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.
What Can Decrease Melatonin Levels
- Exposure to bright lights at night
- Exposure to electromagnetic fields
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
- Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors , yes the very same antidepressants that many take for CFS, including Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, and
- Anxiety medications like Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, Restoril, anti-hypertensive meds including, Inderal, Toprol, Tenormin, Lorpressor,
- Evening exercise
When administered in pharmacological doses , melatonin acts as a powerful sleep regulating agent that controls the circadian rhythm .
What We Know Now
As I discussed in a recent article in the journal JAMA, research has documented underlying biological abnormalities involving many organ systems in people with ME/CFS, compared with healthy controls. Heres an overview of what the current science suggests.
The brain. Tests of brain hormones, formal tests of thinking, magnetic resonance imaging , and positron emission tomography scans of the brain are abnormal in a substantial fraction of patients with ME/CFS. Tests of the autonomic nervous system, which controls vital functions including body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and movement of the intestines and bladder, also are abnormal. Not all of these abnormalities of the brain are present in every person with ME/CFS, and they appear to come and go.
Energy metabolism. We are alive because the cells of our body are alive. And theyre alive because they can make energy, and use that energy to do their jobs and remain alive. Our cells make energy out of the oxygen in the air we breathe, and out of the sugars, fats, and proteins we eat. In ME/CFS, research has shown that the cells have trouble both making and using energy. That is, people with ME/CFS feel they dont have enough energy because their cells are not making enough, nor using what they make efficiently. The ability of cells to extract oxygen from the blood and use it to make energy appears particularly defective after physical and mental exertion.
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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.
What Must Be Gotten Rid Of To Unleash Vital Energy
This question leads us to consider the large array of potential irritants, toxins, allergens, or infectious agents that can lead to BTAM energy operating system dysfunction and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Some of these are robust and virulent and can, by themselves, cause severe fatigue and complex illness. Others are less damaging by themselves but when combined can lead to severe energy impairment.
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Who Is At Risk For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Because the cause of CFS is not known, its hard to know what might put someone at risk for getting the condition. However, certain factors are seen more often in people with CFS. These factors include:
- Gender. CFS happens up to 4 times more often in women than in men.
- Age. CFS commonly affects middle-aged people, but people of any age can get it.
Vitamin B12 And Folic Acid
Researchers have been exploring whether vitamin B12 injection or other means of supplementation, along with folic acid, can relieve CFS symptoms.
There is a biochemical theory as to how this may be of benefit: People with CFS show reduced methylation which plays a role in gene expression as well as regulation of many of the body’s systems, including detoxification, cardiovascular and the neurologic system. Vitamin B12 and folic acid both promote healthy methylation pathways.
A study of B12 injections in addition to oral folic acid supplementation found that some subjects with CFS responded well, while others had only a mild response. A better response was associated with more frequent injections, lack of use of opioids, and a certain genetic phenotype.
Another study looked at using B12 nasal drops as an alternative to injections in subjects with CFS. This study also found good response in two-thirds of the participants. The researchers demonstrated that those who had a better response had a higher blood level of B12 and were more physically active .
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The Intelligence Of Negative Emotionsnavigating The Storm
Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.
Why are there emotions that make us squirm? What is it about them that feels so uncomfortable?
We have a strong attraction to negativity. Negative information, negative stories, and negative feelings take up a lot of space in our minds. This trait, known as the negativity bias, is a survival strategy of our brains. We glom on to thoughts, feelings, and experiences posing potential threats, allowing them to take priority space in our minds.
This negativity bias drives a physical stress response, flooding us with energy, anxiety, and discomfort to get our attention and mobilize us to action. It may keep us alive at times, but more often, the negative experiences crowd out the restthe good and the beautiful. Our negative stories and uncomfortable feelings get way more credit for power and significance than they deserve.
Emotional Navigation: Its All about Balance
But we need all our feelings. Good and bad. Its not either/or, good versus bad, brave versus fearful, sad versus happy. No. Its a mess. Our human mess. A mess that, if were present for it, is the beauty of our lives.
Anger, Rage, and Hate
But anger has a purpose. Anger is about fairness, justice, and where our boundaries have been breached. We must find ways to express this vital information and to receive it with the keen eye of a compassionate observer.
Fear, like anger, has been socially maligned and misinterpreted.
How Can I Care For Myself With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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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Stop Asking Others To Fix You
But to activate this deep potential that is yours, youve got to affirm it. Claim responsibility for it. Youve got to call back your power from the outside sources youve asked to fix you. From the experts who dont know you as well as you do. Who attempt to define your problems and address your needs with limited tools and understanding about who you are.
Intestinal Permeability Is Associated With Such Illnesses As
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Chronic hepatitis
- Autoimmune diseases
Studies show that most individuals with CFS are plagued with intestinal permeability. A treatment program for patients with CFS that reduced allergic foods and used nutritional supplements to increase liver detoxification yielded an 81.2% reduction in symptoms.
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Incorporate Stress Reduction Techniques
Josie was also encouraged to begin a regular meditation practice and to harness thoughts of gratitude, compassion, and peace, and to picture herself in a healthy state six months from that time. These types of visualizations and emotions are necessary on a daily basis in order for our bodies to heal.
