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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Symptoms of CFS often mimic the flu. The following are the most common symptoms of CFS. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Low-grade fever
The symptoms of CFS may look like other medical conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Will Me/cfs Affect My Quality Of Life
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms so itâs important not to compare people with ME/CFS. People with ME/CFS can have very different experiences of the condition and how long their symptoms last.
The impact of symptoms can be:
As symptoms change over time so does the impact they have on peopleâs lives.
Read Also: Menopause Fatigue And Brain Fog
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.
Can Cbd Help With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And If So How
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is distinguished by extreme tiredness that does not improve with rest, among several other specific symptoms. CFS is considered a long-term condition as it can persist for six months or more. It is typically a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning that other serious conditions must be ruled out first.
- A study has shown that patients with CFS have increased production of cells that promote inflammation. Meanwhile, oxidative stress has also been linked as a potential mechanism of chronic fatigue.
- Findings from a study published in the journal Antioxidants have led researchers to believe that cannabidiol could inhibit inflammation in the body through multiple pathways. The authors also learned that CBD might counteract oxidative stress, which may contribute to CFS.
- Studies have shown that CBDs interaction with the endocannabinoid system and its receptors is responsible for its therapeutic properties. Cannabidiol is said to provide relief for inflammation, pain, and anxiety.
- However, there is a definite lack of evidence regarding CBDs effectiveness in treating chronic fatigue syndrome. Most studies on cannabidiol were performed on animals, with a limited number of clinical trials done on human subjects.
Recommended Reading: Diseases That Cause Joint Pain And Fatigue
Listen To An Audio Version Of This Article
Dumbfounded that physicians knew so little about chronic fatigue syndrome also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS Allen resolved several years ago to take part in any study that would have her. In 2017, she got her chance: she entered a study assessing how women with ME/CFS respond to synthetic hormones.
After decades of pleading, people with the condition have finally caught the attention of mainstream science and dozens of exploratory studies are now under way. Scientists entering the field are using the powerful tools of modern molecular biology to search for any genes, proteins, cells and possible infectious agents involved. They hope the work will yield a laboratory test to diagnose ME/CFS which might have several different causes and manifestations and they want to identify molecular pathways to target with drugs.
The US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, bolstered the field last year by more than doubling spending for research into the condition, from around US$6 million in 2016 to $15 million in 2017. Included in that amount are funds for four ME/CFS research hubs in the United States that will between them receive $36 million over the next five years.
Epidemiologists have suggested that the anguish of contending with the disorder and societys general dismissal of it contribute to an up to sevenfold increase in the rate of suicide for people with ME/CFS.
Metabolic system and microbiome
Infection Could Trigger Lasting Immune Response
The Columbia team says their research supports the hypothesis that CFS may be triggered in a hit-and-run fashion following a common infection, such as infectious mononucleosis.
The cross-sectional study, published in the journal Science Advances, involved analyzing the blood plasma samples of 298 CFS patients and 348 people without the disease.
The researchers found distinct biomarkers created by the immune system in those with the disease. They also found differences in those who have had the disease for less than three years and those who have had it more than three years.
Those who had the disease for a shorter extent of time had higher amounts of different types of cytokines, or molecules that regulate your bodys defensive response to inflammation and infection.
Specifically, the Columbia team reports, early-stage CFS patients have elevated levels of interleukin-17A, a known biomarker of a faulty immune system.
The researchers added the elevated biomarker levels seem to subside after three years because the immune system has become exhausted after failing to calm itself after an infection. They compared it to an engine running at high gear for an extended period of time.
Our results should accelerate the process of establishing the diagnosis after individuals first fall ill as well as discovery of new treatment strategies focusing on these early blood markers, Hornig, lead author of the study, said.
