Community Thoughts: Managing Fatigue

Community Thoughts: Managing Fatigue

One potential symptom of migraine that sometimes goes unrecognized, and also happens to be quite a challenging one to deal with, is fatigue. So, we asked our Facebook community for ideas on dealing with it. See how the community responded to the question: Does anyone have tips for managing fatigue? Please feel free to add your own ideas in the comments below!

I find specific strategies helpful…

  • Take naps. Naps are awesome.
  • Give your body the rest it is begging for. I sleep, I let my body recover. And the next morning, the fatigue and other migraine cycle symptoms are so much better.
  • It’s not so much about managing fatigue as managing your schedule. I am tired almost all the time but there’s another level of exhaustion, and when I get there I know I have to cut back quickly or I’ll have another migraine. It takes a lot of energy to be this special!
  • I just force myself to do martial arts. I know it sounds weird but an hour of it 5 days a week is my sanity.
  • In my case, the fatigue from a migraine storm can trigger a CFS relapse. I have to be cognitive of increased fatigue and slam on the brakes.
  • I learned about ART – Aggressive Rest Therapy – years ago and practice it when the fatigue starts to take over.
  • Balance. So hard keeping the balance.
  • Light exercise in the early morning sun – making sure to expose your face and arms to the sunlight for at least ten minutes – everyday. Even if it isn’t sunny – walk.
  • Give yourself permission to rest. The vestibular system needs time to reset. If it takes longer than a few days, though, call your neuro, or your trusted doc. Last time, I was going on three weeks (got scolded) and went on ten days of Ativan – it got me out of the post-migraine weeds, so to speak. Was back on my feet in no time.
  • Exercise. It sounds counter-intuitive. But the worse I feel physically (in terms of fatigue, not migraine), the more I need to hit the gym.
  • When I am exhausted but still need to get some things done, the 20 minute nap is my friend. I try to get something done, then take a 20 minute rest. Then I try to tackle another task. Work a little rest a little. This way I don’t push myself, pushing through usually leads me to another migraine.
  • Retirement… LOL!
  • Yoga helps… even a very gentle and restorative class if that is all you can manage.
  • It just depends on the day. Sometimes it’s rest. Others it is push through.
  • Just keep breathing. It’s all you can do.

I focus on giving my body the rest it needs…

  • Sleep if you can – fighting fatigue makes it worse.
  • If I’m fatigued, I do whatever my body tells/allows!
  • Know your limits and don’t push yourself too hard. Don’t beat yourself up about not being able to do it all.
  • Embrace it. It is not our fault we need to rest and feel terrible when fatigued. I sit or lay down because my motor skills slow down. Don’t drive.
  • The only thing I can do is to honor the exhaustion and allow myself to sleep.

I use particular supplements, foods, or medications…

  • I take Black Cohosh for menopause and have found my fatigue, although still there, is not as bone crushing as it was before I started taking it!
  • Royal jelly supplements really help.
  • Pumpkin seeds (unsalted), coconut water, watermelon, green leafy veg, avocados, etc.
  • Good proteins… eggs, pastured chicken, beef.
  • Green tea
  • I swear by vitamin B12 for fatigue. I get the Sublingual Tables from a vitamin store so I know the dose is regulated. I still have fatigue but B12, D3, and a multivitamin helps me.
  • My only go to that even helps my brain function is coffee.
  • B-12 shots
  • Vitamin D
  • I suffered daily unbearable fatigue for years. I would constantly be in a fog and could barely keep my eyes open. Five years ago, my doctor started prescribing to me 30mg of adderall to be taken each morning. For me, this has made a huge difference!
  • I have to take 1/2 doses of ritalin throughout the day
  • I take 250 mg of standardized rhodiola rosea every morning.
  • Hydrate. Usually I up my consumption of natural electrolytes and foods with magnesium.

I’ve looked into other conditions…

  • Maybe try a sleep study. Even mild sleep apnea can cause extreme fatigue and migraines. I have very mild SA, but a very stressful life. The CPAP machine is helping me feel less congested, more alert, and the migraines are more manageable.
  • Has anyone considered narcolepsy along with their migraines? I have had migraines since I was 10 years old, and I’m in the process of being diagnosed with narcolepsy.

How about you? Please share your tips for managing fatigue in the comments! 

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