Pacing Not Pushing Too Hard Or Too Quickly
This goes for anyone experiencing chronic illness or medical conditions of any kind. Being realistic with yourself and knowing that it just takes time is key to allowing the nervous system to remain calm. Its that sense of rushing to get better that creates agitation and the system and paradoxically, prolongs the healing process.
Get 7 9 Hours Of Sleep Nightly
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are not sleeping enough include: Does it take me a long time to fall asleep? Do I wake up often or am I restless? Do I feel sleepy when driving? Do I need caffeine to get through the day? Answer, yes, to any of these indicates you may not be getting enough quality sleep.
Change The Things You Can
No doubt, when an illness barges into your life unannounced and takes up residence, it can leave you feeling angry, defeated, and powerless. For me, there came a point, though, where those feelings needed to take a back seat to a more constructive focus on the things I could change. For example, I could be a mom. I could take tai chi, and I could pursue a new career in writing. These are things I find enjoyable, fulfilling, and, best of all, my mother-in-law finds them quite agreeable too!
If one thing has become clear over my journey with this illness, its that we are all called to make the best of our living situations. Who knows? One day I might wake up and my metaphorical roommate may have found herself other accommodations. But, safe to say, Im not holding my breath. For today, Im happy to make the best of it and take the lessons as they come. How do you deal with chronic fatigue syndrome? Share your experiences with me!
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From Severe To Extremely Severe
In my Severe state, I was bedridden and became sensitive to human contact. I could not tolerate people being in my room for more than short periods of time . This got worse, and soon trips into my room to bring me food and basic necessities became too much. Before I could get my caretakers to successfully limit their trips in and out of my room, they came in and out too many times once and I crashed and got worse . This was on Christmas Eve. I remember lying in bed on Christmas Day, not knowing how I was going to get help or food because I couldnt tolerate people coming in my room at all anymore . I just laid in bed, kind of panicked, trying to think of a solution. I eventually came up with the idea of wearing headphones playing music while they came in. This worked! It eventually morphed into earmuffs with earphones inside playing white noise very softly, the combination of which did a great job blocking outside noise. From that moment on, I didnt have anyone in my room without earphones and earmuffs. Only when I discovered Ativan and Abilify in the last few months of 2020 and improved was I able to be around people without earmuffs and actually listen to them speak, but only with Ativan or when my body naturally releases adrenaline to enable me to get up to have a bowel movement in the bathroom . I will explain this natural adrenaline release later in this article.
How Energy Supplements Work
People often believe that energy supplements are a quick fix or a miracle cure for chronic fatigue. The truth is that they only provide your body with the tools it needs to function and feel its best.
Supplements are not a substitute for a healthy diet, lifestyle habits, and regular exercise. If youre serious about feeling better and ridding yourself of chronic fatigue once and for all, its important to focus on all aspects of your health.
While some may argue that there are no best energy supplements for chronic fatigue, the list above can get you started in your search for an effective supplement. Remember, not every product will work for everyone, so be sure to keep track of what works and what doesnt. And always do your research before buying something new.
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How Is Me/cfs Treated
There is no cure for ME/CFS, but there is still a lot your doctor can do to help you relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Any commercially available product or treatment promoted as a cure for ME/CFS should be treated with caution.
Current treatments have 2 key aspects:
- Pacing and rest: pacing is a strategy designed to help people with ME/CFS live within their energy envelope this is the amount of energy they can safely use without triggering PEM. It breaks down activity into short bursts, interspersed with rest, and aims to leave some energy in the tank at the end of the day. For more information about pacing, see the Emerge Australia fact sheet.
- Stepwise symptom management: this involves ranking symptoms and exploring ways to reduce symptoms, starting with the most problematic.
Your doctor may also suggest working with other healthcare professionals such as a psychologist, occupational therapist or a physiotherapist.
You may want to talk to your doctor about how to manage work or school commitments while you are sick and when you feel you might be ready to return.
It may also help if you:
- keep a diary to see whether certain activities or levels of exercise tend to trigger PEM
- relax as much as possible
- try to go to bed at the same time each night and limit daytime napping
- avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and anything else that could affect your sleep
Structure Your Day To Match Rising And Falling Energy Levels
One of the first steps to reducing mental fatigue is getting in tune with how your energy levels rise and fall. Even at your most rested, you deal with ebbs and flows of energy throughout your day.
Everyone does. You have periods of high-energy and moments when that energy wanes. These up and down cycles are called ultradian rhythms, and each cycle lasts somewhere between 90 to 120 minutes.
