Fatique - Medical management
Medical Management of Fatigue

  1. Medical evaluation by your healthcare provider
  2. Your healthcare providers should be asking you about your fatigue. The providers should ask you if you have fatigue when you first are seen and then each time you come into the office, clinic or hospital. They should look at how fatigue makes you feel and what makes it better or worse. The provider should also ask you whether the fatigue is causing problems with concentration, your mood or your ability to do everyday things.

  3. How do you measure fatigue?
  4. Fatigue can be measured in a number of ways. A scale of some type should be used to measure your fatigue. You should measure how tired you are every day and make sure to tell your provider. There are a variety of scales to measure fatigue. Your provider can give you one. Your provider will also evaluate your lab values to see if you are anemic or have an infection, look at the medicines you take and measure the symptoms you have. They will also check to see if you are depressed, are under a lot of stress and what illnesses you have in addition to cancer.

  5. What is the medical management for fatigue?
  6. There are some ways in which your healthcare provider can treat your fatigue. The most important method is to treat anything that may be causing your fatigue. Among the possible methods are for your provider to:
    • Manage your depression or pain with antidepressants or analgesics (pain medicines)
    • Treat your anemia with erythropoietin, iron supplements, folic acid and/or transfusions (see anemia)
    • Manage your sleep disorders by providing information on ways to improve rest and sleep. This may include prescribing sleeping pills.
    • Make sure that you are not dehydrated (from not drinking enough)
    • Make sure that your electrolytes and body hormones and other substances are at their normal levels
    • Give you oxygen so you are not short of breath
    • Reduce or stop any medications that are not needed
    • In some cases give you psychostimulants (such as ritalin) or low dose corticosteroids (such as prednisone) to boost you energy.
    • Suggest or let you use herbs, vitamins or other natural remedies (be sure to talk with your provider about any natural remedies you take. They may affect the way your treatment works.).

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