Thursday, June 20, 2024

Post Stroke Fatigue Years Later

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Tired After A Stroke Understanding Post

Improvement in walking and post-stroke fatigue after treatment by Dr. Tobinick 6 years after stroke

Feeling tired is a normal part of life. Whether you didnt get a good night of sleep or wore yourself out with a busy day or an exerting activity, your body can only handle so much before you start to feel the physical effects of being tired. In cases like these, all you need to do is rest in order to feel re-charged and rejuvenated. But for individuals who have suffered from a stroke, its not that easy.

Fatigue after a stroke is common, and its different from simply feeling tired. Post-stroke fatigue can make somebody feel like they completely lack energy or strength, with a persistent feeling of being tired or weary. Unlike typical tiredness, a nap or sleeping longer at night wont solve things. If you are experiencing post-stroke fatigue, it is important to consult with your doctor so you can take the proper steps to start feeling better and more energized.

Balancing Activity And Rest

Listening to your body and respecting its limits is important. Understanding what makes it worse and when it is most likely to happen will help.

Do everyday tasks in a way that uses less energy, for example sitting down to get dressed. Plan activities for when you have the most energy. Break activities into smaller tasks and rest in between. Try spreading activities throughout the day or week and plan rest breaks. You may choose to prioritise the activities and events that are most important to you.

If you are planning to return to work, consider starting back part-time and increasing your hours gradually.

It may be that pushing through fatigue to complete physical or mental activities can help recovery, however more research is needed. Understanding your body and how fatigue affects you will help you make decisions about how much to push. Pushing gently will most likely be best, as pushing too much can worsen fatigue.

Exercise Diet And Sleep

Research suggests exercise may help lessen fatigue. Even if you feel tired, do some exercise each day. Even small amounts can help.

Eat a healthy diet and drink enough water. Try avoiding alcohol which is a sedative.

Good sleep habits may help. Get up at the same time every day and get some early morning sunshine. Exposure to light when you first wake up helps to set your body clock. If you need a nap, have it earlier in the afternoon and try to keep it to 20 minutes. In the evening, do not ignore tiredness. Go to bed when your body tells you. Make sure to wind down or relax at least an hour before bed.

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Can A Mini Stroke Cause A Full Stroke

This causes stroke-like symptoms that usually resolve within 24 hours and do not cause permanent side effects. But while a mini stroke does not result in permanent disabilities, it is often a sign of an impending full stroke. In fact, 1 in 5 patients who experience a TIA will suffer a true stroke in the next year.

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Model of Understanding Fatigue After Stroke

Fatigue after brain injury can significantly affect an individuals quality of life. For example, it can discourage physical activity, self-care, and socialization. It not only makes it tiresome to participate in everyday activities but can also affect your motivation.

As a result, fatigue can discourage individuals with traumatic brain injuries from pursuing rehabilitation. Many functions affected by brain injury can be relearned and improved because the brain has neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brains ability to make adaptive changes and rewire its neural circuitry. The most effective way to promote it is through highly repetitive and specific practice.

However, constantly practicing the same exercises over and over again can be extremely challenging for individuals with fatigue. As a result, fatigue can make it difficult to stay motivated and practice the repetitions you need to improve.

In the following section, well discuss various ways individuals can reduce fatigue after brain injury to improve their quality of life.

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Overcoming Excessive Sleep After Stroke

Excessive sleeping after stroke is common during the early stages of recovery as the brain works hard to heal itself. However, excessive daytime sleepiness could signify other problems that deserve a conversation with your doctor.

If your daytime sleepiness is caused by depression, sleep apnea, or other problems, treating these conditions can help decrease your sleepiness. Otherwise, certain medications such as modafinil can increase alertness. Your doctor can help you choose the best treatment for you.

We hope this information on excessive daytime sleepiness can help you find ways to boost your energy and continue your recovery from stroke.

Treating Excessive Daytime Sleepiness After Stroke

As mentioned above, excessive sleep is not always a bad thing, especially in the beginning of stroke recovery. However, as time passes, drowsiness might impair your recovery by preventing you from engaging in therapy.

If your quality of life is being impacted by excessive daytime sleepiness after stroke, do not worry. There are effective treatments available. Some approaches your doctor might recommend include the following:

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What Happens In The Days And Months After A Stroke

The Days and Months After a Stroke. Problems that Occur After a Stroke. There are many problems that may happen after a stroke. Most are common and will improve with time and rehabilitation. Common physical conditions after a stroke include: Weakness, paralysis, and problems with balance or coordination.

Fatigue After Brain Injury: Key Points

Multiple improvements after treatment by Dr. Tobinick 3 years after stroke

Fatigue is a common effect of brain injury that can make it challenging to adjust back to your everyday life. However, there are several ways to successfully overcome fatigue. By managing physical activity, diet, stress levels, and sleep quality, individuals can promote optimal functioning of both the mind and body.

Remember to start small and find the right balance of activity and rest that your brain can handle.

