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How To Reduce Chronic Fatigue

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Drink Plenty Of Water

12 Diet Hacks to Reduce Chronic Fatigue

Dehydration zaps energy and impairs physical performance. âOur research shows that dehydration makes it harder for athletes to complete a weight lifting workout,â says Dan Judelson, PhD, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University at Fullerton. “Itâs reasonable to think that dehydration causes fatigue even for people who are just doing chores.”

Dehydration has also been shown to decrease alertness and concentration.

How to know if youâre drinking enough water?âUrine should be pale yellow or straw colored,â Judelson says. âIf itâs darker than that, you need to drink water.â

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.

Some Illnesses Cause Fatigue

Sometimes, fatigue can be the first sign that something is wrong in your body. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition that affects the joints, often complain of fatigue. People with cancer may feel fatigued from the disease, treatments, or both.

Many medical problems and treatments can add to fatigue. These include:

  • Taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and medicines for nausea and pain
  • Having medical treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, or recovering from major surgery
  • Infections
  • Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Untreated pain and diseases like fibromyalgia
  • Anemia
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

Managing a health problem may make the fatigue go away. Your doctor can help.

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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.

Drinking More Water Will Help Combat Chronic Fatigue

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Most people dont realize just how important it is to stay hydrated to keep our energy levels up. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can lead to:

  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

Water can be ingested not just from liquids either. To top up your water levels you can also eat fruit and vegetables. Getting your water levels up via fruit and vegetables also has obvious added benefits, so thats a great way to help stay hydrated.

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Move To Motivating Tunes

Listening to music while you work out is an effective way to boost the enjoyment factor. “An upbeat rhythm increases endurance,” says Liesel Gillies, MD, a family physician based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who specializes in caring for patients with complex conditions, such as ME/CFS.

Many people with ME/CFS may find it hard to concentrate on a certain task music can increase your dopamine levels, which in turn improves focus and motivation, she explains. And as a result, your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol will also decrease. “This will improve sleep, which will improve fatigue, appetite and eating well,” Dr. Gillies says.

Why Are People With Vestibular Disorders Vulnerable To Fatigue

To understand why vestibular disorders so often lead to symptoms of fatigue, its helpful to understand how the vestibular system works. When no disorder is present, the eyes, ears and sense of touch collect a huge amount of information from the outside world. They send this information to the brain, which sifts through the information to pull out whats important. The brain puts all the important information together and sends signals to the body telling it how to respond.

Central Nervous System Is Working Harder

When a vestibular disorder occurs, one of the steps in that process is not working correctly. In some disorders affecting the sensory systems , the senses are sending incorrect or confusing information to the brain. Other disorders affect the central nervous system itself . In those instances, the senses are sending good information but the brain itself is not processing it correctly. In both cases, the brain is forced to do more work to sift through the information its getting from the senses to filter out the noise. People with vestibular disorders have to concentrate harder and use more energy just to figure out where they are in space, leaving them with less energy to perform daily activities.

Chronic Stress

Emotional Responses and Social Factors

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Fresh Evidence Points To A Cause And Possible Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, has been largely dismissed as psychological. But recent trials of antiviral and immunosuppressant drugs have yielded encouraging results, suggesting a complex disease mechanism at play that researchers are hopeful they might be able to treat.

Drug research

Anna suffered severe symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome , a mysterious disease also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis , from the age of 21 years. The disease forced her to abandon her masters degree and leave her job as a teacher. She became increasingly confined to her apartment, removed from the life she once knew. Any time I tried to do something that I didnt have the energy for, I felt nauseous and dizzy, with fever and pains in my joints and muscles, she says.

After a couple of years she sought help from a physiotherapist for her wasting muscles. mentioned this study and asked if she could give my name to the researchers, she says. So in 2008, Anna was enrolled in a phase II double-blind placebo-controlled trial testing a radical new treatment for CFS/ME. The research group, from Norways Helse Bergen University, administered intravenous drips to Anna but she showed no improvement and, after 12 months, discovered she was in the placebo arm of the trial. She was then eligible to receive the real medicine.

For the first time in my life I felt restless because I wanted to do things

Assessment And Treatment Of Me/cfs Patients:

Supplement to Reduce Fatigue: Thiamine! (get the “right” kind though!)
  • Validate your patient. Again, your patient has likely seen many providers who didnt know what to do, misdiagnosed them, or outright marginalized their condition. Acknowledge that you know this a biological illness and that you understand it is complex and can greatly impact a persons quality of life. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Determine your patients energy limitations first, based on oral history, report of measures such as hours upright in which the patient logs hours of standing/walking/running, sitting with both feet planted, sitting with feet elevated, and fully reclined. Patient log of activities and corresponding PEM is another way to obtain trackable information about the patients functional activities. Have the patient include in the activity log non-physical activities such as screen-time, social interactions, cognitive and emotional stressors, and any corresponding post-exertional malaise that may result. All treatment, regardless of the purpose, will be constrained by the patients energy limitations. Have your patient complete the Depaul Symptom Questionnaire Short Form for PEM. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
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    Take In Plenty Of Essential Fatty Acids

    Studies suggest that fatty acids can help with the symptoms of CFS, as viruses can hamper our cells ability to make these vital acids.