In their book The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz note:
These ultradian rhythms help to account for the ebb and flow of our energy throughout the day. Physiological measures such as heart rate, hormonal levels, muscle tension and brain-wave activity all increase during the first part of the cycleand so does alertness. After an hour or so, these measures start to decline. Somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes, the body begins to crave a period of rest and recovery.
Youre at your most productive in 90 to 120-minute peak energy cycles and your least productive during 20-minute troughs in between.
To take advantage of your bodys natural rhythms, figure out when your peaks and valleys occur and schedule your days task around them. To learn your ultradian rhythms, keep a log for a few weeks of your energy levels each hour. This will give you a fairly good feel for when your energy is at its highest and when you need to take breaks. Alternatively, you can use the Rise sleep app to help you calculate your ultradian rhythms.
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What To Do If Your Fatigue Lingers Or Gets Worse
A person is considered to have long COVID when symptoms havent gone away after four or more weeks of falling ill, according to the CDC.
Its estimated that about 30 percent of people with COVID-19, maybe even more, end up having long-term symptoms, and that can include fatigue, says Gupta.
Try not to get upset if it takes a while for your fatigue to lift. The time it takes for fatigue to resolve can vary from person to person, McClellan says, but you should expect to get better eventually. I think psychologically its good to know that fatigue is something that will go away.
Gupta recommends checking in with your healthcare provider if your symptoms linger. If fatigue or other symptoms get to a point where you cant manage them or care for yourself anymore, you definitely need to seek help, she says.
She also emphasizes the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce your chances of getting sick or developing a severe case if you become infected. People need to be vaccinated. Theres no substitute for that right now, she says.
Check For Heavy Metals
Having a small amount of heavy metals, such as Iron and Zinc, is essential for the health of our body. However, too large amounts can be toxic. A professional nutritionist or naturopath can help you access tests to look at your heavy metal status. If heavy metals in your body are too high, they can help you to detoxify.
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Strategy : Daily Walking
About 10 years ago, I read an article about a condition called neurasthenia. This was a mysterious medical condition reported by doctors in the 19th and early 20th century. The description of the symptoms of the disease was very similar to what we now call ME/CFS. One of the treatments recommended for that condition was a daily walk.
I initially thought that that idea was absurd. Walking requires energy, right? Why would I want to expend energy when I had such little energy to start with?
Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try. I started out slowly by walking around the neighborhood for just a few minutes. Surprisingly, I found that I felt energized during the walk.
After gradually increasing the distance, within a month I was walking about 1.5 miles daily at a moderate pace without any fatigue at all. After the walks, I felt fine, though the fatigue returned after an hour or so. But I found that over a few months I actually did gain back, and keep, about 10% of the energy I lost.
There is some evidence that graded exercise can help some ME/CFS sufferers. For me, a gradual increase in walking distance and speed seemed to work.
How Can I Find Out If I Have It
The National Academy of Medicine has issued guidelines describing the combination of symptoms necessary for doctors to diagnose the condition. Unfortunately, there is not yet a diagnostic test that is sufficiently accurate to be useful.
Because extreme fatigue is a symptom of so many conditions, your doctor will want to rule out other conditions first, before considering a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Youâll need to get a complete checkup and talk with your doctor about all your symptoms.
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What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disease for doctors to diagnose and even fully understand.
CFS is a physical condition, but it can also affect a person psychologically. This means that someone with CFS may feel physical symptoms, such as being very tired and weak , headaches, or dizziness. But the person may also notice emotional symptoms, such as a loss of interest in favorite activities.
To make it even more complicated, different people with CFS can have different symptoms. And the symptoms of CFS often are similar those of other health conditions, like mono, Lyme disease, or depression. And the symptoms can vary over time, even in the same person.
This makes treating the illness complicated because no single medicine or treatment can address all the possible symptoms.
Rule Out Health Problems
Fatigue is a common symptom of many illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, anemia, thyroid disease, and sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if you feel unusually tired.
Many medications can contribute to fatigue. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, diuretics, and other drugs. If you begin to experience fatigue after starting a new medication, tell your doctor.
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Appendix A5 My Whole World Exists In Bed
Something I dont think people who havent experienced being bedridden understand is that, when youre bedridden, your whole world exists in bed. You dont climb into bed to sleep or nap or get cozy and then get out of bed and live in the rest of the room/house/world.
You are always in bed. Its your whole world. I think this contributes to some of the sensitivity that severe ME/CFS patients experience. Anyone would be particular about their bed if they were bedridden, but it is also exacerbated by the sensitivity that the illness causes.
