Sleep Rest And Relaxation
You may have sleep problems that make your ME/CFS symptoms worse. For example, you may:
- have problems getting to sleep
- have unrefreshing or restless sleep
- need an excessive amount of sleep
- sleep during the day and be awake at night
You should be given advice about how to establish a normal sleeping pattern. Having too much sleep does not usually improve the symptoms of ME/CFS, and sleeping during the day can stop you sleeping at night.
You should change your sleep pattern gradually, and your doctor should review how it’s going regularly. If your sleep does not improve after making changes, you may have an underlying sleep problem that will need to be addressed.
It’s likely you’ll need to rest during the day, and your doctor should advise you about the best way to do this. For example, they may suggest limiting each rest period to 30 minutes and teach you relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises.
If you have severe ME/CFS and need to spend much of your time in bed, it can cause problems, including pressure sores and blood clots. These problems, and how to avoid them, should be explained to you and your carers.
Sip Some Potato Water
While a brimming glass of fresh potato water may not sound like the first thing youd want to relax on a hot summer day with, its actually a great home remedy for fatigue. Soaking slices of potato in water makes a potassium rich drink that can help you feel less tired and sluggish, as it replenishes a mineral many people have trouble getting enough of. Like magnesium, the body does not produce potassium-we have to consume it from outside sources. Because our diets these days tend to lean towards being nutrient deficient, its no wonder we find ourselves lacking in the potassium department.
Potassium doesnt give you a direct jolt of energy, per say, but along with magnesium it is an electrolyte that is vital for the proper functioning of our cells and the release of energy and the conduction of electricity. Without enough of it, our muscles wouldnt move properly and our nerve impulses wouldnt fire right. By ensuring you have healthy levels of potassium, you can get an edge on feeling dull and tired all the time.
You will need-8 ounces of fresh water
DirectionsSlice up the potato and add to a glass of water. Allow it to steep overnight in the fridge, and drink first thing in the morning.
Potential Harms To Patients
A review in 2019 identified seven possible types of medical harm that patients with CFS may face, and concluded that biopsychosocial model had a focus that was “too narrow” and did not fit the “patient narrative “. A UK treatment programme of psycho-behavioral interventions was found to fail to meet the needs of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, and to lack oversight. A number of different authors have raised concerns about medical harm to patients, particularly resulting from the use of cognitive behavioral therapy as a primary treatment, the use of graded exercise therapy , and delays in diagnosis.
Concerns have also been raised about a clinical trial of the Lightning Process in children, a treatment not approved for use in adults, and a series of publications have been corrected due to inaccurate ethics statements.
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Things People With Chronic Fatigue Should Eat & Do
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is far from feeling tired after every days work or having the urge to relax after doing your early morning workout routine. Feeling tired after a busy day is normal give the body a few hours of rest, and you are back to normal. What is not normal is having severe fatigue that may require bed rest for days or even months to get better.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome is sometimes referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis . It is characterized by a feeling of acute tiredness, pains, and having abnormal sleep patterns. It has not yet been decided medically what the actual cause of chronic fatigue is.
Some researchers believe that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is hereditary and can be triggered by several factors. As of now, no laboratory test can show that a patient has chronic fatigue syndrome. Series of tests have to be conducted to eliminate other similar conditions before the doctor can say a patient is suffering from chronic fatigue.
Tiredness, pains, and abnormal sleep patterns are not the only way you know you have chronic fatigue syndrome. Other symptoms of chronic fatigue are discussed below.
Will I Still Be Able To Work With Me/cfs
Research shows that about half of people with ME/CFS work part-time or full-time jobs. For some people with ME/CFS, the ability to work is possible thanks to a supportive employer and certain workplace accommodations, including a flexible schedule, a quiet comfortable place to rest, and memory aids.
But, if you can’t work because of ME/CFS, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. Learn more about applying for disability through the Social Security Administration.
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Whats The Difference Between Tiredness And Fatigue
Feeling tired or sleepy simply means youre having trouble staying awake and want to nod off, sleep specialist Christopher Winter, M.D., owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, tells SELF. Constant fatigue, on the other hand, is when youre seriously lacking energy on a consistent basis.
This can be a tricky thing for even doctors to suss out. Fatigue is a subjective feeling, Alfred F. Tallia, M.D., MPH, professor and chair of family medicine and community health at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, tells SELF. And in his experience, its one of the most common symptoms that prompt people to make an appointment with their family doctor.