    While we get some from our natural diet, people with CFS can benefit from additional supplements. Fish oil and evening primrose oil, taken daily, could help with fatigue and other symptoms.

    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.

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    Try Smaller More Frequent Meals

    Many people with chronic fatigue often feel too tired to eat or dont feel hungry. If youre losing weight or struggling to eat enough throughout the day, Groppo recommends trying smaller meals more frequently or adding small snacks between each meal. Eating more frequently may help keep your energy up. Smaller portions may be easier to tolerate as well.

    What To Think About

    Reducing Alert Fatigue

    Along with the treatment you get from your doctor, you might find that other treatments help too. Some people may try different diets or natural health products to help manage their symptoms. If you try a new diet or natural health product pay attention to how your body and symptoms respond to it. It may help to work closely with your doctor to figure out what works best for you.

    Your mind and body are connected and affect each other. Physical illnesses can be made worseor betterby your feelings and attitudes, and vice versa. Learn as much as you can about ME/CFS. Then work with your doctor to learn ways to cope with your symptoms. Get emotional support from your health professionals as well as from your family and friends.

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    How Is Me/cfs Diagnosed

    To be diagnosed with ME/CFS, you must have all of these symptoms:footnote 1

    • Major decrease in your ability to do the things you did before you got sickincluding work, school, social, or personal activitiesthat has continued for more than 6 months.
    • Worsening of symptoms after being mentally or physically active .
    • Sleep problems, including not feeling rested after sleeping .
    • Extreme fatigue that is:
    • New or has not been a lifelong problem.
    • Not caused by being active for a long period of time.
    • Not much better after resting.

    You must also have one or more of these symptoms:

    • Problems with concentration, short-term memory, or thinking of the right word .
    • Feeling dizzy or faint while standing or sitting upright that improves while lying down .

    Doctors may also look for other causes of your symptoms. They may also do additional tests to confirm your diagnosis.

    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.

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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
    • Headaches

    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.

    Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

    How to Reduce Pain and Fatigue

    Making some lifestyle changes may help reduce your symptoms.

    Limiting or eliminating your caffeine intake can help you sleep better and ease your insomnia. You should limit or avoid nicotine and alcohol too.

    Try to avoid napping during the day if its hurting your ability to sleep at night.

    Create a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time every day.

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    Therapy For Fatigue: Case Example

    Co-occurring fatigue and depression: Benjamin, 46, has been feeling constantly tired for months. His fatigue is getting to the point where he cannot focus on his work and is too tired to participate in social events he used to enjoy. He has tried getting more sleep at night, but no matter how much sleep he gets, his energy during the day does not seem to improve. Looking for answers, Benjamin set up an appointment with his medical doctor, but none of the tests done on him indicate a direct medical cause. Upon hearing about Benjamin’s loss interest in activities he used to enjoy and difficulty focusing at work, his doctor refers him to a therapist. After speaking with his therapist, Benjamin is diagnosed with depression. He learns that much of his fatigue seems to be due to his depression. By taking daily nature walks, meditating, and talking with his therapist, Benjamin learns how to effectively cope with and minimize his depression, and his energy slowly begins to return.


  • Boehm, K., Ostermann, T., Milazzo, S., & Büssing, A. . Effects of yoga interventions on fatigue: A meta-analysis. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/124703
  • Nordqvist, C. . Fatigue: Why am I so tired and what can I do about it? Retrieved from
  • Sleep and tiredness. . Retrieved from
    • Client referrals

    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 don’t 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. They’re 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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    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.

    Have A Good Sleep Routine

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    It may sound obvious, but to manage chronic fatigue syndrome you really have to make sure that you get plenty of sleep.

    The best way to ensure that you do this is to formulate a proper daily schedule and stick to it. Work out what time you are going to go to bed each night, allowing a minimum of 8 hours for you to get your vital sleep, and factor in some down time beforehand, where you relax and avoid caffeine and staring at computer screens.

    Try and go to sleep and get up at the same time every single day, even at the weekend, so that you set your body clock to a good rhythm and keep it that way.

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    Other Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

    Other symptoms that may be associated with CFS/ME include:

    • Dizziness, palpitations, fainting, nausea on standing or sitting upright from a lying position.
    • Increased sensitivity to temperature, causing increased sweating, chills, hot flushes or feeling very cold.
    • Twitching and other abnormal uncontrolled body movements.
    • Flu-like symptoms, including sore throat, tender glands, nausea, chills or muscle aches.
    • Intolerance to alcohol, or to certain foods or chemicals.
    • Increased sensitivities, including to light, sound, touch, taste and smell.
    • Pain, including pain on touch, muscle pain, headaches, eye pain, tummy pain, or joint pain.

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