Food Allergies And Intolerances
CFS may affect or be affected by the immune system, but exactly how is unknown. However, CFS food related problems are more likely to be food intolerances, , than food allergies . A detailed history by an experienced healthcare professional is required to diagnose and manage these. There are many commercially available tests claiming to diagnose food intolerance and allergy. These should be avoided as they have no scientific basis.
Keep Time With Your Body Clock
Some people get a burst of energy first thing in the morning. They’re often called morning larks. Night owls are people who are at their best at the end of the day.
These individual differences in daily energy patterns are determined by brain structure and genetics, so they can be tough to change. Instead, become aware of your own circadian rhythms. Then schedule demanding activities when your energy levels are typically at their peak.
Dont Overdo It On Good Days
On days when your illness is bad, it can feel impossible to do the simplest tasks. So when you feel better, its tempting to try and cram in all those things you didnt get done.Although the docs tell you not to overdo it on good days, I cant help it. I have so many bad days and Im so far behind, Elizabeth F. told us on Facebook. Last Saturday was a good day. I vacuumed and mopped the whole house, cleaned two bathrooms, did all of the laundry, went grocery shopping at 9 PM, and cleaned out the closet to get a bag together for donation. Then on Sunday the pain was 225 on a scale of 1-10. She feels pressure to get things done when shes feeling well because of that what-if feeling that the pain could get worse.Not overdoing it on good days is a hard habit to adopt, but you have to try. Even though you may be feeling better, your body is still working hard because of your disease and your energy is in short supply. Overdoing it will only make your fatigue worse in the future, he says.
Treating Chronic Fatigue With Exercise
EditorWhile I welcome Sharpe and Wesselys reminder about the dangers of bed rest, I am concerned about the blanket advice regarding activity levels for patients with chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome is now generally acknowledged to be a heterogeneous condition, not a single entity with a single cause. Accordingly, what may suit one person may be totally inappropriate for another. As research has shown, most patients with chronic fatigue syndrome remain ambulant, spend relatively few daytime hours resting, are no more inactive than people with mild multiple sclerosis, and tend to perform at or near their activity ceiling. What these patients need is not a strict programme in which rest is allowed according to a predetermined plan but a flexible approach that does not ignore current energy levels or make people feel guilty if they increase rest periods when they consider this to be right for them.
For many years, specialists in chronic fatigue syndrome have argued that the emphasis on fatigue is misleading and that theories relating to this illness must be able to explain not only the lack of energy but also the fluctuations in the disorder and such symptoms as cognitive dysfunction, intolerance to alcohol, and sensitivities to certain drugs. Do Sharpe and Wessely believe that these are also the result of excessive rest?
What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms include some, or all, of the following:
- constant, overwhelming mental and physical tiredness
- sleep disturbance, un-refreshing sleep
- post-exertion malaise
- muscle pain and/or weakness or joint pain
- headaches, poor concentration or poor memory recurring sore throats or flu-like symptoms
- feeling sick,
- symptoms of IBS , such as wind/bloating, stomach pain, diarrhoea and constipation
- intolerance, or sensitivity, to alcohol, caffeine, some foods or medications
CFS/ME is poorly understood, with no specific diagnostic test. Diagnosis is made by excluding other causes of the symptoms.
S To Overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic illness characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for more than six months. This fatigue cannot be explained away by an underlying medical condition. In fact, one of the diseases principle challenges is that its impossible to diagnose with laboratory tests. However, some professionals believe it is closely related to adrenal fatigue or system wide inflammation of the body.
The process for diagnosis usually begins with ruling out possible underlying diseases and chronic conditions until the only choice left is chronic fatigue syndrome. Left untreated, it decreases stamina, memory and concentration.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can result in strained relationships with friends and family, especially when it remain undiagnosed and/or untreated. Guilt, anxiety and anger are all common emotional responses for those fighting chronic fatigue.
Currently, over 1 million Americans are suffering from this debilitating illness that manifests with a lack of energy and motivation, and women are 24 times more likely than men to be diagnosed.
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Doctors have narrowed down some of the triggers for chronic fatigue syndrome. Everyone is different, though, and may experience symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome differently, but theCenters for Disease Control and doctors classifychronic fatigue syndrome as having at least four of the following physical symptoms for at least six months:
- Post-exertional malaise
- Unrefreshing sleep
Chronic fatigue syndrome can only be diagnosed when other diseases have been ruled out, but thats the problem: You may experience fatigue as a symptom of other health conditions.
