What Are The Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There is no cure or approved treatment for CFS, but you may be able to treat or manage some of your symptoms. You, your family, and your health care provider should work together to decide on a plan. You should figure out which symptom causes the most problems and try to treat that first. For example, if sleep problems affect you the most, you might first try using good sleep habits. If those do not help, you may need to take medicines or see a sleep specialist.
Strategies such as learning new ways to manage activity can also be helpful. You need to make sure that you do not “push and crash.” This can happen when you feel better, do too much, and then get worse again.
Since the process of developing a treatment plan and attending to self-care can be hard if you have CFS, it is important to have support from family members and friends.
Don’t try any new treatments without talking to your health care provider. Some treatments that are promoted as cures for CFS are unproven, often costly, and could be dangerous.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pacing Activity For People With Me/cfs
Pacing, or keeping within your available energy, is a self-management strategy to help people with ME/CFS make sure that they dont overdo activity or exercise. It reduces the likelihood of triggering PEM and can help reduce symptoms. Pacing is not a cure for ME/CFS and does not treat the underlying, physical cause of the disease.
The goal of pacing is for activity to be sustainable, so that the person can have some stability in their symptoms and what they can do each day. Pacing should be used in conjunction with rest.
The most challenging aspect of pacing is that PEM is very often delayed by as much as 24-48 hours, which can make it difficult to recognise when youve done too much. Using tools like an activity diary or heart rate monitor help you learn about your body and how much activity you can safely tolerate.
Suggestions on how to pace yourself include:
Diagnosis And Treatment For Me/cfs
Currently, there is no single test to diagnose ME/CFS. Doctors make a diagnosis by excluding all other illnesses that might be causing symptoms and following accepted diagnostic criteria. The persons results from routine medical tests will often be normal, but additional tests may show abnormalities.
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It Feels Like That Scene In The Princess Bride
Have you seen The Princess Bride movie? In this classic 1987 film, one of the villainous characters, Count Rugen, invented a torture device called The Machine to suck the life out of a human year by year.
When my CFS symptoms are bad, I feel like Ive been strapped to that torture device with Count Rugen laughing as he turns the dial higher and higher. Upon being removed from the Machine, the hero of the movie, Wesley, can barely move or function. Similarly, it also takes me everything I have in order to do anything beyond lay completely still.
Pop-culture references and analogies have proven to be a very effective way of explaining my symptoms to those close to me. They give a frame of reference to my symptoms, making them relatable and less foreign. The element of humor in references such as these also helps ease some of the tension often present when talking about illness and disability with those who dont experience it themselves.
What Is The Best Way To Fight Fatigue 14 Tips
Fatigue is often caused by poor diet, lack of sleep, and unhealthy habits. The best way to fight fatigue is to eat healthy, get adequate sleep, and make lifestyle changes that help keep your energy levels up.
Here are 14 ways to combat fatigue and boost your energy throughout the day.
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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.
Living With Your Mother
The other day a friend asked me if I wanted to join her in canvassing the neighborhood selling chocolate almonds. The answer was an easy, No. Ill be entertaining my mother-in-law tonight. Living with this less-than-desirable house guest doesnt come with many up-sides, so I figure using it as a excuse now and then is fair.
post-exertional malaise . Simply put, this is the all-kinds-of-terrible you feel 24 to 48 hours after participating in rigorous physical activity. So while your mother-in-law may appear to be enjoying her time on the BMX track, make no mistake, she will make you pay later. There will be no telling what injuries she may acquire and how long you will have to hear about them.
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Get 7 9 Hours Of Sleep Nightly
The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are not sleeping enough include: Does it take me a long time to fall asleep? Do I wake up often or am I restless? Do I feel sleepy when driving? Do I need caffeine to get through the day? Answer, yes, to any of these indicates you may not be getting enough quality sleep.
Lifestyle Suggestions For Fighting Fatigue
- Dont smoke cigarette smoke contains many harmful substances. There are many reasons why smokers typically have lower energy levels than non-smokers for example, for the body to make energy it needs to combine glucose with oxygen, but the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the amount of oxygen available in the blood.
- Increase physical activity physical activity boosts energy levels, while a sedentary lifestyle is a known cause of fatigue. Physical activity has many good effects on the body and mind. A good bout of exercise also helps you sleep better at night. Seek advice and encouragement regarding the steps you can take toward a more active lifestyle and talk to your doctor if you havent exercised in a long time, are obese, are aged over 40 years or have a chronic medical condition.
- Move more, sit less reduce sedentary behaviours such as watching television and using computers, and break up long bouts of sitting.
- Seek treatment for substance abuse excessive alcohol consumption or recreational drug use contribute to fatigue, and are unhealthy and potentially dangerous.
