar bag every 10 mins or so, along with plenty to drink.
Put me in the garden with the lawn mower for 20 mins, and I’m absolutely shattered, and I steer clear of steps where possible :slight_smile:

Keep going. Drop me a mail anytime


Thanks Sue, think still trying to find out about “pacing” myself… Have a good Christmas

Thanks Clarkey.

Hi, thanks Mags for your reply it is Amandatine that they have prescribed…

Done blood tests and all ok just the iron.

i don’t sleep well or at least I don’t think I do… I sleep really lightly but have lots of vivid dreams even without taking medication so I feel exhausted when I wake.

going to start taking the Amandatine after Xmas,

I have been doing martial arts for the past two years ( tae-kwon do and brazilian ju-jitsu) although some days are really tough to the point were I am getting dizzy and tired after it I feel really good mentally and my body feels loose and stretched out, exercise is great physically for MS but it is also medicine for the mind.

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Was diagnosed in Dec 2009 with RRMS.

About two years ago I decided that I was going to give it a kick and started going to the gym. It has been a long journey but find that exercise gives me a really good feeling about myself and what I can achieve when I put my mind to it. I’m not saying that it has cured me, far from it, but I get a buzz from being in control of my body for a bit. I then decided that the challenge last year was to qualify as a Personal Trainer, and I did it!!! I have a premises that I can use in Northampton, but I also do home visits. I am doing a talk at the Northampton MS group in April to see what they think.

What do you think?