Don’t Miss: What Does Menopause Fatigue Feel Like
I Don’t Have Insurance How Can The Affordable Care Act Help Me
If you’re uninsured or have been denied coverage in the past for ME/CFS, the Health Insurance Marketplace may be able to provide you with access to affordable coverage. With health insurance plans in the Marketplace, you can no longer be refused coverage just because you have a pre-existing health condition. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition. They also can’t charge women more than men. Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
Making lifestyle changes may greatly impact how you feel, and the specific changes you need can depend on the severity of your illness and whether certain activities exacerbate your symptoms. While some people may see the tremendous benefit just from making changes to the way they eat, for example, others may find that more sweeping changessuch as a job changemay be necessary.
You May Like: Polo Ralph Lauren Gellar Fatigue Shorts
Pragmatic Rehabilitation: The Fine Trial
Pragmatic rehabilitation is a programme involving gradually increasing activity designed collaboratively by the patient and the therapist. In response to an earlier successful trial, a larger trial was conducted. In this trial, patients fulfilling 1991 Oxford CFS criteria who were allocated to pragmatic rehabilitation reported a statistically significant though clinically modest improvement in fatigue compared with patients allocated to either supportive listening or treatment as usual, but after 12 months followup the differences were no longer statistically significant nor was there was any significant improvement in physical functioning at any time. About 10% of the trial participants were nonambulatory and about 30% met 1994 London criteria for ME, but separate results for these groups were not published . An accompanying editorial gave some possible reasons for the failure to replicate the earlier success in this trial, and called for further research. The patients in this trial had higher comorbidity and disability than patients in the earlier trial and in most other trials, and received fewer sessions than most successful trials of CBT and GET. The editorial also raised the question of whether generalists are as successful as specialists in offering behavioural interventions .
How A Physical Therapist Can Help Manage Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Physical therapists are highly educated experts in the function and movement of the human bodywho specialize in mobility, flexibility, strength, endurance, breathing and more.When facing the challenges associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, patients may experience trouble with one or more of these areas.A physical therapist can help.
Recommended Reading: Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Fatigue
Treatment Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Drugs for depression, sleep, or pain if indicated
In most cases, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome lessen over time. However, it often takes years for symptoms to subside, and not all symptoms disappear. People may recover more fully if they focus more on what function they can recover than on how much function they have lost.
Specific symptoms such as pain, depression, and poor sleep are treated. Cognitive behavioral therapy and gradual graded exercise, which have helped some people, may be worth trying.
Keep Track Of Your Symptoms And Their Onset
Tracking the frequency, timing, and severity of your symptoms might help your doctor better understand what youre experiencing. Tracking your activity level and symptoms can also help you draw connections and learn your limits so that you can reduce flare-ups.
When tracking your symptoms, remember to write down everything ailing you, not just fatigue. People with CFS/ME often also have issues with pain, cognition, such as memory and concentration, and sleep. You might also consider keeping a sleep diary, so your doctor can see how well youre sleeping and determine if sleep might play a role in your symptoms.
You May Like: What Causes Achy Joints And Fatigue
Therapeutic Massage At Home
If youre ready to try massage but dont want to visit a spa every week, MedMassager can help. MedMassager offers therapeutic, physician-trusted tools to bring you revitalizing massage at home, whenever it fits your schedule.
View our collection of restorative massage tools here, or learn more about their many benefits today.
The Bottom Line On Massage And Chronic Fatigue
Massage is a natural complementary therapy that can benefit certain people with chronic fatigue. And thanks to its sleep and stress-relieving benefits, you may find that it helps with your overall energy levels, even if you arent diagnosed with CFS.
Be sure to check with your healthcare team before trying massage, especially if you want to use it alongside a current treatment routine. Once youve got the green light, you can work with a masseuse or start a self-massage routine to reap the wellness benefits at home.
Don’t Miss: Anti Fatigue Kitchen Floor Mats Lowes
Skip Heavily Processed Foods
Heavily processed foods typically have fewer nutrients than their whole food counterparts. Its important to load up on plants like legumes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support your bodys needs.
Dont know what to eat? Groppo recommends sticking with foods that are as close to how Mother Nature made it as possible. Choose popped corn instead of corn flakes or brown rice instead of pasta, for example.
