When To Call A Doctor
It’s important to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may have.
- Severe fatigue that lasts longer than 2 weeks, causes you to limit your usual activities, and does not improve with rest.
- Sleep problems that last for more than 1 to 2 months. These problems may include being unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, tossing and turning, and waking up feeling tired or not rested.
- Swelling in the glands in your neck or armpits that lasts for at least 2 weeks.
- Severe fatigue along with frequent urination , extreme thirst, weight loss, or blurred vision. Fatigue that occurs with some or all of these may be a symptom of undiagnosed diabetes.
- Severe headache that does not improve with home treatments.
A Strong Support System
While having good friends in your life wont necessarily affect your physical symptoms, you may find that the lows are easier to deal with when you have loved ones you can go to for emotional support. And who knows, they may even be able to offer physical assistance, like helping you run errands and encouraging you to rest.
Good friends/cute husband that form a strong understanding support circle. The people who can hug you and make the pain more bearable are the greatest blessing and huge part of my life, Katrina Cox Orr said.
My husband. He can tell when Im crashing before I can, and if Im in a situation where Im pushing myself too hard , hell say, You need to go lie down. Now, Alyson Ahern Knop said.
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue And Autoimmune Disorders
Chronic fatigue syndrome does not have defined symptoms. It might range from not focusing, feeling dizzy, and even low blood sugar, but the most common thing associated with it is severe tiredness.
Unfortunately, CFS symptoms are almost the exact symptoms of many other conditions, diseases, or infections . In addition, the side effects of certain drugs can make you get or feel the symptoms of CFS. Even allergies can contribute to it.
So in a situation where you have all the symptoms, it would still be reckless for you to presume that you have CFS. However, many tests and other means of eliminating the different conditions from the pool of possibilities. From there, you can then go ahead to receive treatment for CFS.
But as a general rule, the symptoms of CFS are present below:
Fatigue: Of course, the number one symptom for CFS is fatigue and tiredness. Round the clock tiredness irrespective of whether you just woke up or you took a day off work, or you only did a hobby. Theres permanent tiredness in your muscles and your bones, and it almost feels like theres a dark cloud hanging over your head.
Orthostatic Intolerance: Dizziness and fainting from simple actions or movements is another strong indicator. The way a person is dizzy from standing up too fast after deep sleep is how people with CFS feel after almost every slight movement.
Headaches and sore throats too can be present.
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What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms can vary with ME/CFS. If you have ME/CFS:
- You feel exhausted all or much of the time. And it doesnât get better with rest.
- Your symptoms may flare up after a mental or physical activity that used to be no problem for you. Often there is a delay before it starts. And it can take days, weeks, or more to feel better.
- You have problems sleeping. Or you may wake up feeling tired or not rested.
- It may be harder for you to think clearly, to concentrate, and to remember things.
- You may feel dizzy, weak, or in more pain when you have been standing or sitting upright for a long time.
- You may also have headaches, muscle and joint pain, a sore throat, and tender glands in your neck or armpits.
Depression is common with ME/CFS, and it can make your other symptoms worse.
What Can I Do To Cope With Me/cfs
Talking about your feelings with a friend or family member can help. Sometimes it also helps to talk with people who are going through the same thing. Consider joining an ME/CFS support group. See the “ME/CFS Organizations” section at the end of this fact sheet for a list of organizations that offer additional information on ME/CFS and can help you find ME/CFS support groups.
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Theres Tired And Then Theres Fatigue Lets Not Mistake The Two
Fatigue is one of the most challenging symptoms of chronic illness to cope with. This is something we hear from CreakyJoints members over and over and over again.My worst problem is fatigue. I need all my energy just to get through my eight hours of work and when thats over I have none left to do anything else, Elena K. told us recently on Facebook.Fatigue is robbing me of the energy I wanted to use on all the projects I had planned for retirement, shared Beverly K. on Facebook.
