Monday, June 10, 2024

Dealing With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Healing Psychological And Emotional Factors

Coping With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Why did this person get this illness at this time? Alternative Medicine Practitioners ask such questions because they realize that illness is more than a matter of imbalanced physiology. There are always psychological and emotional aspects to every health problem and unless these are thoroughly addressed, no cure will ever be complete and lasting.

Lifestyle choices, including how one thinks and acts, can contribute to chronic fatigue. For example, a lifestyle of high-paced overachievement or workaholism characterizes the lives of many CFS sufferers prior to becoming sick. For some people dealing with unremitting fatigue is the only way they will ever take the time to focus on their internal world. While not all CFS patients have the same psychological make-up, all of them do have psychological issues that play a contributing role in their illness, and these mental and emotional factors constantly interact with their physiological condition. For true and complete healing to be successful the CFS patient must learn the lesson of the disease. They must not to repeat the emotional, psychological and lifestyle patterns that contributed to their illness. Working with a trained professional to help deal with some of the emotional baggage is one of the keys to healing.

How Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed

Your doctor diagnoses ME/CFS by performing a mental and physical examination. Doctors will ask about your medical history and order blood and urine tests to check for infection. In many cases, doctors refer people with suspected ME/CFS to other specialists to rule out other illnesses that could be causing symptoms.

For your doctor to diagnose ME/CFS, you must have these 3 symptoms:

  • Severe fatigue lasting at least 6 months that does not improve with rest or sleep
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue that gets worse after mental or physical exercise

Additionally, you must have at least 1 of the following symptoms:

  • Orthostatic intolerance

Build Peace And Relax

CFS can be debilitating both physically and mentally. Suffering from persistent exhaustion, reduced brain cognition, chronic muscle and joint pain, stress, and even guilt takes a toll on the body, and psyche.

Long-term stress control and relaxation must be a vital portion of any protocol used to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. While seemingly impossible, its imperative that sufferers of CFS do their best to effectively manage stress, and rest.

The Power of Rest

Rest means more than just sleep. Dedicate one day per week when you dont have any responsibilities or commitments. Truly commit to a full day of rest. This gives your body and mind a much-needed respite helping to fight stress, anxiety and exhaustion. Its also important during the week, if you are having a particularly difficult day, to not overtax yourself.

While regular exercise supports wellness and helps to diminish stress, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome need to exercise at a controlled intensity. High-intensity workouts can leave you drained for several days.

Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy has been shown to help with fatigue, mental clarity and depression in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. According to a study released in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, individuals with CFS were recommended to perform aerobic activities, at the clinic twice per month, in combination with at-home exercises for roughly 5-15 minutes in duration, five days per week.

Sleep

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How Is Cfs Diagnosed

CFS is a very challenging condition to diagnose.

According to the Institute of Medicine, as of 2015, CFS occurs in about 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans. Its estimated, however, that 84 to 91 percent have yet to receive a diagnosis.

There are no medical tests to screen for CFS. Its symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Many people with CFS dont look sick, so doctors may not recognize that they indeed have a health condition.

In order to receive a CFS diagnosis, your doctor will rule out other potential causes and review your medical history with you.

Theyll confirm that you at least have the core symptoms previously mentioned. Theyll also ask about the duration and severity of your unexplained fatigue.

Ruling out other potential causes of your fatigue is a key part of the diagnosis process. Some conditions with symptoms that resemble those of CFS include:

  • severe obesity
  • sleep disorders

The side effects of certain drugs, such as antihistamines and alcohol, can mimic symptoms of CFS as well.

Because of the similarities between symptoms of CFS and many other conditions, its important to not self-diagnose. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They can work with you to get relief.

Try A Program Of Graduate Exercise

Beginners Guide to Coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If overexertion causes symptom flareups, there is the temptation to move as little as possible. However, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to stiff joints, weight gain, increased stress, and other negative factors that may make your symptoms even worse. Thus, you have to stay physically active. What is graduated exercise, and how may it help?

A graduated exercise program begins with something as simple as light stretches. Under the supervision of a doctor, you gradually increase the amount of exercise that you perform. At times, you may face setbacks due to overexertion. However, the benefits of daily activity, for your heart, lungs, brain, and other critical body systems, are a must. Hopefully, the exercise will also improve energy levels, help you control stress, make it easier to sleep at night, and provide other health benefits.

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Eliminating Viruses Bacteria Candida And Parasites

Viruses, Candida, parasites and other infections are often present in patients with CFS. Whether these infections in combination are the cause of CFS or opportunistic invaders of a weakened immune system has not yet been proven. In either case, compromised immunity is a central feature of the syndrome, and the infections involved perpetuate and deepen immune dysfunction by further taxing an already overloaded system.

