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Ways To Combat Chronic Fatigue

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Vitamin B12 And Folic Acid

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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 .

Food Allergies And Intolerances

CFS may affect or be affected by the immune system, but exactly how is unknown. However, CFS food related problems are more likely to be food intolerances, , than food allergies . A detailed history by an experienced healthcare professional is required to diagnose and manage these. There are many commercially available tests claiming to diagnose food intolerance and allergy. These should be avoided as they have no scientific basis.

The Importance Of Feeling Understood

I managed to hold it together while in my lawyers office, but once outside I immediately broke down into tears.

Despite the fact that Im used to responses such as I get tired too and I wish I could nap all the time like you do, it still hurts when I hear them.

Its incredibly frustrating to have a debilitating condition thats frequently brushed off as being just tired or as something that could be fixed by lying down for a few minutes.

Dealing with chronic illness and disability is already a lonely and isolating experience, and being misunderstood only increases those feelings. Beyond that, when medical providers or others who have key roles in our health and wellness dont understand us, it can impact the quality of care we receive.

It seemed vitally important to me to find creative ways to describe my struggles with CFS so other people could better understand what I was going through.

But how do you describe something when the other person has no frame of reference for it?

You find the parallels with your condition to things people understand and have direct experience with. Here are three ways I describe living with CFS that Ive found particularly useful.

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Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Since researchers do not yet fully understand the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis and people with the illness can experience a wide variety of symptoms, multiple treatments exist. Treatments are aimed at managing and reducing the severity of CFS/ME symptoms, rather than at curing the illness.

Who Gets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect people of all ethnicities and ages, but is most common in people in their forties or fifties. It’s very rare in kids. A few teens do get CFS, and it affects more girls than guys.

Sometimes different people in the same family get CFS. This may be because the tendency to develop CFS is genetic.

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Increase Potassium And Magnesium Intake

Research shows that both potassium and magnesium can help improve the symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.


In a study published in the UK medical journal The Lancet, chronic fatigue syndrome patients were found to have low magnesium levels that accounted for a low red blood cell count.

In this study, patients that were treated with magnesium supplements self-reported improved energy levels, a more balanced emotional state and less pain. At the end of the six-week study, all patients that were given magnesium had their red cell magnesium levels return to normal.

If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, consider adding these magnesiumrich foods to add to your diet: spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, yogurt and kefir, almonds, black beans, avocados, figs, dark chocolate and bananas.

These delicious foods can help you overcome chronic fatigue, one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency, and support healthy nerve function, healthy blood sugar levels, blood pressure regulation, and much more. Its estimated that nearly 80 percent of Americans are currently deficient in this essential mineral.


Potassium is responsible for proper electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium-rich foods include avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, coconut water, kefir and yogurt, white beans, bananas, acorn squash, dried apricots and mushrooms.

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.

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How Is Cfs Diagnosed

CFS is a very challenging condition to diagnose.

According to the Institute of Medicine, as of 2015, CFS occurs in about 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans. Its estimated, however, that 84 to 91 percent have yet to receive a diagnosis.

There are no medical tests to screen for CFS. Its symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Many people with CFS dont look sick, so doctors may not recognize that they indeed have a health condition.

In order to receive a CFS diagnosis, your doctor will rule out other potential causes and review your medical history with you.

Theyll confirm that you at least have the core symptoms previously mentioned. Theyll also ask about the duration and severity of your unexplained fatigue.

Ruling out other potential causes of your fatigue is a key part of the diagnosis process. Some conditions with symptoms that resemble those of CFS include:

  • severe obesity
  • sleep disorders

The side effects of certain drugs, such as antihistamines and alcohol, can mimic symptoms of CFS as well.

Because of the similarities between symptoms of CFS and many other conditions, its important to not self-diagnose. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They can work with you to get relief.

It Was Like Being Buried Alive: Battle To Recover From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Is it physical or mental or a combination of the two? And why are treatments for CFS hotly disputed? In an extract from her book Cure, Jo Marchant tells the story of Samantha Miller, one sufferer of the controversial condition

It was like being buried alive, Samantha Miller says matter-of-factly, fixing me with blue eyes as she munches on falafel. I was exhausted, with terrible joint pains. It was like having flu all the time with no certainty of recovery. I couldnt do anything. I was trapped.

Today, she looks vibrant and younger than her 46 years. She is immaculately dressed in 1950s-inspired floral pinks with a fluffy beret and bright lipstick her blonde hair is twisted prettily and fixed with a white carnation. Weve met for lunch in a Turkish restaurant in north London and, as we talk, she seems energetic, fun and very sharp. Its hard to believe she has spent several years fighting her way back from hell.