Housebound Or Bedbound With Me/cfs
About 25% of people with ME/CFS are housebound or bedbound. Those who are housebound may be able to undertake minimal daily tasks for themselves, such as brushing teeth, cooking or using a computer for short periods of time, but they have to pace their activity and often use aids to help them . They are unable to leave the house, often because this requires more energy than they have available. When they do leave the house, they often need mobility aids such as a wheelchair or mobility scooter, or other assistance . Recovery from a trip out of the house can take days, or longer.
Some people are so severely unwell that they are bedbound some or all of the time. The most severely unwell may be unable to undertake even simple tasks, like eating or going to the toilet by themselves. They may require additional medical devices, such as feeding tubes, to help them get enough nutrition and fluids, and can be totally dependent on carers.
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Find Ways To Relax And Reset Your Mind
For some people, taking 20 minutes during the afternoon to meditate can be enough to recharge. Maybe yoga or deep breathing is your thing. Whatever you do, find time to relax and reset your mind.
Chronic fatigue can impair your health and happiness, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. A chiropractor may help address any interference in your spine that may contribute to fatigue, as well as help manage the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. While it may take some time, and some behavior changes, you can get your energy back and reclaim your health and wellbeing.
Increase Your Vitamin B Intake
According to a study published in the Journal of Royal Society of Medicine, researchers found a direct link between reduced vitamin B levels and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The study focused on B-6, riboflavin and thiamine, and researchers believe that B6 is particularly important. Vitamin B6 rich foods include wild tuna and salmon, bananas, grass-fed beef, sweet potatoes, turkey, hazelnuts, garlic and cooked spinach.
Vitamin B6 helps to prevent and relieve fatigue, and it supports a healthy immune system. As stated above, some researchers believe that certain viruses play a role in CFS, therefore increasing B6 levels can be a helpful treatment. B6 helps supports T-cell functioning, allowing them to more adeptly fight infections.
Importance of Methylation
Methylation is the term given to the process in the body where methyl compounds are used in the critical functions of the body immune function, energy production, mood, inflammation, nerve function, detoxification, and even DNA all of which are challenges in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Methylation helps you process toxins, make hormones, and even helps in the production of neurotransmitters such as melatonin. How well your body can methylate effects all of these important areas. Poor methylation can lead to a variety of chronic conditions including certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, digestive upset, mood and psychiatric disorders, and chronic fatigue.
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Ask About Timing Around Morning Vs Evening
Im on prednisone for my psoriatic arthritis and I found that it was making it really hard to sleep at night, says Melanie S., 21, of Phoenix, Arizona. Then my pharmacist told me its kind of a stimulant so I should take it in the morning. Now she takes it with breakfast and says this has helped a lot with her exhaustion.
When Should I See A Doctor For Fatigue
If youÃ¢ve been tired for several weeks with no relief, it may be time to call your healthcare provider. He or she will ask questions about your sleep, daily activities, appetite, and exercise and will likely give you a physical exam and order lab tests.
Your treatment will be based on your history and the results of your exam and lab tests. Your doctor may prescribe medications to target underlying health problems, such as anemia or irregular thyroid activity. He or she may suggest that you eat a well-balanced diet and begin an exercise program.
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Use The Spoon Theory When Talking To Loved Ones
One of the hardest things is getting my husband to understand what I mean when I say Im tired, Genevieve says. Im not normal tired, Im exhausted to the bone. One thing thats helped her explain her exhaustion and pain to others is using an analogy called the spoon theory.The basic premise: You have a spoonful of energy available for each task you need to get done each day. Every time you do something, you remove a spoon. People with chronic illnesses start each day with fewer, smaller spoons than healthy people, and everyday tasks require more spoons when you have chronic illness than when you dont. You can run out of spoons and energy much more quickly than those around you.
Keep In Mind The Following Fatigue Tips And Questions:
Content ratio: The higher the sugar and the lower the fiber the worse the carbohydrate. Use that as a general guideline to indicate which carbs are good or bad.
