Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms in mid-late stage Superficial Siderosis. It can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life at home and your ability to work. The exact cause of SS fatigue is unknown but it’s been suggested there are multiple contributing factors. In the later stages of SS progression, it is not uncommon for patients to fall repeatedly asleep while sitting, riding, or being still.
Superficial Siderosis patients who suffer from cerebellar atrophy-induced ataxiaOverview Ataxia is considered a symptom of your superficial ... More may feel excessive fatigue while going about their normal daily activities. A person suffering from ataxia has to fight their own body to perform regular movements. This impairment of cerebellar regulation of coordinated movement triggers increased fatigue because you are continually forced to exert more effort.
Balance impairment takes all your concentration to try to walk in a reasonably straight path and not fall. You spend your whole day trying to make your body comply; you consciously have to exert muscle and coordination control, so you feel real physical and mental fatigue.
Anxiety and Depression
AnxietyOverview Superficial siderosis progression may have profound... More and depressionOverview As the symptoms from superficial siderosis progress... More are common symptoms of Superficial Siderosis patients. The connection between depression and physical fatigue is well documented. It can become an unintended cycle, constant exhaustion causes a deeper depression¹. Deep depression worsens fatigue.
An additional contributing factor to the total exhaustion so common among Superficial Siderosis patients is the combination of prescription medications so many patients face every day. Multiple prescription medications with a shared side effect of drowsiness will not help the situation.
Insomnia or Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea has also been found to be an underlying condition in many patients fighting ataxia. It is important to consult with a sleep clinic if necessary.
Patients undergoing regular blood testing for chelation therapy need to have their iron level monitored so they do not become anemic.
Fatigue can also be caused by inactivity. Persons with SS should consult their healthcare provider if chronic fatigue starts to affect their quality of life. Trying to pinpoint an exact cause of fatigue can lead to creating a workable treatment plan. Your healthcare provider can give you a complete evaluation to help identity which factors may be affecting you.
- Occupational therapy can train you to preform simplify tasks in a way that conserves energy.
- Physical therapy to improve balance while walking (with or without assistive devices).
- Physical therapy to develop a regular exercise program to prevent loss of muscle mass and tone.
- Psychological therapy, like stress management, relaxation training, support groups, or psychotherapy to reduce anxiety and depression