- Workplace issues demanding jobs, conflicts at work and burnout are common causes of fatigue. Take steps to address your work problems. A good place to start is to talk with your human resources officer.
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How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Treated
There is no standard treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, clinically known as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome . However, there are many options for managing symptoms and improving quality of life, including lifestyle changes, stress management, therapy, and medications. With the help of your healthcare provider and other caregivers, these can be tailored to your specific symptoms.
Verywell / Brianna Gilmartin
How Is Me/cfs Treated
There is no cure for ME/CFS, but there are several things your doctor can suggest to help you relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Be careful when considering any commercially available product or treatment promoted as a cure for ME/CFS, as it doesnt have a known cure yet.
Current treatments have 2 key aspects.
- Pacing and rest: pacing is a strategy designed to help you live within your energy envelope this is the amount of energy you can safely use without triggering symptoms. It breaks down your activity into short bursts, interspersed with rest. The aim is to have some energy left at the end of the day. For more information about pacing, see the Emerge Australia fact sheet.
- Stepwise symptom management: this involves ranking your symptoms and exploring ways to reduce your symptoms, starting with the most problematic ones.
Ask your doctor about how to best manage your work or school commitments while you are sick and when you might be ready to return.
It may also help if you:
- keep a diary to see whether certain activities or levels of exercise tend to trigger your symptoms
- make time to relax when you can
- go to bed at the same time each night and limit your daytime napping
- avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and anything else that could affect your sleep
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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.
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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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.
The Aetiology And The Pathogenic Mechanisms Of Cfs
As the criteria for CFS diagnosis are not based on the understanding of aetiopathogenic mechanisms, some patients present similar clinical manifestations but are diagnosed with other conditions because fatigue is not the primary symptom. Some of those conditions are fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and temporomandibular joint syndrome. Furthermore, in addition to sharing several symptoms with CFS, currently available evidence suggests that those diseases also share similar pathophysiologic mechanisms .
Although the aetiology and the pathogenic mechanisms of CFS are not fully understood, several hypotheses have been postulated and described below, being the disorders of the central nervous system neuromodulator the one supported by more evidence to explain the possible pathogenic mechanisms involved in CFS .
Epstein Barr virus, Candida albicans, Borrelia burgdorferi, Enterovirus, Citomegalovirus, Human Herpesvirus, Espumavirus, Retrovirus, Borna virus, Coxsackie B virus, and hepatitis C virus have been associated to CFS, but their pathogenic relationship with the syndrome has not been demonstrated .
In patients with fibromyalgia, the research on neurotransmitter disorders has started to yield positive findings, and it is known that different clinical manifestations will appear according the type and the site of action of affected neurotransmitters .
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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.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The cause of CFS is not yet fully understood, but it is likely that several factors contribute to its development. There are changes in the immune system and body chemistry.
CFS is usually triggered by a viral infection, such as glandular fever or influenza, but any infection may be the trigger. It is likely that the potential for getting CFS is genetic and runs in families. Some people experience ongoing effects of COVID-19 infection, known as long COVID, which are very similar to the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Other factors that may contribute include:
- emotional or physical distress
- multiple joint pain without joint swelling or redness
- headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
- unrefreshing sleep
- tiredness that can last for more than 24 hours after physical or mental effort.
Some people also report a range of other symptoms such as nausea, loss of appetite, irritable bowel syndrome , bloating, diarrhoea, irregular heartbeat, chest pain, jaw pain, night sweats, increased sensitivity to alcohol or medication, chronic cough, dizzy spells or dry eyes.
The severity of symptoms can vary from day to day, or even within a day.
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Take A Good Multivitamin
Many sufferers of CFS have many different deficiencies of different things, so take good multivitamins and minerals every day to try and keep such complications to a minimum.
People with CFS often particularly need more magnesium, calcium, iron, folic acid and B vitamins, so try to identify a supplement which can meet all of your needs, or take a combination of pills.
However, try not to combine pills in a way that means you take two pills which both have your 100% RDA of one vitamin or in it is possible to overdose, even on vitamins.
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
- Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Untreated pain and diseases like fibromyalgia
- Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
Managing a health problem may make the fatigue go away. Your doctor can help.
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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 .
How To Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of medical research experience, Dr. Matsko was awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Matsko earned a Research Writing Certification from the American Medical Writers Association in 2016 and a Medical Writing & Editing Certification from the University of Chicago in 2017. This article has been viewed 60,943 times.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating condition which leaves the afflicted individual with an ongoing feeling of exhaustion. Persons with CFS may be unable to perform even mundane activities which under normal circumstances present no problem. There is no cure for CFS, and there are no medications developed specifically for the condition. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available which can alleviate the symptoms associated with CFS.
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