Know the good from the bad: The word carbohydrate has been tossed around a lot, first we hear they are good, then all of a sudden theyre bad for you. The answer is they are both, but we can easily separate the good from the bad. You need the good, so educate yourself and dont steer clear of carbs altogether or youll get drained.
Fiber, fiber, fiber and more fiber: Foods high in fiber are digested slower than foods with very little fiber, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.
Is it refined? Is it processed?: Foods like white bread and white rice are stripped of fiber and full of simple carbs. Avoid along with the obvious things like fast food, sugary goodies, soda, etc.
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Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine seems like a great way to improve your energy, but it comes with consequences. Caffeine can give you a false sense of energy and lead you to overdo it, according to Montoya. A little bit of caffeine may be fine for some people. Just be careful to not overexert yourself and make sure your intake doesnt impact your sleep.
Foods To Eat If You Have A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Your diet can significantly help you to manage or reduce the symptoms of CFS in your body.
The number one thing you can do to alleviate CFS without going to the hospital is to adjust your diet. Your intake influences many things on your body, and even a slight change can make a lot of difference.
Here are ten kinds of food you should include in your diet if you are suffering from CFS.
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See A Psychiatrist Or Therapist
If symptoms of chronic fatigue sound similar to symptoms of depression thats because theres often a lot of crossover between the two. Experiencing fatigue can make you feel depressed and feeling depressed can promote feelings of fatigue, which creates a vicious cycle, Dr. Cohen says. Getting treated for depression and/or anxiety can make a big difference in how well you can cope with fatigue, she says. A psychiatrist, preferably one who specializes in chronic diseases, can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment for mental health issues, especially when medication is necessary.
Orthostatic Intolerance And Autonomic Impairment
Am J Med.Clin Neurophysiol Pract.
J Thromb Circ Open Access.
Clin Neurophysiol Pract.J Chronic Fatigue Syndr.Clin Sci .Am J Med.PLoS One.Clin Diagn Lab Immunol.J Clin Cell Immunol.Hum Immunol.PLoS One.JAMA.Vivo.J Transl Med.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.Front Immunol.
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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.
Pay Attention To Sugar
Sugar can also increase your energy temporarily, but the crash afterward can compound your tiredness. Instead of reaching for foods with refined sugar, Groppo suggests eating naturally sweet foods with a bit of protein to help even out your blood sugar and energy levels. Berries with plain, unsweetened yogurt is a great option.
Fill up on nonstarchy veggies. Try to include vegetables of all colors throughout the day to get their unique nutrients and benefits. Red vegetables, for instance, are full of phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and help reduce inflammation. Yellow veggies contain important vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and B6.
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Know When To Say Enough
Rather than lying in bed tossing and turning, you could get up and watch television or read a book. Wait until you feel tired again and then go back to bed. Audiotapes with stories may help you to sleep, and are stocked in most bookshops and libraries.
Mental exercises can also help you to sleep. These usually take about 10 minutes and include:
- trying to remember the lines of a song or poem
- making alphabetical lists of girls or boys names, countries, trees or flowers
- reliving a favourite experience in every detail
- writing a letter in your head
- relaxation exercises
Your body will still get some benefit from lying quietly in bed resting, even if you are not actually asleep. Although you may feel as if you have been awake all night, you may well have managed to have several hours of good quality sleep.
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What Is The Treatment For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A treatment plan for CFS aims to relieve your symptoms to improve your quality of life. The plan should include:
- a plan for how to manage stress
- a very gentle exercise plan
- a nutritious diet, with regular meals/snacks to keep up your energy
- supplements if your diet lacks a good balance or if your blood tests indicate deficiencies
- a sleep management plan, which may include medication
- physiotherapy to help with pain and good breathing techniques
- medication for pain
- psychological input if you are particularly stressed or depressed.
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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