Fatigue After Stroke Blog Session 1
Image via www.brisbanetimes.com.au
Fatigue is common after a stroke. It can be frustrating and make everyday activities slower. People who have had a mild or severe stroke or a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) may feel fatigued. It can present in the initial weeks or months after a stroke and for some stroke survivors, persist years later. For many people however it does improve with time.
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is a feeling of early exhaustion, weariness or feeling too tired to do something. It results in reduced ability to perform a task that requires physical or mental activity.
Fatigue can affect all areas of your life including your home, work, sex and social life and also your ability to participate in therapy.
What is the link between fatigue and stroke?
You may notice changes after a stroke. On a physical level, it can lead to difficulty moving and swallowing but it can also affect the way you think and feel.
Although fatigue can be more common as you get older, a stroke can also increase fatigue. Between 40-70% of people who have had a stroke experience fatigue even one year after.
You may experience some of the following after a stroke:
Muscle weakness or paralysis – you may now need more physical and mental energy
for day-to-day activities like walking, dressing and shopping.
Changes in medications – some medications have side effects which may increase levels of fatigue. Talk to your doctor about different medications.
Disturbed sleep patterns – you may find it difficult to fall asleep, and stay asleep.
Stress and anxiety is common after a stroke, leading to sleep disturbances.
Depression can also be associated with stroke, which may lead to fatigue.
Problems with your bladder and bowel movements may make you tired.
Weight loss caused by changes in eating patterns, poor appetite or difficulty swallowing. Without adequate nutrition, you may not have enough energy to get you through the day.
For more information about fatigue or download a fact sheet click here