Muscular Dystrophy and fatigue

Fatigue is the bane of my life!

Having a rare form of muscular dystrophy that’s a progressive muscle wasting condition fatigue can be a huge part of my life but what is fatigue and how does it affect people with Muscular Dystrophy.

It’s a feeling of extreme tiredness, exhaustion and a lack of energy. But don’t mistake it as the same feeling as being sleepy. Fatigue is a common symptom for people with a neuromuscular condition, like Muscular Dystrophy, and is commonly caused by muscle fatigue.

There are several factors that can contribute to fatigue in muscular dystrophy: like tiredness while carrying out tasks because the muscles are weak and unable to handle the demands required for the activity your doing.

Muscular dystrophy is the name given to a group of inherited genetic conditions that gradually cause the muscles to weaken in different parts of the body.

Different types of fatigue:

Acute fatigue refers to the feeling of tiredness while doing a particular activity because the muscles don’t have sufficient energy to accomplish the task.


Chronic fatigue refers to a persistent or long-lasting feeling of tiredness because the muscles have lost the capacity to maintain a maximum level of force.

Fatigue can also affect your mood, attention span, memory, thinking, and communication skills.

Your joints can also be put under severe strain when the muscles are tired, where you run the risk of causing ligament damage. Ligaments are the fibrous bands that connect bones to the joint.

Causes that contribute to fatigue in muscular dystrophy:

  • The weakened muscles cannot generate enough muscle force.
  • Respiratory insufficiency is a common feature of muscular dystrophies, which can cause low oxygen and high carbon dioxide levels and lead to fatigue.
  • Many people with muscular dystrophy, especially those with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophies, experience sleep disturbances (apnea) and depression that can affect their energy levels during the day.

Managing fatigue:

  • Regular exercise can help. Physio therapists can recommend the right kind of exercises that suit your needs.
  • An occupational therapist can teach techniques, so that body movements are more efficient, thus overcoming fatigue.
  • Taking short naps during the day can help overcome fatigue, especially for those with sleep disturbances or sleep apnea.
  • Nutritious foods can boost energy levels.
  • Assistive devices such as a cane, walker, scooter, or wheelchair can help reduce fatigue.
  • A healthcare provider can prescribe appropriate medications to overcome stress, anxiety, mood problems, and depression. This can help overcome fatigue.

I hope this has helped you to understand fatigue and Muscular Dystrophy just that little bit more – i will openly admit that i do love a good nap in the day time it doesn’t happen often but i do believe having a nap during the day is good for the soul as well as my fatigue of course!

I would love to know what helps you with your fatigue? Please feel free to leave me a comment.

Kisses K

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2 thoughts on “Muscular Dystrophy and fatigue

  1. Thanks for this post Kerry, fatigue is also something I have with Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus as well as severe eyesight difficulties. Thanks for creating more awareness.

    Liked by 2 people

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