How Can A Physical Therapist Help
Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a treatment plan for your specific condition. The goal will be to help ease your discomfort and improve your ability to perform daily activities.
Because people with CFS have fatigue, pain, and weakness, treatment may focus on improving short-term endurance and strength. Your physical therapist also may check for other conditions, like depression. They may refer you to other specialists to help manage your symptoms.
Physical therapy treatments may include:
Education. Your physical therapist may design a program to help you save energy while doing daily activities. They also may teach you sleep-health promotion techniques.
Movement and strengthening exercises. Moving and exercising can improve your short-term endurance and strength. Movement also can help reduce your pain. Your physical therapist will identify and teach you specific movements to help reduce your symptoms.
Manual therapy. Your physical therapist may use manual therapy to help ease your symptoms. This treatment is used to mobilize your skin, bones, and soft tissues, to help reduce pain and improve movement.
How Is It Diagnosed
CFS is diagnosed by ruling out other health problems that could cause long lasting fatigue. It also is based on what symptoms you report. Your doctor or physical therapist may order medical tests to rule out other conditions. There are currently no diagnostic tests that can confirm CFS.
A physical therapist may be the first to recognize the onset of CFS. Your physical therapist may ask you questions such as:
- When do you feel fatigued?
- How long has your fatigue lasted?
- Do you experience any widespread pain or discomfort?
- Have you noticed any big changes in your ability to do physical tasks?
- Do you have problems sleeping?
- Have you noticed any recent changes in your ability to think clearly?
Your physical therapist also may ask you to fill out form with questions. Your answers will help them better understand your physical state and screen for other conditions. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing may help determine how much function you have lost. It includes two tests arranged 24 hours apart.
What Else Should I Know
- Strong emotions can be a part of the illness, so it’s important to recognize and express your feelings. Feelings like sadness, anger, and frustration are completely normal and it’s important to acknowledge how you feel and recognize that it’s not your fault. Recognizing emotions can help you figure out what’s behind your feelings and help you manage problems.
- It can help to keep a daily diary of feelings and energy highs and lows. This also can let you share information that might help your doctor. You can also track trends for example, if your energy is high at one time of day and low at another that will help you figure out when to exercise or do other activities.
- Give yourself more time to do things, especially activities that take concentration or physical exertion.
- Get support from family, teachers, and friends.
- Get information about CFS from reliable sources. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion about this disease. So it’s important to know and trust your sources.
Most important, don’t give up. Having chronic fatigue syndrome can be hard. But for most people, the symptoms are most severe in the beginning. Later, they may come and go. Teens with CFS generally get better faster and recover more completely than adults do. Most teens get partial or full recovery within 5 years after symptoms began.
Sleep Suggestions For Fighting Fatigue
A common cause of fatigue is not enough sleep, or poor quality sleep. Suggestions include:
- Get enough sleep two-thirds of us suffer from sleep problems, and many people dont get the sleep they need to stay alert through the day. Some recommendations on getting a good nights sleep include: go to bed and get up in the morning at the same time every day, avoid naps through the day, and have a warm bath or shower before bed.
- Limit caffeine too much caffeine, particularly in the evening, can cause insomnia. Limit caffeinated drinks to five or less per day, and avoid these types of drinks after dinner.
- Learn how to relax a common cause of insomnia is fretting about problems while lying in bed. Experiment with different relaxation techniques until you find one or two that work for you for example, you could think of a restful scene, focus on your breathing, or silently repeat a calming mantra or phrase.
- Avoid sleeping pills sleeping pills are not a long-term solution because they dont address the causes of insomnia.
Treatment Plans For Me/cfs
There’s no single way of managing ME/CFS that works for everyone, but there are a number of treatment options.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence says you should be offered a treatment plan tailored to your symptoms.
Your doctor should discuss all of the options with you, and explain the benefits and risks of any treatment.
They should work with you to develop a treatment plan that suits you and takes into account your circumstances and preferences.
You may need advice about making lifestyle changes, specialist treatments, or a combination of both.
If your symptoms are severe, your doctor should ask a specialist for advice.
Your treatment plan should be reviewed regularly.
