Fatigue is the most common side effect experienced by people who undergo cancer treatment. The good news is that fatigue eventually ends after treatment ends. Still, if you feel extremely tired, weary, exhausted or worn out – there are things you can do to regain energy.

Tell your doctor about your fatigue. It’s important to have your blood levels checked in case anemia is the cause. Believe it or not, exercise has been shown to help fight treatment-related fatigue.

Tips to manage fatigue

  • Keep your goals simple until you feel able to do more. Plan your activities to maintain the energy you do have.
  • Even small daily walks or upper body strength exercises can do wonders for your energy level. Your doctor can help you establish a beneficial exercise plan.
  • Take short naps during the day when you need them (but not in the late afternoon)
  • Aim to sleep at least 8 hours each night • Avoid caffeine for at least 8 hours before bedtime
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Try relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or other activities to decrease stress
  • Make sure your treatment team is checking your blood counts for anemia

For additional ways to fight fatigue from the National Cancer Institute.

Content medically-reviewed by members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board, February 2014

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