Laurie A. Kane, M.D., an endocrinologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, agrees that it can be difficult to figure out if a patient has constant fatigue or just normal tiredness. Its a matter of semantics, she tells SELF. We have to really try to understand what a patient means when they come in and talk about what theyre experiencing.
In general, though, normal fatigue gets better when youre able to rest , and normal sleepiness gets better with more sleep.
Research Funding Diversion At The Cdc
In 1998, William Reaves, a director at the Centers for Disease Control , alleged deceptive Congressional testimony was given by officials at the agency concerning CFS research activities conducted by the organization specifically, funds for programs intended for CFS research were diverted to other projects and not reported. He also stated he was retaliated against by his superior, Brian Mahy, after he reported the irregularities.
A Government Accounting Office investigation disclosed almost 13 million dollars for CFS research had been redirected or improperly accounted for by the CDC. The agency stated the funds were redistributed in order to respond to other public health emergencies. The director of a U.S. national patient advocacy group charged the CDC had a bias against studying the disease.
In response, the CDC pledged reforms to accounting practices to reduce misuse of funds earmarked for specific diseases. Additionally, the money diverted from CFS research was to be restored over a period of three years.
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Autopsies And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The autopsies done in ME/CFS are few and far between. Complete medical histories appended to them are, at least in the public realm, usually lacking.
Because autopsies of ME/CFS patients invariably come from the sickest among us, they may not tell the story of less severely ill patients. Doctors report that most people with ME/CFS/FM get worse at first, then improve and usually plateau. A significant subset of patients, however, decline.
This is that group. Of the ME/CFS patients below whose illness duration is known, none had ME/CFS for much more than 10 years.
A look at the autopsy records suggests that, not surprisingly, when people with chronic fatigue syndrome die, they die in a variety of ways. One theme does, however, stand out and could suggest why some severely ill patients get so ill, why they die, quite frankly, in such horrible ways, and why suicide is not uncommon at all.
Talking With Your Doctor About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
If you are experiencing fatigue on an ongoing basis despite getting adequate sleep, talk to your doctor. While you could be facing chronic fatigue syndrome, many illnesses ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to iron-deficiency anemia can cause fatigue. Your doctor will need to ask questions and order tests to determine what is causing fatigue in your personal situation. Preparing for your appointment can help it go more smoothly.
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What Complications Are Associated With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome
For some people, the fatigue associated with ME/CFS makes activities of daily living very difficult or even impossible. Research shows that only half of all people diagnosed with ME/CFS work full-time or part-time jobs.
ME/CFS causes significant depression in many people living with the condition. If you experience depression, talk with your doctor â effective treatments are available.
How Can I Help My Child
To help your child cope with the emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome:
- Encourage your child to keep a daily diary to identify times when he or she has the most energy and help plan activities for these times.
- Have your doctor plan an exercise program to maintain strength at whatever level is possible. This can help your child feel better physically and emotionally.
- Help your child to recognize and express feelings, such as sadness, anger, and frustration. It’s OK to grieve the loss of energy.
- Get support from family and friends because emotional health is important when coping with a chronic health problem.
- Allow more time for your child to do things, especially activities that take concentration or physical exertion.
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Is It Like Long Covid
Early in the pandemic, we realised some patients had a cluster of debilitating symptoms that dragged on for months, which we now call long COVID.
Some 85% of long COVID patients experience fatigue, making it one of the most common long COVID symptoms.
However, people with long COVID have a range of other symptoms, such as brain fog, headaches and muscle aches. Patients with long COVID therefore experience more than fatigue, and sometimes dont have fatigue at all.
We knew about chronic fatigue syndrome, otherwise known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, well before COVID.
This often develops after a viral infection . So, understandably, there has been concern around the coronavirus potentially triggering chronic fatigue syndrome.
Read more:Explainer: what is chronic fatigue syndrome?
There are striking similarities between chronic fatigue syndrome and long COVID. Both involve debilitating fatigue, brain fog and/or muscle aches.
But at this stage, researchers are still untangling any link between post-COVID fatigue, long COVID and chronic fatigue syndrome.
For now, we know many people will have post-COVID fatigue but thankfully do not go on to develop long COVID or chronic fatigue syndrome.
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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.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome
For many people, the symptoms of ME/CFS resemble other diseases, like influenza. Symptoms may come and go over time and may increase or decrease in severity. ME/CFS symptoms vary widely from person to person.