When we spend much of our time with negative thinking and anxiety, our bodies perceive that we are in survival mode. If we live in a chronic state of survival, then our brains will be surrounded by high levels of cortisol and adrenaline which can eventually cause the size of our hippocampus to decrease and can even shrink our muscles. These effects contribute to feelings of fatigue. Meditation on a regular basis switches the brain from survival into healing and resting mode and will counteract these effects.
Activate Your Lifestyle Again
The human body is designed to move, and if it sits too long, everything stagnates. Staying in motion increases blood flow, which washes out toxins, stimulates healing, and increases oxygen delivery to tissues. It also stimulates endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals that reduce pain and stimulate immune functions, as well as stem cells, which are necessary to repair damaged tissues.
That said, experts warn that if you have chronic fatigue and overdo it, theres a risk of setback and post-exertional malaise , which is a worsening of symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, cognitive issues, pain, dizziness, and more. So keep in mind that becoming active again must be a delicate balance between moving enough to gain benefit, but not so much that it aggravates inflamed tissues and causes further damage. Try these suggestions for starting slow and easy:
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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.
Other Lifestyle Changes To Manage Me/cfs
Other ways to manage ME/CFS include:
- equipment â some people may need a blue badge for parking, a wheelchair, a stairlift, or other adaptations for their home
- changes in your place of work or study â when you’re ready and well enough to return to work or studies, your doctor should be able to advise you on changes that could ease your return
There’s limited or no evidence to recommend:
- resting completely â there’s no evidence this helps
- complementary medicine â there is not enough evidence that it’s helpful for ME/CFS
You should not take up vigorous unsupervised exercise such as going to the gym or for a run as this may make your symptoms worse.
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Nourish Your Strong Center
Youve now become acquainted with your strong center. You know how to connect to it and protect it. But like all living things, it also needs to be nurtured and nourished to make it strong and resilient.
Nourish Your Center by Creating Resilience through Self-Care
That is what youve shown up here for. Its everything youre learning and practicing from these series of articles about healing from chronic fatigue. Self-care works by building resiliencethe strength and resources we need to successfully face the many challenges of our lives.
You know what Im talking about here, right?
The nourishing fundamentals of our self-care:
- Letting go of toxins, irritants and negative energy
- Love and connection
- Building a strong center and becoming stress resilient
- Taking time for the best sleep, rest, pause, and play
- Movement, exercise, and good posture
- Excellent food and energy nutrition designed for your unique needs
- Learning to trust and harness the power of our minds
- Learning to trust and understand the power of our emotions
- Slowing down, showing up, paying attention, and practicing presence
- Learning to leverage failure as our most valuable teachers.
Nourish Your Center by Literally Strengthening Your Core
Nourish Your Center by Creating Strong Personal Boundaries
Actively stand your ground and say no, when necessary. This amplifies the energy of your center.
How to Create Strong Personal Boundaries
Nourish Your Center by Creating Equanimity: Meet Linda
Address The Root Causes Of Your Fatigue
Overcoming your fatigue is about addressing the true underlying causes. You may need some help figuring out what these are. Once you know where your fatigue is coming from, focusing on your digestion, your thyroid health, your iron levels, your diet, or your unique stressors can have you feeling energetic again in no time.
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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.
Balance Is A Choice To Engage With Our Lives
Balance is a dynamic force within us. Its a rhythmic push-pull, leaning in and stepping back, rising up and taking pause. This rhythm reflects how our center is always evaluating, adjusting, and responding to who we are, what challenges us, and what we need at every moment.
Homeostasis and Equilibrium
In science we call this dynamic balance homeostasis, or equilibrium. Its not an optionits simply how the natural world works. Every biological system achieves a certain balance between the needs, stresses, and resources of its circumstances. Increased rainfall makes the river run faster and wider, and the plants grow new leaves and bloom. Decrease the rainfall, and the plants curl their leaves to preserve water.
As humans, were part of this very same world. Our bodies-minds-spirits will establish a balance based on our circumstances.
The Advantage of Conscious Choice
However, we have one key advantage over the rivers and plantswe have conscious choice.
Rather than accepting a point of balance based on our current circumstances, we can work to change the circumstances that influence it. We have the opportunity to intentionally nourish and strengthen our center to create a dynamic vitality. We get to actively, purposefully engage with our lives in ways that are more durable and that direct our equilibrium to support how we choose to live.
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Power Tools For Story Mining
If you feel stuck, scared, or unable to move forward with your healing, there is always a tenacious story getting in your way.
You need power tools to evaluate how your ideas about the truth, the way things are, or how youre stuck may not serve you well. And how they can change.
These tools are perspective changers. They dont change the facts, but they allow you to see the facts of your life through different lenses. These are lenses that let you cut through the muck, the bullshit, and the lies that cling to your truthyour real truth, the truth that will set you free.
- The lens of love.
- Life School point of view .
The Lens of Love
When we understand our stories through a more positive and ennobling lens, everything changes. Love changes everything. It changes our brains, changes our genetic expression, and it changes our stories through a foundational perspective shift, not by conjuring new facts. Through the power of neuroplasticity to change our neural networks, love changes our futures and opens up possibilities for growth and healing that are impossible in its absence.
Love is broad and unlimited. Love of our families. Love of nature. Love of the littlest things in a day. Most importantly, love of ourselves. We are worthy and deserve a loving life story. There is nothing more you neednot the approval of someone else, not the permission of someone else, not someone elses story about us.
Life School Point of View