Tiredness or extreme fatigue

The onset of periods of extreme fatigue and a lack of motivation to develop tasks and activities is referred to as cancer-related or treatment-related asthenia. It is defined as an overwhelming and persistent feeling of tiredness or exhaustion that diminishes or hinders the ability to carry out mental or physical work in the context of daily activities, despite adequate rest.

Asthenia can affect the patient on physical, mental, and emotional levels. One consequence is a lack of willingness to leave the house, go shopping groceries, cook, or carry out daily routine tasks. This situation, combined with a potential decrease in appetite (due to discomfort or treatment side effects), may lead to a reduction in the intake of foods variety, and thus a decrease in energy, proteins, and other essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals necessary to cope with the treatment. Below, we explain how to plan meals and be prepared for fatigue, and on the other hand, how to approach nutrition when there is no motivation to do anything.