All these items are, to me, like all the stuff in your house. You are just as particular about how your house is arranged as I am about how my bed is arranged, and you get to leave the house and get away from all that stuff and move freely with a few possessions. I dont. This bed is where I reside 24/7 and I need access to this stuff 24/7.
Adjusting The Immune Dysfunction Of Cfs By Tcm Drugs
Immune system dysfunction and its close interactions with the nervous and endocrine systems have been clearly reported in recent years as playing a role in the development of CFS . Hence, maintaining an efficient and equilibrated immune system is a reasonable approach to prevent certain chronic illnesses.
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Expert Tips On How To Beat Covid
To aid your recovery from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following: Take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce fever and muscle aches drink lots of water or get intravenous fluids to stay hydrated and get plenty of rest.
McClelland recommends practicing three principles the 3 Ps to manage your fatigue:
Pace. Pace yourself and dont push yourself to exhaustion. If you overdo it, it can make recovery harder and set you back in your progress. Make sure you build rest into your activities, even for small things like walking up the stairs, McClelland says.
Plan. Map out your activities for the day and the week. If you find that your energy or ability to concentrate dips at certain times, strategize accordingly, suggests the United Kingdoms National Health Service.
Prioritize. Figure out which items on your to-do list are essential and which can wait. When youre fatigued, dump the stuff that doesnt have to get done, or ask someone to help you, says McClelland.
Manage Stress And Increase Restorative Sleep
Doesn’t it feel like life gets busier every year? These hectic and stressful lives we live are doing a number on our sleep.
What to do: Start and end your day with mindfulness meditation. An amino acid called theanine has also been shown to improve sleep and allows you to feel rested and rejuvenated when you wake up. Low-caffeine teas like white tea or decaf green tea are great sleep-promoting options, as well.
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Make Exercise And Sleep Priorities
When it comes to your mental health, exercise and sleep are invaluable.
With exercise, it doesnt require the time commitment as many people think. Moderate exercise walking at a brisk pace every day for 20 to 30 minutes can do wonders for your mental well-being.
Beyond helping you get into better shape physically, exercise boosts your immune system and increases endurance. Its also a great stress reducer and will improve both your mood and anxiety levels.
Its critical that whatever your exercise routine, its easy for you to follow and stick to.
Sleep is also critical. Few things will improve your health faster than getting consistent, sustained periods of sleep. And the truth is, how you sleep is equally as important as how much.
Your environment should be conducive to a good nights rest. The room should be dark, quiet, and at a cool, comfortable temperature. Try to avoid electronics, particularly smartphones and tablets, at least two to three hours before bed.
As with exercise, create a sleep routine that is consistent and easily repeatable. Keep it calm and ensure that it occurs at the same time every evening to ensure the best nights rest.
Increase Potassium And Magnesium Intake
Research shows that both potassium and magnesium can help improve the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
In a study published in the UK medical journal The Lancet, chronic fatigue syndrome patients were found to have low magnesium levels that accounted for a low red blood cell count.
In this study, patients that were treated with magnesium supplements self-reported improved energy levels, a more balanced emotional state and less pain. At the end of the six-week study, all patients that were given magnesium had their red cell magnesium levels return to normal.
If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, consider adding these magnesiumrich foods to add to your diet: spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt and kefir, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate and bananas.
These delicious foods can help you overcome chronic fatigue, one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, and support healthy nerve function, healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure regulation, and much more. Its estimated that nearly 80 percent of Americans are currently deficient in this essential mineral.
Potassium is responsible for proper electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium-rich foods include avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, coconut water, kefir and yogurt, white beans, bananas, acorn squash, dried apricots and mushrooms.
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Limitations Of Ancient Records And Present Related Evidence
First, some recorded drugs do not attenuate the symptoms of CFS and may even aggravate such symptoms. For example, the mineral drug fluorite was recorded as possessing an antifatigue activity, but evidence-based studies have shown that cerebral impairment occurs with its use due to exposure to its main component , and that it causes general malaise and fatigue . Second, some crude drugs may improve some of the symptoms of CFS such as fatigue, sleep disorders and so on, but this does not mean that they are effective for CFS. Third, there is no proof in recent studies to clarify the activity of crude drugs that can eliminate heat-pathogens. Crude drugs that can eliminate heat-pathogens were often used for viral or bacterial infections. Perhaps they are beneficial for the initial microbial infections of CFS. However, there currently is no evidence to support this hypothesis.