Feeling fatigued (extremely weak and tired) is a very common side effect of cancer treatments. It has many causes, including low blood cell counts from chemotherapy, recovery, distress, and changes in diet and sleep patterns.

Call the clinic or hospital if any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness or confusion
  • Extreme weakness or exhaustion
  • Loss of balance
  • Shortness of breath

What you can do:

  • Be active for short periods of time.
  • Delegate tasks to friends and loved ones who offer help.
  • Eat snacks between meals to maintain energy. Talk with a registered dietitian in the Wellness and Integrative Health Center for more information about dietary changes that can help manage fatigue and other side effects.
  • Exercise regularly to help reduce fatigue. Exercise specialists can create a plan tailored to each patient's ability and needs. The center offers programs and classes for patients and their families.
  • Keep as active as possible during the day to sleep better at night.
  • Plan activities such as exercise, visiting friends, or going on trips when feeling the most rested and energetic.
  • Play soft music, watch TV, meditate, and take deep breaths to help you rest and sleep.
  • Set priorities and decide on the most important activities for the day.
  • Try to sleep and rest at the same times each day.
  • Talk with your health care provider about acupuncture as a way to reduce fatigue. Call or visit the Wellness and Integrative Health Center for more information about this treatment.