Friday, September 21, 2012

Stroke = Dog Tired

As many as 70% of stroke survivors complain about fatigue. Many stroke survivors think that fatigue is the worst thing caused by their stroke. 

Stroke survivors should be four times as tired as everyone else, and I can prove it. Research shows that, when you compare survivors to age-matched “couch potatoes," the stroke survivors are in half as good cardiovascular health. Research also shows that most everything (i.e. walking, dressing, bathing etc.) takes twice as much energy after a stroke. Mathematically… 

(Twice as much energy needed) 

x (half as much energy available) 
= (I need a nap)

The best thing you can do is stay in good cardiovascular and muscular shape. This means resistance training and cardio work. It may be counter-intuitive, but exercise increases energy. Other things that will help increase energy levels include 

• Eating well 
• drinking plenty of water 
• sleeping well


"stroke recovery blog"  "stroke blog"  "stronger after stroke blog"

12 comments:

J.L. Murphey said...

I agree whole heartily! Bathing takes two hours between getting clothes together, bathing, drying off and dressing...for me now that takes 45 minutes but it used to take over an hour. The remainder of the time is spent resting before doing anything else.

oc1dean said...

I thought long and hard before leaving this comment Peter, but I think the proposed cognitive basis is going to be found out to be another cause. Of course that doesn't provide any sort of evidence based medicine to resolve it. Damn good thing I was in perfect shape before my event or I'd be flat on my back all the time.
Dean

Mike said...

I followed the tips in your book.My stamina is superb.I used to be late most of the time, but lately, I'm usually early since I can walk/ move quickly..

Amy said...

I'm glad I have a reason to lay on my couch!

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Fatigue is my worst remaining deficit, with seemingly no treatment or end in sight. Why am I still so tired even though my physical recovery has been excellent? Does it still require extra energy to do things even though it seems like my arm and leg are working pretty good? I thought once my brain had rewired itself the fatigue would resolve, but it is still a huge problem.

Peter G Levine said...

Elizabeth, John and Jack: try the "brown paper bag"test. Put all tour meds in a brown paper bag and bring 'em to your doc and ask why you are taking each and if the dosages can be tweaked so that they don's sap way too much energy.

emotional stroke recovery said...

i find that yoga, tai chi and chi gung helps. the breathing energizes, the asanas give you strength and flexibility.both tai chi and chi gung focus on increasing your personal energy which the chinese call ''chi

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Oh, I wish that would have solved it. I was only on Keppra. I thought going off would help...it did a bit, but I'm still so far off normal. Thanks though, Elizabeth

Peter G Levine said...

Elizabeth,

First, thank for interpreting my comment correctly! I use text-to-speech and sometimes the text is garbled and I don't adequately edit. As to fatigue: You've inspired me to do some research on this subject...I'll do a post soon. Thank-you.

Tamara said...

I feel emotionally exhausted most of the time, I don't read a lot about this. I used to be sexy and independent and my self image suffered a lot during my recovery. A physiatrist told me over a year ago that I was acting more disabled than I am, so my self image is creating this. I'm trying to use this experience to find out who I really am, beneath the hair extensions and sexy dresses I used to wear.
Since the beginning of my recovery I felt drawn to movies like The Secret and You can heal your life and I started reading about the placebo effect. Thanks to your book I know I can recover, but I can't stop feeling awful. I spend a big part of my day yelling and screaming because I'm so angry and frustrated.

Peter G Levine said...

Thanks for the comment Tamara. Stroke is brain damage. And all of the brain is interconnected. So while on a brain scan it may seem like one small areas affected, often there are very disparate areas that have been affected. But it's not like a car where, if you loose the starter, the car won't start. In the brain if you lose a portion other portions can take over. But may be in the most fundamental sense you will be different. Just different.

Sean Williams said...

Thinking if I'm burning. 50 calories every 10 minutes walking up stairs, after stroke does it dbdl?

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