What Youll Find In This Article
In this article I acknowledge the reality and magnitude of this problemyes, chronic fatigue exists, and its impact is enormousand dispel the dangerous myth that there is nothing that can be done.
Youll learn chronic fatigue syndrome is just the name we give to a constellation of problems that result when the bodys ability to make energy is impaired. And youll see that through a thoughtful, comprehensive, individualized systems biology and body-mind approach, you can heal. You can recover your energy and get your life back.
Your Healing Story
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.
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.
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 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.
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Fatigue & Related Symptoms
My severe fatigue began a few months after I developed chronic vaginal yeast infections . And the fatigue would get worse as the yeast did. At first, it would come and go.
My journey to try to overcome chronic vaginal yeast infections was extensive- I tried drug store suppositories, oral diflucan, oral nystatin, and all sorts of other remedies, including FMT. Many worked temporarily, but I could not find sustainable relief.
And then the fatigue got really bad. Chronically. When my fatigue was at its worst, it was also accompanied by a very red sore throat , 3 AM insomnia , canker sores near my tonsils , sinus congestion , and a swollen lymph node in my neck.
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.
Also Check: What Causes Adrenal Fatigue And How To Fix It
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Personal Impact
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a crushing diagnosis.
It means your doctors cant figure out whats wrong.
It likely means you look good but feel terrible, so no one believes you are fighting for your life.
It means lost energy, wellbeing, potential. Lost earnings. Lost time with children and loved ones. Perhaps loss of who you used to be.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a world of loss and hurt and struggle. Its a personal and public health crisis of epic proportions.
Now that whats wrong with you has a name, are you better off?
Overcome Chronic Fatigue: What To Do And How To Fight It
Its best, of course, to prevent such conditions. On the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome International Awareness Day, we explain the ways to do it.
We all feel exhausted from time to time: after a hard working week, after fighting an illness, after completing hard physical work, or a long-term project involving significant intellectual work. But what to do when the feeling of fatigue and overfatigue becomes a constant companion, the decline of strength doesnt pass even after vacation, and every new morning, despite the seemingly full sleep, turns into torture?
Normally, any severe fatigue passes after a good nights sleep and rest. If a person continues to feel lethargic and driven to the end, and it prevents them from doing their usual tasks, most likely, its a pathological condition. If long-term fatigue is accompanied by memory loss, difficulty concentrating, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and headaches, flu-like symptoms, and constant mental and physical decline, theres every reason to talk about such a disease as CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Also Check: Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Anxiety
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Where Should I Obtain My Spirulina From
Where you obtain your suppliesof spirulina from is important to consider. You may in due course wish to grow your own. Its remarkably easy to do! But for now, to answer this question, we describe this in some detail on our What is spirulina about page. Please to understand spirulina better, to be reassured that its right for you. We only support producers on this site with rigorous production and supply chain procedures.
It might just help you with chronic fatigue.
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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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.
Getting Older And Me/cfs
There is very little information on getting older and ME/CFS, however people can develop ME/CFS at any age. Additionally, all of the strategies such as pacing to reduce PEM and managing symptoms still apply. As people age, other problems with their health may also arise, so discussing any new symptoms with their doctor important.
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Me/cfs
The key symptom or feature of ME/CFS is called post-exertional malaise . This means that your symptoms get worse after exercise or mental effort and dont improve after sleep or rest. PEM can be very disabling and can reduce your ability to function during regular daily activities. PEM is also common if you have long COVID.
ME/CFS may start suddenly or gradually over months or years. The level of activity that triggers your PEM will vary from person to person and can depend on how severe your condition is. For example, if your ME/CFS is relatively mild, you may experience PEM after going for a walk or a jog, but if your ME/CFS is severe, just reading a book or brushing your teeth could bring on your PEM. Your PEM may appear immediately after activity or may sometimes be delayed by up to 3 days. It can last for 24 hours or for a few days. A more serious relapse can last for weeks or months.
A common misconception is that people with ME/CFS have ‘chronic fatigue and are just very tired. Persistent and profound fatigue is just one symptom of ME/CFS.
Other common symptoms of ME/CFS, that may also increase with PEM include:
- thinking problems, loss of memory or poor concentration
- gastrointestinal changes such as nausea, constipation or diarrhoea
- sensitivities to light or noise, food, medicines or chemicals
- problems with temperature regulation
Everyone is different, so you might experience only mild symptoms, or you might develop more severe symptoms.
The Medical Community Is Changing Its Mind On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Why Arent Insurers
A significant number of people diagnosed with Covid-19 report disabling symptoms that persist for months after they have cleared the virus that causes it. As Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has observed, symptoms experienced by post-Covid-19 patients are highly suggestive of those associated with ME/CFS. And like ME/CFS patients before them, many of these Covid-19 long-haulers report that health care providers have been similarly dismissive, automatically attributing their symptoms to stress, depression, and deconditioning, and recommending psychotherapy and exercise.