How To Fight Fibromyalgia Fatigue
Besides pain, anxiety and mental fog, fibromyalgia patients may also suffer from chronic fatigue symptoms. But natural remedies can go a long way toward restoring lost energy. Heres an expert guide to what really works for fibromyalgia fatigue…On bad days, Holly Scott can barely drag herself out of bed, shuffle to the couch and sit down. Ordinary activities seem virtually impossible.When my fibromyalgia flares up, I miss my daughters soccer games and dance recitals, says the 39-year-old Tucson mother of two. Im too tired even to sit through a movie with my husband. Scotts exhaustion is typical of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness, and can often bring about debilitating fatigue.Thats the result of the body trying to fight chronic pain both physically and mentally, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! and a leading expert on both fibromyalgia support and chronic fatigue. After a flare-up, women with fibromyalgia find themselves with lagging energy levels because theyve spent a great deal of battling the depression and emotional anguish associated with the disease, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
For optimum fibromyalgia support, meditate at least once a day for a minimum of 10 minutes, Dr. Yee suggests.Build up to twice a day: once in the morning and once at night.Heres how to get started:
Ask About Flexible Work Arrangements
On days when the fatigue overwhelms Marco, he has the option of working from home. Its not an option for everyone but if you think your job might allows it, its worth asking about it, he says. My boss is pretty understanding and I try to limit it to days when the flare-ups are really bad, he explains. My last boss would never have let me do it though, so it really is about your office culture. Here are more tips for navigating work with chronic illness.
Why Does It Matter How You Manage Fatigue When You Have Been Ill
This guideline aims to give advice to help people after an illness, such as a viral infection, to try to manage and reduce the fatigue that they may be experiencing. There has been very little research done looking at how to manage fatigue in the early stages following an infection. We dont yet confidently know the scientific answer to whether managing fatigue in different ways leads to different outcomes in terms of recovery. Many people who have experienced fatigue for a longer period of time, along with those who have developed ME/CFS, report that they wished they had received good advice earlier on in their illness regarding how to manage fatigue. Fatigue can interfere with every aspect of day to day life so learning how to cope with it, and feeling confident with helpful strategies, may help to reduce the impact of the fatigue.
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
The actual causes of CFS are not fully understood. To date, there is no sure way to predict or prevent it. Detecting the signs and symptoms of CFS early may help to manage it.
Education is key to managing CFS. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop methods to help you manage your symptoms. They also will help you better understand your condition.
Learning ways to manage CFS symptoms can help improve your function and quality of life. Your physical therapist or other members of your health care team may use strategies that include:
- Teaching you ways to balance activity and rest periods.
- A pacing self-management program. Your physical therapist can teach you mild, short-duration exercises. These will help you add physical activity to your life without making your symptoms worse.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy. These therapies may help address any related problems such as anxiety and depression.
General Exercise Tips For People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
- Keep an activity diary so you have a long-term picture of your performance levels and factors that might impact on your symptoms.
- 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 ‘real’ biomedical condition.
Do A Mental Health Check
Check in with yourself to establish what mental patterns may be causing low energy levels. Anxiety symptoms include feeling worried, irritable, and nervous. Symptoms of depression include feeling sad, restless, and hopeless. Both conditions can lead to unhealthy sleep patterns and cause tiredness.
Consider seeing a therapist for talk therapy, known as cognitive behavioral therapy . This method helps you to get to the root cause of emotional issues so that they can be addressed and overcome.
Alternative And Holistic Therapies
Alternative or holistic therapies may provide some comfort to those with a long standing illnesses but be cautious of any method that claims to offer a cure for chronic fatigue. If the therapy has not been published in respected peer-reviewed journal or is expensive you should talk to your GP before trying it. Until further research is done, no-one can be certain whether someone with CFS/ME might benefit from alternative therapies.
Treating The Most Disruptive Symptoms First And Preventing Worsening Of Symptoms
Healthcare providers and patients need to establish which symptoms are most disruptive or disabling and tailor management plans accordingly. Treatment should be directed toward the most problematic symptoms as prioritized by the patient. It is also important to incorporate strategies to prevent worsening of symptoms into initial and subsequent treatment plans.
Have Smaller More Frequent Meals
In terms of energy levels, eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day may be more beneficial than eating a few large meals. Thats because it keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
Eating every three to four hours will make it less likely that your energy crashes, and in turn youll be less likely to reach for unhealthy food.
Avoid overeating at meals, and stop eating before you are entirely full.
When To Call A Doctor If You Have Cfs
If you meet most of the criteria listed above, you may need to consult with your physician for validation. If your symptoms are getting worse or if you dont see any signs of improvement, you should also get in touch with your physician for help. While there isnt a well-established method used to fix CFS completely, you can use many ways to experience relief from the symptoms.
Your doctor may cross-reference your symptoms with other pre-existing health conditions such as sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, and heart disorders. Be sure to offer as much information as you can to get an accurate explanation about your syndrome.