We hope this article helped you understand why youre experiencing fatigue after TBI and how to effectively manage it.

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Talk To Your Doctor About Medications

Medications used to treat secondary complications of brain injury such as spasticity can cause fatigue. Make sure to speak with your doctor about the potential side effects of medications youre taking and whether there are other options worth considering.

Some doctors may prescribe stimulants to counter fatigue. If you do decide to try stimulants, make sure you do so under close medical supervision.

Tips To Increase Your Energy

The first step in combating post-stroke fatigue is to discuss it with your doctor. Let them know what youve been feeling. Your doctor will probably start the process by making sure youve had an up-to-date physical. With that information, your doctor can rule out other potential causes for your fatigue or determine if your fatigue might stem from your medication.

It goes without saying, but try to take naps if time allows. Naps wont cure you of your fatigue long term, but resting when you feel run down can help you feel more refreshed, even if only for a short while.

Do your best to relax. Dont let your post-stroke fatigue, or any other side effects of your stroke, get you down. Stay positive! Being stressed or tense will only sap you of more energy. A positive attitude goes a long way in feeling upbeat and energetic. Try to get back into the swing of things by returning to your pre-stroke routines. Simple things like staying active and involved with friends and family can yield big benefits.

Yes, it will seem overwhelming at times. Suffering from a stroke, dealing with the aftermath, and having no energy on top of it can be tough, but celebrate your successes. Take baby steps, and be proud of the progress youve made. Focus on what youve accomplished during your recovery so far, rather than dread whats left to be done.

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Causes Of Fatigue After Brain Injury

Fatigue is one of the most long-lasting and common effects of brain injury. In fact, up to 73% of individuals report fatigue up to 5 years after sustaining their injury.

Various factors can contribute to increased fatigue after TBI. One reason fatigue is so prevalent is because in the early phases following a TBI, the brain focuses most of its energy on healing. While this is essential for stabilizing the brain after injury, it also leaves less energy to be devoted to other tasks.

Another explanation is the coping hypothesis, which suggests that individuals are more likely to experience fatigue after brain injury because the brain must work harder to compensate for impaired functions.

Moreover, feelings of fatigue may not be directly related to brain injury at all. Instead, they can stem from secondary effects of TBI, such as depression, pain, poor-quality sleep, and endocrine dysfunction.

In the following section, well discuss different types of fatigue that an individual may experience after brain injury.

Fatigue After Brain Injury: Getting Tired Of Being So Tired

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My 28-year-old son was seriously injured in a car accident two years ago and suffered a critical brain injury. He can’t walk and is still unable to straighten his legs. What seems to bother him more than anything is how utterly exhausted he is all the time. He was always such an energetic young man and finds the exhaustion terribly frustrating because it prevents him from working as hard as he would like to in physical therapy. How long will the extreme bouts of exhaustion last?

Fatigue is a common problem after brain injury. Estimates of the incidence of fatigue for individuals with TBI range from 50-80 percent. Depression, pain, sleep disturbance, and neuroendocrine abnormalities all have been associated with fatigue after TBI.

You should talk to your sons physician about this problem so a careful evaluation can be done. Many of the medications that are used to treat spasticity, seizures, and mood can cause fatigue or sleepiness. Sleep disorders are seen in about 30 percent of people TBI even years after injury. In some cases, an overnight sleep study allows you to get a proper diagnosis and decide on treatment. Endocrine problems are becoming increasingly recognized as a cause of fatigue. Low thyroid, low adrenalin, low testosterone, and low growth hormone can all contribute to fatigue. There is a lot of current research being conducted on low growth hormone and how to best assess and treat this increasingly recognized problem.

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Symptoms Of Excessive Sleepiness After Stroke

The primary symptom of EDS is constant fatigue throughout the day. Even after just waking up from a full nights sleep, a person with excessive daytime sleepiness syndrome would still feel exhausted.

Other symptoms of excessive daytime sleepiness after stroke can include:

  • Irritability
  • Memory problems
  • Restlessness

To find an effective treatment for these symptoms, it is critical to receive a thorough diagnosis. If you struggle with excessive sleepiness after stroke, be sure to talk with your primary care physician.

Causes Of Excessive Sleeping After Stroke

Although sleep is a crucial part of stroke recovery, many patients develop a problem known as excessive daytime sleepiness . Excessive daytime sleeping usually decreases after a few weeks. However, in about 30 percent of stroke patients, EDS can last for over six months.

If your sleepiness lasts for several months and prevents you from practicing your stroke rehab exercises, talk to your doctor, who can help you find effective treatments.

In addition, there are several factors that can worsen excessive daytime sleepiness after stroke, such as:

  • Sleep-disordered breathing: A chronic condition that causes partial or complete cessation of breathing throughout the night, resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep disorder that affects your breathing.
  • Reverse Robin Hood Syndrome. Excessive sleepiness caused when the brain attempts to redirect blood flow from damaged areas to non-damaged ones.
  • Depression. Severe depression can cause excessive fatigue and drowsiness.

