Keep An Eye On Your Mental Health
This one is really important. Many people with CFS suffer from some form of mental health problem.
Whether or not these illnesses just have a tendency to occur side by side or whether sufferers of CFS are more prone to mental health issues because of the strain the illness puts on their life hasnt been determined yet.
But its a problem for many people, and you should talk to someone if your mood gets low, as theres no need to be ashamed.
Doing your best to keep a positive outlook and having friends and family to support you are the most important things, but cognitive behavioural therapy can help some people to deal with their illness better, helping with not just your mood but how to pace yourself so you dont burn out.
Talking To Your Doctor Or Nurse
Prepare for your next appointment with your doctor or nurse by writing down questions that you want to ask.
Never be embarrassed to ask them to repeat and explain anything that you dont understand.
Your care and wellbeing is the doctors and nurses priority, so describe all of your symptoms to them. It can be difficult for anyone to understand how much fatigue can affect your life, and how distressing it can be, unless they have experienced it themselves. For this reason you may need to emphasise to your doctors and nurses the difficulties that it causes for you.
Discuss everyday actions that you find difficult, such as climbing stairs, cooking or bathing. If you have kept a fatigue diary you can bring it in to share with the health professionals looking after you.
It can often be difficult to discuss emotions, especially when you are ill, for fear of upsetting yourself and others. Try not to let embarrassment stop you discussing your emotions with your doctors and nurses. It may help if you take someone to the appointment with you. When you have fatigue it can be difficult to remember what the doctor or nurse has said and your relative or friend can help to fill in the gaps.
Specific questions you may like to ask:
- What could be causing my fatigue?
- What treatments may help me?
- How can I cope with my fatigue?
- What help is available?
Lifestyle Changes To Combat Fatigue
Studies such as several done by Patti Katz, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, show the most effective interventions for fatigue are good lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle Changes to Combat Fatigue
Get Up and Move
Exercise helps with fatigue in many ways. It increases muscle mass, strength, blood circulation and flexibility, all of which will boost energy and reduce pain. Exercise also generates endorphins, which are brain chemicals that produce a sense of well-being and vitality and they can improve nighttime sleep.
Dehydration can be a hidden source of fatigue. You need at least a half-gallon of fluids or more a day, depending on your activity level and how hot and dry the weather is.
Nourish your body with good, whole foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and be sure to get adequate lean protein and healthy fats. If you need to lose weight, reduce your portions and limit processed, high-salt, sugary foods. Always start your day with breakfast that includes lean protein and complex carbohydrates to provide long-lasting energy.
Ease Your Mind
If depression or stress is adding to your fatigue or keeping you awake at night, you might want to see a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and mind-body exercise like yoga and tai chi can help calm your thoughts and boost your energy.
Support Your Joints
Maintain Good Sleep Habits
Take a Break
Get Some Help
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What Can I Do To Help My Recovery
During your recovery, it is important to find the right levels of activity for you to avoid severe symptoms, but remain healthy. When in the recovery process you will need to listen to your body. You may have some setbacks but getting the right balance is important to avoid de-conditioning even further.
How To Cope With The Mid
Most people feel drowsy after lunch. This mid-afternoon drop in energy levels is linked to the brains circadian rhythm and is hard wired into the human body. Prevention may be impossible, but there are ways to reduce the severity of the slump, including:
- Incorporate as many of the above fatigue-fighting suggestions as you can into your lifestyle. A fit, healthy and well-rested body is less prone to severe drowsiness in the afternoon.
- Eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates for lunch, for example a tuna sandwich. Carbohydrates provide glucose for energy. Protein helps keep your mind attentive and alert.
- Get moving. A brisk walk or even 10 minutes of stretching at your desk improves blood flow and boosts energy.
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Consider Injections Instead Of Pills
Sometimes the same drug can affect you in different ways depending on the method in which it is administered, Dr. Cohen says. Take methotrexate, for instance with pills you may have to use more medication to get the therapeutic dose because it has to pass through the entire gastrointestinal tract, she explains. Using an intramuscular injection often allows us to use less medication as it goes directly to your bloodstream. This may help lessen side effects such as fatigue for some patients. Read more common questions about methotrexate.
