People with multiple sclerosis (MS) battle all kinds of challenging symptoms. One of them is fatigue. Fatigue is an extreme feeling of sleepiness that doesn’t go away even after the person rests. About 80 percent of people with MS report having fatigue. It may not sound like a serious problem, but for people with MS it can mean being unable to do regular daily activities and it can keep them from doing the things they enjoy. A recent study offers some good news for MS patients who suffer from fatigue. It suggests that drinking a cup of hot cocoa can make a difference.
The Hot Cocoa Study
Researchers in the United Kingdom wanted to see how the flavonoids in chocolate would affect fatigue in people with MS. They got the idea from past research involving people with chronic fatigue syndrome that showed flavonoids in cocoa reduced fatigue. To find out how it might impact people with MS, they followed 40 people with the disease and kept track of their symptoms.
The participants were divided into two groups. One group drank a cup of high flavonoid cocoa and the other drank low flavonoid cocoa. Both groups drank cocoa every day for six weeks. At the end of the study, 11 people in the high flavonoid group and 8 people in the low flavonoid group reported some improvement in fatigue symptoms. In addition, the people in the high flavonoid group walk further in a six-minute walking test.
Other Ways to Reduce Fatigue
Although the research doesn’t prove for certain that drinking hot cocoa improves fatigue, there’s certainly no harm in serving your aging relative with MS a cup of cocoa. Other things that may help improve fatigue are:
- Following Treatment Plan: Continuing to follow the doctor’s instructions for treatment will help with fatigue as well as other MS symptoms. Your aging relative should use their medications as instructed and see their doctor regularly.
- Avoid Overheating: Many people with MS react negatively to high temperatures. Heat can sap their energy and make them feel even more tired.
- Eat Well and Exercise: Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly supports overall health and provides more energy.
- Allow Rest: Schedule activities and appointments for the times of the day when the senior usually has more energy. Allow them to rest between activities and save their energy for the things they enjoy.
Home care can assist MS patients to deal with fatigue. A home care provider can remind the older adult to take their medications, helping them to better follow their doctor’s instructions. Home care providers can also prepare healthy, balanced meals. Older adults with home care providers may also be more active since having someone around may make them feel safer to move around more.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Deerfield, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.