In this section
Fatigue is a debilitating symptom and can significantly
compromise quality of life. Patients may not complain of fatigue as
many consider it a part of the disease process and not amenable to
therapy. It is important however, not to accept fatigue as a part
of terminal illness before actively considering and addressing
potentially reversible factors including;
Treatment should be aimed at correcting any of the above causes
where appropriate. For many patients, fatigue will reflect disease
progression and support will focus on helping the child and family
adjust their expectations and goals. Whilst rest is helpful, too
much may worsen fatigue and planned activities may improve the
child's sense of well-being. In this way, it may be helpful for the
family to plan activities around the fatigue. School attendance for
example may be reduced to short periods for favourite classes at
times when the child is feeling most energetic.
Fatigue does not respond well to pharmacological therapy.
Steroids may produce an enhanced sense of well being but this is
short-lived and often associated with distressing side effects such
as mood and behaviour changes and marked weight gain.