MDS is a bone marrow failure disorder
Fatigue and Anemia

Fatigue is defined as an unusual tiredness that interferes with normal activities and is not relieved by resting or a good night’s sleep. Fatigue may be more severe in patients with MDS who also have anemia. Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) is common in older adults and may contribute to fatigue. Other things that can contribute to fatigue include: inactivity, pain, emotional distress, poor nutrition, and other illnesses that are not well controlled such as diabetes or thyroid disorders.

Things you can do:

  1. Keep a log of symptoms that you are concerned about. These can be tracked in the MDS Manager Symptom Tracker.  Discuss these with your health care team.
  2. Keep all your appointments as scheduled.
  3. Exercise is the best way to treat fatigue. Stay active as much as possible to maintain muscle strength and improve stamina. Consider starting an exercise routine, such as daily walks with a caregiver or friend.  Your health care provider will provide you with recommendations to maintain or increase your activity safely
  4. List the activities for each day. Set priority activities for the day, and schedule priority activities for periods of highest energy level.
  5. Limit naps during the day to less than 1 hour to prevent problems with nighttime sleeping.
  6. Talk to your health care team if you are having trouble with anxiety or overwhelming sadness.
  7. Stay hydrated.
  8. Eat small, frequent meals.
  9. Ask for help from family and friends.
  10. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your health care team. Based on your symptoms and how you feel, some changes to your care may be made to ensure safety and make you more comfortable.

Additional resources:

MDS Foundation:

Cancer Care: Fatigue Fatigue

Oncolink: Fatigue:

American Cancer Society:  Fatigue:

Review answers to commonly asked questions or get answers to your questions from an MDS expert