Candida albicans is a particular form of yeast found living in the intestinal tracts of most individuals. Yeasts cohabitate in a symbiotic relationship with over 400 healthy intestinal bacteria. These bacteria help produce short-chain fatty acids, vitamin K, biotin, vitamin B12, thiamin, and riboflavin. These bacteria also keep the yeast that inhabit our intestinal tract in check. When these good bacteria die or are suppressed , the yeasts are allowed to grow to unhealthy levels, causing dysbiosis . Yeast overgrowth is similar to food allergies in that there are a plethora of associated symptoms. This can lead to skepticism in many doctors the symptoms are tough to define. Candidiasis commonly infects the ears, nose urinary and intestinal tracts.

Get Specialist Care When You Need It

Visit your doctor every few months to help track your symptoms and check for any need to change your treatment.

Get specialized care if you need it. For example:

  • A rehabilitation specialist can help you treat pain and improve your ability to do your daily tasks.
  • A pain management specialist can offer a number of pain treatments.
  • There are some specialists who work with experimental treatments such as antiviral medicines.

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Identify Treatments Youve Tried

In addition to tracking the symptoms you have experienced, keep a list of treatments you have tried. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a medications and supplements list you can use to track your medications, their dosage, how well they help, and if you experienced side effects. Write a separate list of other treatments you have tried beyond medications and supplements, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, acupuncture, or meditation.

How Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated

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There is no cure for ME/CFS. Treatment goals include managing symptoms and returning you to a higher quality of life. Some people arenât able to regain the level of health and function they had before their diagnosis.

First, your doctor works with you to determine which symptoms cause the most difficulty. Together, you will address those symptoms immediately.

Counseling is helpful for many people with ME/CFS. This type of treatment helps people better tolerate symptoms by changing thoughts and behaviors. Your doctor may prescribe medications, like antidepressants or sleep aids, if your symptoms are especially severe. These medications can relieve symptoms like unrestful sleep for some people living with ME/CFS.

Before prescribing sleep aids, however, your doctor may provide suggestions for improving sleep without drugs. For instance, he or she might suggest that you visit a sleep specialist. Other tips include:

  • Develop a regular bedtime routineâgo to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
  • Do not nap for more than 30 minutes total during the day.
  • Use your bed and bedroom only for sleeping and sex. Take out all electronics.
  • Avoid eating large meals before you go to bed also avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Do your exercising at least 4 hours before you go to sleep.

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S To Detoxification And Healing

1. Eliminate the intake of toxins

You must stop bombarding your body with more toxins. Cleansing cannot take place until the intake of the toxic load is reduced. Avoid processed foods that contain additives and preservatives. Consume organic foods whenever possible. Stop smoking. Drink filtered water and use natural products whenever possible.

Whatever You Do: Choose Your Battles

Chronic fatigue syndrome never misses a chance to be heard when, say, you have a late night with friends or you try to do some strenuous gardening. Knowing this, I only go to battle with this illness when its worth it. For me, this means saying no to things like the office social or volunteering for the PTA. But a Garth Brooks concert? HELL YEAH!

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Preparing For An Appointment

If you have signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, you’re likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. It can be difficult to absorb all of the information provided during an appointment, so you might want to arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you. Having someone else hear the information can help you later in case there’s something you missed or forgot.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Symptoms of CFS often mimic the flu. The following are the most common symptoms of CFS. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Low-grade fever
  • Depression

The symptoms of CFS may look like other medical conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

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Should You See A Doctor

Some people dont really want to go to the doctor just because they feel tired and fatigued, but with chronic fatigue syndrome you will really feel out of it most of the time. It can keep you from your day to day routine, and you will want to make sure that you see your doctor promptly.

The reason behind this is because there are many types of infections and other disorders that can lead to this fatigued feeling. You cant really tell if it is just chronic fatigue syndrome, or if there is a more serious underlying cause that is keeping you down.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • Im always tired. Is there something wrong with me?
  • Do I need any tests to help determine why Im so tired all the time?
  • What is the likely cause of my fatigue?
  • Will alternative therapies such as yoga or acupuncture help?
  • Do I need to make any diet or lifestyle changes?
  • Is it safe for me to exercise? What kind of exercise should I do?
  • How do I convince people that my fatigue is real?