How To Deal With Chronic Fatigue And Be More Productive
How Severe Is Your Lack Of Energy?TAKE THE QUIZ
With a ton on your plate, being productive is essential! But when youre facing exhaustion and other symptoms, how do you stay productive and accomplish what needs to be done? Learning how to deal with chronic fatigue is so important.
With any chronic illness, you need to recognize and embrace your own unique limits. From there, you can prioritize and become efficient with your time!
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Take Advantage Of Shopping Technology
These days, you barely to set foot out of your house to fill your fridge a huge perk on days where fatigue hits you hard. I order groceries online from Walmart and Costco. Even vendors at the local farmers market will make home deliveries, Janelle says. Some apps will even save your grocery lists and help you clip online coupons, saving you time and money.
Test For Mitochondrial Dysfunction
ATP is necessary for energy production for all body functions.
In a study with 71 patients with CFS and 53 healthy controls, a highly significant correlation was observed between the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction and the severity of illness. Go here for more about this potential CFS test.
A test for ATP can be done at Biolab, London, UK. See below.
Please note that you may test as having normal mitochondrial function and still have a diagnosis of CFS/ME.
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How Is A Pots Diagnosis Made
Problems with the autonomic nervous system can be difficult to diagnose. The standard test for POTS is the tilt table test. During the test, you are secured to a table that tilts from being horizontal to almost a 90-degree angle. The test measures your hearts response to switching from laying down to standing up. Some people with POTS faint during this test, even if they rarely faint standing up.
Although the test seems straightforward, many things can interfere with it. Its important that a POTS specialist oversees it. Its best to work with a doctor who has diagnosed and treated patients with POTS. This could be a cardiologist, a neuromuscular specialist or another doctor.
How Is Cfs Treated
Theres currently no specific cure for CFS.
Each person has different symptoms and therefore may require different types of treatment to manage the disorder and relieve their symptoms.
Work with your team of healthcare providers to create the best treatment plan for you. They can go over the possible benefits and side effects of the therapies with you.
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Chronic Fatigue Treatment: Whats Next
Theres currently no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, nor have prescription drugs been developed to relieve the condition. Healthcare providers instead talk about managing CFSa challenge because it affects each patient in a different way. Plus, symptoms can vary over time, further complicating matters.
The most effective treatment of CFS, experts say, involves a team approach: doctors who specialize in different areas working with the patient himself. By working together, they have a better chance of creating a customized treatment program.
Doctors typically set out to relieve the most disruptive symptoms in a chronic fatigue syndrome patient. For example, some patients may experience a serious sleep disorder as one of their symptoms, whether its insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or nocturnal myoclonus . A sleep specialists treatment might involve the establishment of a hard-and-fast bedtime routine, the elimination of napping during the day, regular exercise, and the avoidance of caffeine after lunch and of alcohol and tobacco altogether.
Psychological Issues And Fatigue
Studies suggest that between 50 and 80 per cent of fatigue cases are mainly due to psychological factors. Suggestions include:
- Talk about it Theres some evidence that talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy might help to fight fatigue. See your doctor for a referral for talking treatment.
- Reduce stress Stress uses up a lot of energy. Try to introduce relaxing activities into your day. This could be working out at the gym, or a gentler option such as meditation, yoga, listening to music, reading or spending time with friends. Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.
- Assess your lifestyle for example, are you putting yourself under unnecessary stress? Are there ongoing problems in your life that may be causing prolonged anxiety or depression? It may help to seek professional counselling to work out family, career or personal issues.
- Learn to do nothing one of the drawbacks of modern life is the pressure to drive ourselves to bigger and better heights. A hectic lifestyle is exhausting. Try to carve out a few more hours in your week to simply relax and hang out. If you cant find a few more hours, it may be time to rethink your priorities and commitments.
- Have more fun maybe youre so preoccupied with commitments and pressures that you dont give yourself enough time for fun. Laughter is one of the best energy boosters around.