Medicine can be both wondrously innovative and stubbornly resistant to change. In 1847, the Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis could not convince his fellow doctors in Vienna to wash their hands before delivering babies as a way to prevent often fatal cases of puerperal fever in new mothers. It would be another 30 years before Joseph Lister gained widespread acceptance for his approach to sterilization and aseptic surgery.
Things are better these days, with an average time lag of only 17 years before research evidence reaches clinical practice. The British psychiatrists and others still pushing graded exercise therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for ME/CFS have done their part to keep the median delay as high as it is.
Organize Your Medical Information
Having a handle on your medical information will make you a more powerful advocate for yourself.
I am a congenitally disorganized person. So, after years of papers flying all over the place, a friend helped me create a physical notebook, with tabs for Articles, Notes from Medical Appointments, Medical History, Current Medications, and Lab Results.
I had all of my lab results sent to me, and I alphabetized them with tabs, like Lupus, Lyme, Parvovirus, and Parasites. That made every appointment more productive for me and my providers.
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Initial Signs Of Relief
Between the financial pressure of being chronically fatigued and the increasing difficulty of nourishing myself due to fatigue, I decided to move in with my dad temporarily.
Initially, I continued having fatigue and the accompanying symptoms.
But about a month into the move, I started feeling some relief. It was subtle at first. It started with being able to go more days between tea tree oil vaginal suppositories than I previously needed.
And slowly over the course of the next few months, I began to have more and more days of normal energy levels.
On days that I would overdo my sugar, fruit, or simple carb intake, I would feel the fatigue creep back in. But previously, even avoiding these foods completely could not provide the relief I found myself experiencing.
It has now been six months since leaving the moldy environment. Most days I feel quite good. I am able to work 35+ hours per week and cook for myself without issue. I still experience fatigue on occasion , but I no longer identify as having chronic fatigue syndrome.
Sleep Rest And Relaxation
You may have sleep problems that make your ME/CFS symptoms worse. For example, you may:
- have problems getting to sleep
- have unrefreshing or restless sleep
- need an excessive amount of sleep
- sleep during the day and be awake at night
You should be given advice about how to establish a normal sleeping pattern. Having too much sleep does not usually improve the symptoms of ME/CFS, and sleeping during the day can stop you sleeping at night.
You should change your sleep pattern gradually, and your doctor should review how it’s going regularly. If your sleep does not improve after making changes, you may have an underlying sleep problem that will need to be addressed.
It’s likely you’ll need to rest during the day, and your doctor should advise you about the best way to do this. For example, they may suggest limiting each rest period to 30 minutes and teach you relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises.
If you have severe ME/CFS and need to spend much of your time in bed, it can cause problems, including pressure sores and blood clots. These problems, and how to avoid them, should be explained to you and your carers.
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Moving Beyond Diagnosis To Find The Causes
I learned firsthand the struggle to understand fatigue-related disorders when a personal encounter with debilitating fatigue around age 50 forced me to see them differently than most physicians. After years of intense night call as an OB/GYN and keeping some pretty poor health habits, I was gradually propelled into chronic misery and had to give up my practice as a result.
I experienced the full range of symptoms common to chronic fatigue syndrome. And like most sufferers, I struggled between a diagnosis of CFS and fibromyalgia, but ultimately chose fibromyalgia because of pain issues. Later, after a tick bite with a bulls eye rash, I concluded that I had been suffering from chronic Lyme disease all along.
Now, after more than a decade of research and trial and error with nearly every possible conventional and alternative treatment, Im finally well again. In the process, Ive also come to the conclusion that all three of these illnesses chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and chronic Lyme are variations of the same fundamental problem: Loss of energy that can be sourced to mitochondrial dysfunction and disrupted communications within the body.
The list of possible coinfections includes mycoplasma, bartonella, babesia, anaplasma, ehrlichia, and rickettsia, but new microbes are being added to the list on a regular basis. In addition, most everyone with chronic Lyme disease is also found to have reactivation of EBV and a variety of other viruses.
How Does It Help With Energy Levels
Spirulina does this by increasing healthy lactobacillus in our intestines, supporting the production of Vitamin B6 that also helps in energy release. But as we describe in the flip side paragraph above, the only study regarding chronic fatigue, did not prove it helps. We believe because the study was so limited. They took the spirulina for too short a time period and the study was statistically very small. More research is clearly necessary.
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According To Vedic Literature:
Charak Samhita mentions similar symptoms of fatigue with respect to various health conditions.
Ayurveda suggests that poor gastric health and improper functioning of the liver causes fatigue. Ama is the root cause of all diseases in the body. If we target to eliminate Ama, we can effectively treat CFS with Ayurveda.