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Tips For Exercising Safely With Me/cfs

If you feel you can tolerate some exercise, be guided by your doctor or specialist, but general suggestions include:

  • Experiment to find the type of exercise that works best for you. Choose from a range of gentle activities such as stretching, yoga, tai chi, walking and light weight training. Often, people find exercises lying down use less energy.
  • Keep an activity diary so you have a long-term picture of your performance levels and factors that might impact on your symptoms. Some people with ME/CFS find they feel good straight after exercise, but then crash later on, so make sure you monitor how you feel, hours to days after exercise.
  • Stop the physical activity well before you feel any symptom flare. Pacing yourself is very important.
  • Remember that the amount of exercise you can do will change from one day to the next.
  • Listen to your body if you dont feel up to exercising on a particular day, dont.
  • Find out as much as you can about your ME/CFS. Make sure you consult with health professionals who fully understand ME/CFS as a biomedical disease

How Can I Care For Myself With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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In addition to the treatments above, there are things you can do to help manage this condition, such as:

  • reducing your stress
  • getting plenty of rest
  • making sleep a priority if you are having trouble sleeping, check out these tips to improve your sleeping habits
  • eating a healthy diet to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs
  • having plenty of salt if you have low blood pressure and a tendency to feel dizzy or even faint on standing
  • learning to prioritise the things you need to get done, and then pacing yourself by dividing them into short times of activity with rest breaks in between
  • learning mindfulness, meditation or creative visualisation
  • getting out into nature regularly, listening to music and enjoying your pets
  • developing a support network of understanding friends and family/whnau for when you need help
  • joining a support group if there is one in your area
  • talking to your doctor about whether there are any medications or supplements that may help you.

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How Is Me/cfs Treated

Right now, there is no cure or FDA-approved treatments for ME/CFS. But, there are things you and your doctor can do to help ease your symptoms. Because the symptoms of ME/CFS vary from person to person, the management plan you discuss with your doctor may look very different from the plan of another person with ME/CFS.

Talking With Your Doctor About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you are experiencing fatigue on an ongoing basis despite getting adequate sleep, talk to your doctor. While you could be facing chronic fatigue syndrome, many illnesses ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to iron-deficiency anemia can cause fatigue. Your doctor will need to ask questions and order tests to determine what is causing fatigue in your personal situation. Preparing for your appointment can help it go more smoothly.

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What Are The Symptoms

Symptoms can vary with ME/CFS. If you have ME/CFS:

  • You feel exhausted all or much of the time. And it doesn’t get better with rest.
  • Your symptoms may flare up after a mental or physical activity that used to be no problem for you. Often there is a delay before it starts. And it can take days, weeks, or more to feel better.
  • You have problems sleeping. Or you may wake up feeling tired or not rested.
  • It may be harder for you to think clearly, to concentrate, and to remember things.
  • You may feel dizzy, weak, or in more pain when you have been standing or sitting upright for a long time.
  • You may also have headaches, muscle and joint pain, a sore throat, and tender glands in your neck or armpits.

Depression is common with ME/CFS, and it can make your other symptoms worse.

What Are The Symptoms Of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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For many people, the symptoms of ME/CFS resemble other diseases, like influenza. Symptoms may come and go over time and may increase or decrease in severity. ME/CFS symptoms vary widely from person to person.

Many of the symptoms of ME/CFS make daily life difficult. These symptoms include:

  • Severe fatigue lasting at least 6 months that does not improve with rest or sleep
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes , headaches, and joint pain
  • Cognitive difficulties, including attention and memory problems
  • Muscle aches

Less common symptoms of ME/CFS include:

  • Problems with vision
  • Irritable bowel, an intestinal condition causing painful bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea
  • Psychological issues, including mood swings, irritability and anxiety
  • Tingling or numbness in the feet, hands or face

For many people, ME/CFS symptoms get worse following physical exercise or strenuous mental exertion. In some cases, orthostatic intolerance causes dizziness, weakness, and fainting.

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What To Expect From Your Doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • What are your symptoms and when did they begin?
  • Does anything make your symptoms better or worse?
  • Do you have problems with memory or concentration?
  • Are you having trouble sleeping?
  • How often do you feel depressed or anxious?
  • How much do your symptoms limit your ability to function? For example, have you ever had to miss school or work because of your symptoms?
  • What treatments have you tried so far for this condition? How have they worked?

Throw Her A Bone Now And Then

It might feel like your MIL is needy at times. She wants to rest, she doesnt want to dig the weeds today, work is too stressful for her, she wants to be in bed no later than 8:00 p.m. The list goes on and on. For goodness sake, throw her bone now and then! No. Scratch that. Throw her all the bones she wants and then some. I promise you the pay-off in terms of your health will be worth it.

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