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How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated
There’s no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. But experts say that these lifestyle changes can help:
- Include regular, carefully planned exercise in your daily routine. Exercise can increase energy and make a person feel better. People with CFS should pace themselves while doing any physical activity that requires exertion. Talk with a doctor what’s right for you you don’t want to overdo it and get discouraged. Studies show that “graded exercise” is very helpful in CFS recovery.
- Follow stress-management and stress-reduction techniques. A doctor or therapist can teach these they’re great ways to take control of some aspects of the illness.
- Ensure good sleep habits to overcome CFS-related sleep problems.
- Work on ways to keep track of important things, such as keeping lists and making notes, you have problems with concentration or memory.
Meeting regularly with a therapist or counselor can help in CFS treatment. The main goals of therapy are to help people cope with the illness and to change negative or unrealistic thoughts or feelings into positive, realistic ones.
Having a positive feeling that you can get better is very helpful. Therapy and support groups can also help teens with CFS and their parents deal with the academic or social challenges brought on by the illness, such as missed school, falling grades, or withdrawal from friends and social situations.
Doctors may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medicines for some of these symptoms.
What Can I Expect
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.
Many new and experimental treatments for CFS are available. But dont use any unproven treatments until checking with your doctor.
CFS is a misunderstood illness. But scientists continue to learn about it through research and clinical trials. Theyre trying to better understand its symptoms and causes in kids and teens.
Good medical care and coping techniques are the keys to helping your child manage chronic fatigue syndrome. It can also help to find support sites and groups, such as:
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How Yoga Helps To Develop Self
My yoga practice has helped so much with building this self-awareness. It has allowed me to finally arrived on the path to healing my fatigue symptoms after years of drifting around and jumping from one thing to another. Yoga gives us that safe space to shut out the world and turn inwards. We can get really get quiet and pay attention to what is going on inside. Yoga encourages us to be with our breath and body. To move at our own pace and rest whenever we need to.
In yoga we learn not to push and force ourselves into postures but to keep a beginners mind. We accept that we are gradually moving along the path and we will get there in our own time. Getting on the mat every day helps us to observe the changes in our body and mind over time. We can notice if were feeling more tired or energised, more anxious or calm. Its clear when fatigue symptoms such as tension or tightness in our body arise. We can also intuitively know what to do to feel better.
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
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.
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What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, is a condition in which fatigue lasts six months or longer and is not related to other diseases or conditions. People with CFS experience symptoms that make it hard to do daily tasks like dressing or bathing. Along with severe fatigue that doesnt get better with rest, CFS symptoms can include problems with sleep, memory and concentrating, pain, dizziness, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes. Learn more about CFS.
How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed
Right now, there’s no test to tell if someone has chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors ask a lot of questions . They also will do a thorough physical exam.
Doctors also usually order blood, urine , or other tests to check for conditions that cause similar symptoms. They may send a person to see other specialists to help with the diagnosis.
A doctor may suggest meeting with a psychologist or a therapist who can see whether mental health disorders might contribute to or mask CFS.
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What Is Fatigue And How Is It Manifested
Fatigue is a symptom of a range of medical conditions that will be explored below. It can also be the result of some lifestyle choices like a lack of nutrients in the diet and physical activity. Fortunately, there are many things that can be done to increase energy levels naturally.
Fatigue refers to a feeling of weakness, both physically and/or mentally. Millions of people live their lives with fatigue every day.
Fatigue refers to a lack of energy and a feeling of whole-body exhaustion. It is not the same as being sleepy. Sleepiness or drowsiness is a warm and inviting feeling to get some rest, whereas fatigue is an uncomfortable feeling of being exhausted.
Fatigue manifests itself as a lack of motivation and energy. An associated symptom of fatigue is apathy, as in the lack of concern of the feelings of others.
It can be sudden or progressive. Fatigue may be isolated and a normal occurrence, i.e. following a bout of intense physical or mental activity. Think, after a long exam or a marathon. Normally, this type of fatigue can be resolve upon rest. If fatigue persists and is progressively worsens, then it may be indicative of an underlying health condition.
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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