Managing Fatigue in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

Managing Fatigue in Myeloproliferative Neoplasms

January 5, 2020 0 By Bertrand Dibbert


Catalina: Can you speak a little bit more
about fatigue and MPNs? Walking just a short distance wears out her
legs out and they feel like concrete pillars. Paul: Absolutely, fatigue is overwhelmingly
the most common symptom that we hear about in MPNS, and very much so in myelofibrosis. And this overproduction of these cells that
we’ve been talking about in the bone marrow. Whether you have anemia or not, you’re still
over producing cells. You have a hyper cellular process, and in
addition to these blood cells other nonspecific proteins called “cytokines” are being
over produced by the mutation that’s impacting this abnormal cellular production. And they have a big impact on fatigue, they
make you feel like flu-like almost. Achy, very tired, may cause bone pain, night
sweats, and so the fatigue could be from those cytokines. It certainly can be from anemia to some degree. And when people are having abdominal and spleen
symptoms, sometimes they’re not eating as well. So nutritional impact can be playing a role
here. So, I think it can be very much multifactorial. Where all of this is kind of snowballing to
cause extreme fatigue. Even being tired so then you’re less active
so then you become weaker because you’re less active, and so that can become cyclical. So, I hear Janet that her legs feel like concrete,
and heavy. So you know, you have to reverse that or manage
it as best as you can. Talk with your healthcare team about how well
is my disease under control. Cause ultimately, controlling your disease
is going to help control the symptoms. Do I have cytopenias, low blood counts like
anemia, that could be contributing to this fatigue? And then you’ve got to look at your lifestyle. Are there things that I can do, if I spent
a fair amount of time being so weak and tired that I got deconditioned? Are there things that I can work with a nutritionist
or a trainer to help me get some of that muscle back to slowly build up that strength again? It’s a long and difficult battle but I encourage
people to remain optimistic and keep fighting through these symptoms to their best of their
abilities. So they can thrive with these diseases. You have to also have realistic expectations. You know, we’re not going to have Janet
sign up for a marathon, but if we can help her with those legs so they don’t feel so
heavy and she can get up and down the stairs or go down to the mailbox. You know, that’s going to be a huge achievement.