In the late 1990s, Miller was living in Hampstead, north London, and teaching art at a short-staffed, under-funded secondary school. She found dealing with kids tiring. Children still have the invincibility of youth, she says. They havent been crushed by anything yet. She was also a keen mountain biker and swimmer and led a hectic social life. If something needed doing, she would pick up the slack. And she was always striving to be perfect.

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Take Breaks From Your Phone

Technology can be a catch-22 when it comes to resting. Playing Candy Crush, watching Netflix, or surfing the web may feel like a good way to wind down but its not real rest and may even make you more anxious. In addition, the blue light emitted from phone, tablet, and laptop screens can also mess up your sleep. Dont use screens within an hour of bedtime, Dr. Cohen cautions.

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.

Vitamin B6

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.

Vitamin B12

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2. Kick-start your exercise routine. Inactivity can be a vicious circle RA fatigue makes it hard to get moving, and inactivity makes fatigue worse,” Ali explains. “Most people with RA do feel energized after exercise. It may help to work with a physical therapist to get started.” The best exercises for people with RA are often low-impact activities like stationary cycling, swimming, and walking.

3. Nix the naps. A good nights sleep requires healthy sleep habits. If possible, avoid napping during the day. You need to be awake for about 16 hours in order to sleep well at night for example, getting up at 7 a.m. and going to bed at 11 p.m. When you do turn in, keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable and avoid making it an entertainment center . Also, skip the alcohol and heavy meals before bedtime and limit caffeine after noon. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also help you establish a quality sleep routine that leaves you feeling refreshed.

6. Ask your doctor about medications for fatigue. Certain medications may help chronic fatigue, such as modafinil. However, “you need to use these with caution, because once you start taking them, it may be hard to stop,” Ali says. “Tramadol is a pain medication that can help improve sleep thats disrupted by RA pain. As another option, a low-dose antidepressant, also given at bedtime, has been shown to reduce pain, increase sleep, and reduce fatigue in some people with RA,” he says.

Using Acupuncture And Massage To Improve Overall Health

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The Mayo Clinic, which has been ranked number one in the United States for six consecutive years, also mentions acupuncture and massage therapy in its summary of treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Acupuncture is one of the therapeutic techniques used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote the circulation of qi, blood, and meridians. It is a technique to balance the flow of energy or vitality by stimulating acupuncture points to improve overall health and reduce stress.

Massage performed by a professional massage therapist can help reduce stress, relieve pain and muscle tension, help the body relax, and improve immune function.

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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.

What Is The Latest Research On Me/cfs

Today, we have a better understanding of ME/CFS, but researchers are still searching for the cause. ME/CFS is sometimes seen in members of the same family, perhaps because of a genetic link. Researchers are also testing a variety of treatments for ME/CFS, including anti-viral medications and medications that affect the immune system.

Researchers also are looking at ways to help health care providers identify and diagnose ME/CFS more quickly. HHS currently supports a study led by the Institute of Medicine to recommend improved and updated criteria to help physicians make a diagnosis of ME/CFS. The IOM’s recommendations may also guide future research.

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Lifestyle Suggestions For Fighting Fatigue

Suggestions include:

  • 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.

What Can I Expect

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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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Drink Plenty Of Water

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

Effective Ways To Combat Chronic Fatigue And Reclaim Your Energy

Have you been feeling unusually tired lately and unable to stay awake no matter how much you sleep? Is your body exhausted even after waking up? Do you constantly feel the need to fill up with coffee or energy drinks just to stay focused?

If so, you might be suffering from chronic fatigue. This may be a result of work-related burnout or underlying health problems. You should talk to a doctor to discover the main causes and start taking action to find relief.

Keep reading to learn 5 simple ways to beat chronic fatigue and bring back the balance in your energy levels.

  • Reduce Caffeine
  • Though caffeine might seem like the fastest, most effective way to combat fatigue, it can do more damage than good. Once the caffeine wears off, youll feel an even bigger crash and wont be able to get back to balance. Try decaf coffee, mushroom coffee, green tea, Yerba mate, chicory coffee, or Chai instead.

  • Implement Physical Movement
  • When you feel tired, the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, even 15 minutes of physical activity can help you feel more energized. Start with simple stretches, climbing stairs, or short walks outside. If you feel an improvement, slowly increase the amount of movement.

    Before starting any form of exercise, talk to your doctor to discover the chronic fatigue causes in order to recommend the best exercise options for you.

  • Change Your Diet
  • Improve Your Sleep Patterns
  • Try Yoga for Energy
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