Many of the symptoms of ME/CFS make daily life difficult. These symptoms include:
- Severe fatigue lasting at least 6 months that does not improve with rest or sleep
- Difficulty sleeping
- Flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes , headaches, and joint pain
- Cognitive difficulties, including attention and memory problems
- Muscle aches
Less common symptoms of ME/CFS include:
- Problems with vision
- Irritable bowel, an intestinal condition causing painful bloating, gas, constipation and diarrhea
- Psychological issues, including mood swings, irritability and anxiety
- Tingling or numbness in the feet, hands or face
For many people, ME/CFS symptoms get worse following physical exercise or strenuous mental exertion. In some cases, orthostatic intolerance causes dizziness, weakness, and fainting.
Impact And Prognosis Of Me/cfs
- Nacul L.
- Lacerda E.M.
- Campion P.
- et al.
BMC Public Health.J Chronic Fatigue Syndr.
- Cox D.L.
- Findley L.J.
Br J Occup Ther.
- Mild: mobile and self-caring may continue working but will have reduced other activities
- Moderate: reduced mobility, restricted in instrumental activities of daily living, needs frequent periods of rest usually not working
- Severe: mostly housebound limited to minimal activities of daily living severe cognitive difficulties may be wheelchair dependent
- Very severe: mostly bedridden unable to independently carry out most activities of daily living often experience extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and other sensory input
- Tian H.
- et al.
Am J Epidemiol.Chronic Illn.
Qual Life Res.Disabil Rehabil.Occup Med .
Rehabil Psychol.Front Pediatr.Fatigue.
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Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
Depression Stress And Anxiety
Adjusting to a chronic, debilitating illness sometimes leads to other problems, including depression, stress, and anxiety. Many patients with ME/CFS develop depression during their illness. When present, depression or anxiety should be treated. Although treating depression or anxiety can be helpful, it is not a cure for ME/CFS.
Some people with ME/CFS might benefit from antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. However, doctors should use caution in prescribing these medications. Some drugs used to treat depression have other effects that might worsen other ME/CFS symptoms and cause side effects. When healthcare providers are concerned about patients psychological condition, they may recommend seeing a mental health professional.
Some people with ME/CFS might benefit from trying techniques like deep breathing and muscle relaxation, massage, and movement therapies . These can reduce stress and anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.
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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.
Is There A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Test
There is no available test or bio marker for the illness. And, what makes this disorder baffling is the severity, type and number of symptoms individuals suffer from.
No single cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is known, and in fact it can be caused by multiple things, but it is likely that a trauma or several traumas of some description triggered it.
For example, trauma can come from one or more of the following:
- Hormone imbalance, such as adrenal fatigue.
- Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
- Immune system problems.
- Viral infections, such as glandular fever.
- Trauma from physical accidents.
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Diabetes Obesity And Being Overweight
Extra pounds and too much exertion of physical activity also causes chronic fatigue syndrome . Obesity makes it difficult to stretch the legs, arms and even reach the floor. Moreover, diabetes, which is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar. When the body doesnt produce much insulin or has an insulin immunity to breaking down food into energy. When there is not enough energy in the body, the person may consistently feel tired or drained.
A Sjogrens Syndrome Segue
Sjogrens Syndrome is of interest because of its growing association with POTS in particular. A Johns Hopkins 2014 case series used a high resolution magnetic resonance neurography to diagnose abnormal dorsal root ganglia in ten Sjogrens Syndrome patients.
The authors pointed out that the burning sensations found in SS often do not follow the typical stocking and glove pattern that occurs with most people who have small fiber neuropathy. They called small fiber neuropathy a surrogate marker of DRG neuronal loss but noted that the unusual distribution of SFN in SS can complicate getting an SFN diagnosis. Plus, some SS patients with burning or raking pain may have dorsal root ganglia problems without having small fiber neuropathy.
Five of the ten SS patients in the study had abnormal DRGs. The fact that none had evidence of small fiber neuropathy, and that two of the patients improved markedly on IVIG therapy, suggested that dorsal root ganglionitis by itself can cause these burning, painful sensations. It also suggested a new way to search for sensory ganglionitis.
In any case, the finding of sensory ganglionitis in Sjogrens Syndrome suggests that it may not be long given the proper studies before its also found in POTS, FM and ME/CFS.
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