Cbd Dosage For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Since the FDA has not approved cannabidiol for treating chronic fatigue syndrome, there are no guidelines on its correct dosage.
Some people believe there are several factors to consider in determining the proper dose for each person. Ones body weight and the amount of CBD in each product are the most commonly cited.
Authors of a 2016 study said that they do not have a foundation to recommend the right dosage based on their studies. However, they hypothesized that consuming a low dose of 12 mg to 25 mg of CBD once each day appears to provide relief for anxiety and sleep disorders.
It is clear that further large scale studies are needed for experts to come up with CBD dosing that is safe and effective for the general population.
Although CBD is considered generally safe for human consumption, it is still possible for users to experience side effects.
According to a 2017 clinical review of CBD, the most commonly reported adverse reactions, based on several studies, include tiredness, diarrhea, and appetite loss.
Don’t Miss: Chronic Fatigue And Stomach Problems
Complementary And Alternative Medicine
CFS/ME patients tend to use more alternative medicine treatments than people without . Patients often leave orthodox medical care because they feel that their condition has been unjustifiably attributed to psychological causes: they are given the message that it is all in the mind. In a twin study, 91% of twins with CFS/ME and 71% without CFS/ME used at least one alternative treatment. A large proportion of the study participants stated that alternative treatments were helpful .
Popular Medications For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome can have a devastating effect on a woman’s life and relationships. Unlike normal tiredness and fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome is a long-term, incurable form of intense fatigue that does not improve with rest or sleep. While there is no cure for this condition, there are medications for chronic fatigue syndrome that may help manage symptoms. A doctor can help you decide which of these five popular chronic fatigue medications is right for you.
You May Like: How Do You Treat Adrenal Fatigue
How Energy Conservation Can Combat The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Avoiding extreme lows and highs is a balancing act for people working to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition essentially limits the amount of energy a person has, which can be illustrated by representing the available energy with cones. If I give a patient six cones to represent their energy for the day, without the option to borrow cones from another day, any activity they participate in uses up their cones to a proportionate degree.
For example, if a patient tells me they made a gourmet meal that took four hours, I grab away all their cones and that is their entire energy supply for that day. Then I will show them that alternatively they could have gotten up and made a simple breakfast, then I would have only taken one cone away. Then they would have had enough energy left to clean the kitchen, go to the grocery store, and do their physical therapy exercises, all while still having a bit of energy in reserve. I always encourage individuals to aim to leave a cone do not use up every bit you have every day.
When a patient first begins to address chronic fatigue syndrome, they bounce between what they perceive as really terrible and really good days. Our goal is to level that out and ultimately reach a point where the bad days feel even better than the good days used to, as that energy level slowly increases.
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
You May Like: Is Fatigue A Symptom Of Prostate Cancer
Causes Of Extreme Fatigue
Many people struggle with fatigue, which has many causes some obvious, others not so much. Causes of chronic fatigue include poor quality or not enough sleep, a bad diet, not exercising, and metabolic and hormonal imbalances. It becomes a vicious cycle when fatigue sets in and worsens your fatigue.
But you can manage your fatigue when you first figure out the root causeor causes of feeling tired all the time. Some reasons why you might feel extreme fatigue include:
- Adrenal burnout
- Thyroid imbalances
- Other hormonal imbalances like testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol
- Being a perfectionist
- Being around overly critical or negative people
- Not having a positive mindset
- Food sensitivities
- Mitochondrial dysfunctions mitochondria are those little power plants in your cells. Malfunctioning mitochondria can create massive energy crashes.
- Overexercise a good workout should leave you feeling energetic and strong. Overexercising or overtraining can have the opposite effect, creating chronic fatigue that zaps your energy and mood.
- Toxicity including things like environmental pollutants, but also less-obvious toxins, including mold, mercury from amalgams, and electromagnetic fields from electronics.
This list goes on, and oftentimes multiple factors create or worsen fatigue. On the other hand, chronic fatigue might result from one primary reason, like poor sleep, stress, a bad diet, or not getting the right nutrients. These five strategies may help you boost your energy.