These medical complications can prevent you from getting quality sleep and, as a result, limit your recovery. Therefore, its important to identify and treat them as soon as possible.

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Fatigue After Brain Injury: Why It Occurs And How To Overcome It

Elizabeth Denslow, OTR/L Flint Rehab

Extreme fatigue after brain injury is a common but frustrating problem for many TBI survivors. Not only can it make everyday activities more challenging to perform, but it can also interfere with rehabilitation outcomes. Fortunately, there are effective ways to reduce fatigue after brain injury and improve your quality of life.

To help you understand fatigue after TBI, this article will discuss its:

Patient Characteristics And Nmdar1

Post Stroke Fatigue

In total n = 114 ischemic stroke patients, 39.5% female, median age 74 yrs 6582), were re-assessed at 1-3 yrs after stroke with median follow-up of 746 d . Demographics and clinical characteristics are reported in Table 1. Patients were grouped according to their NMDAR1-AB status within 24 h after stroke. Stroke etiology was classified using TOAST criteria with undetermined etiology and cardio-embolism representing the most common causes

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Stimulants And Diet Changes

If nothing else works, there are stimulant medications that doctors can prescribe to treat excess sleepiness. These include modafinil, amphetamines, and ritalin.

Always consult your doctor before starting or stopping these medications .

Finally, some natural remedies that can help you stay awake include coffee and tea, but be sure and check with your doctor on caffeine use as well. Your doctor might also encourage you to follow a high-nutrition diet to maintain energy.

Benefits Of Quality Sleep After Stroke

Before we look at the causes of excessive sleeping after stroke, its important to note that drowsiness is a normal part of the early post-stroke phase of recovery.

During this period, your brain will devote most of its resources toward healing the damage it incurred. While the brain normally uses 20% of your total energy, that percentage increases during stroke recovery. This means the brain has less energy left to keep you alert and awake.

Aside from helping the brain heal, deep sleep also offers other, fantastic benefits to stroke survivors.

For example, REM sleep the deep sleep that occurs at intervals throughout the night helps your brain process motor information. When your brain achieves REM sleep, there are spikes of neural activities that occur, known as sleep spikes. During these neural spikes, the brain transfers short-term memories about muscle movement to the temporal lobe where they become long-term memories.

Therefore, quality sleep can actually help stroke survivors regain proper muscle movement and strength. Since most stroke patients struggle with mobility problems, this is an incentive for stroke patients to focus on getting enough sleep.

But how can you tell when sleep becomes excessive? Well discuss that in the sections below.

Want 20 pages of stroke recovery tips in an illustrated PDF?

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Types Of Fatigue That Can Occur After Brain Injury

Everyone experiences the effects of TBI differently. Fatigue may be more severe for some than for others however, fatigue is not correlated to the severity of TBI. In other words, fatigue is just as common in individuals with mild TBIs as in those with severe TBIs.

Its important to understand what type of fatigue youre experiencing to target your specific symptoms and effectively treat them.

There are 3 primary types of fatigue that an individual may experience after brain injury:

  • Physical fatigue. With this type of fatigue, you feel exhausted after participating in any sort of physical activity. Even the simplest tasks can cause feelings of exhaustion. It usually is most severe in the evening but gets better after you sleep.
  • Cognitive fatigue. With this type of fatigue, it is challenging to concentrate. For example, you may find that reading a book or trying to listen to someone talk wears you out quickly. As with physical fatigue, mental fatigue is usually worse at the end of the day.
  • Psychological fatigue. This type of fatigue shares many of the same symptoms as physical and mental fatigue however, it does not get better after rest.
  • The type of fatigue you experience after a brain injury will primarily depend on which areas of the brain are affected as well as the types of secondary complications you experience. While it is possible to experience all three types of fatigue after brain injury, most individuals experience cognitive fatigue.

    Talk To Family And Friends


    Fatigue after stroke is not well understood in the community, and the signs of fatigue are not always obvious to other people. Family and friends may not understand why you can not do things or attend events. It can help if you educate the people around you about fatigue. If someone offers you help, consider taking it rather than feeling like you have to do everything yourself.

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    What Happens When You Have A Mini Stroke

    A mini stroke, or transient ischemic attack, is a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, preventing oxygen from being delivered as it should be.

    The sooner you intervene, the better. If you ever encounter anyone experiencing mini stroke symptoms, dial 9-1-1 immediately. It is important to be evaluated as soon as possible following a mini stroke, because you may require emergency treatment in order to prevent or minimize irreversible damage.

    Whats The Difference Between A Tia And A Mild Stroke

    Sometimes the phrase mild stroke is used to refer to a TIA, which is incorrect. A TIA is a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini stroke. Unlike regular strokes, TIAs dont leave permanent damage. A mini stroke occurs when part of the brain experiences a temporary lack of blood flow, and then the blood flow returns on its own.

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