How Is Me/cfs Treated
There isn’t a cure yet for ME/CFS. So the keys to living with ME/CFS are learning how to pace your activities and treating your symptoms.
There are some things you can do to treat the most common symptoms.
- For symptoms that are worse after activity , learn how to manage your activity. Think about how much energy you have on a given day and try not to “spend” more than you have.
- If you feel dizzy or weak while sitting or standing, you can try wearing pressure stockings or putting your feet up. Or your doctor may recommend eating more salt or taking certain medicines.
- Sleep problems may improve with better sleep habits. You can also ask your doctor how medicines can help.
- Pain can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Some prescription medicines may also help.
- If you’re feeling depressed, talk to your doctor.
What Are The Longer
Overall, the longer-term outlook for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome should be regarded as good, particularly if sufferers are diagnosed fairly soon after the onset of their symptoms, and are treated appropriately. However, it must be recognised that there is no quick-fix for this condition and treatment may need to last for many months. Response does vary depending on the severity of the condition and a full recovery is less likely in somebody with very severe symptoms, but the majority of people with mild to moderate symptoms will improve and many will return to relatively normal health. This will, however, require significant lifestyle change, often reducing the levels of physical activity for a period of time, including reducing intense work patterns, which can have implications both financially and academically.
Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome do sometimes experience setbacks in their condition, when their symptoms increase after a period of time. It is not always clear what the cause of a relapse is. Individuals should work with their doctor to find a suitable treatment regime that works for them.
Memory And Concentration Problems
Memory aids, like organizers and calendars, can help with memory problems. For people with ME/CFS who have concentration problems, some doctors have prescribed stimulant medications, like those typically used to treat Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder . While stimulants might help improve concentration for some patients with ME/CFS, they might lead to the push-and-crash cycle and worsen symptoms. Push-and-crash cycles are when someone with ME/CFS is having a good day and tries to push to do more than they would normally attempt .
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Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Treating chronic fatigue syndrome can be straightforward when you focus on the underlying energetic systems of the body. For most Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a debilitating disorder that leaves sufferers constantly tired. This feeling of lethargy is not improved by rest and can be worsened by physical or mental activity. People who suffer from this disorder often function at a substantially lower level of activity prior to the development of the full-blown illness. CFS can last for many years and may be difficult to diagnose. According to Dr. Robin Terranella of Southwest Integrative Medicine, CFS is a diagnosis of exclusion and the diagnosis process can be frustrating for patients. Symptoms of CFS are similar to other diseases and a doctor must rule out a number of illnesses like fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis, neurasthenia, multiple chemical sensitivities, and chronic mononucleosis before determining that the problem is indeed CFS.
Doctors estimate there may be as many as one million Americans suffering from CFS. However, few of them have been officially diagnosed. CFS is more common in women than in men, and it usually affects people between the ages of 40 to 60. CFS occurs around the world in all ethnic and racial groups.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Take along a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing in case you forget some of them during your talk with the doctor or nurse.
- Talk about how much you can do at work or school and around the house.
- Ask if there are any financial supports or services you could apply for.
- Ask for help with pain, sleep and remaining active if these are problems for you.
- Ask about what you should be eating.
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Guidelines For Diagnosing Me/cfs
Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence say doctors should consider diagnosing ME/CFS if a patient has extreme tiredness that cannot be explained by other causes and the tiredness:
- started recently, has lasted a long time, or keeps coming back
- means you cannot do the things you used to do
- gets worse after activity or gentle exercise, such as a short walk
You must also have some of these symptoms:
- problems sleeping, such as insomnia
- muscle or joint pain
- fast or irregular heartbeats
- doing exercise or concentrating makes your symptoms worse
The GP should consult a specialist if they’re unsure about the diagnosis or if you have severe symptoms.
If a child or young person under 18 has symptoms of possible ME/CFS, they may be referred to a paediatrician.
As the symptoms of ME/CFS are similar to those of many common illnesses that usually get better on their own, a diagnosis of ME/CFS may be considered if you do not get better as quickly as expected.
The diagnosis should be confirmed by a doctor after other conditions have been ruled out, and if your symptoms have lasted at least 3 months.
Page last reviewed: 29 October 2021 Next review due: 29 October 2024
Medication For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
What is the best medication for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? The best natural treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome combines natural herbs with vitamins, minerals and amino acids called Stress and Cortisol Relief that works on the physical level to prevent a stress response by your body and the release of cortisol. It works to restores your energy naturally without jitters or causing adrenal fatigue.
It actually feeds your adrenal glands and balances your mitochondria so you have peak energy to do what you want to do, when you want to do it. It uses organic herbs, vitamins and minerals in a proven ratio that gives you optimum energy without burnout. It bring back the energy that is being sapped through ME and CFS. This natural remedy for chronic fatigue really helps if you have severe chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, lethargy, or any unknown illness that makes you feel sick and tired.
It really works well as Ive personally tried it and its given me all day energy, mental and physical to get through some tough day hikes, powerlifting and even my studies later that afternoon. It can give you that boost you need so you feel and perform at your best. It can be combined with homeopathic treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome too!
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Continued Research Should Lead To Better Understanding And Treatments
A great deal more is known about ME/CFS today than 35 years ago. With continued and expanded support from the NIH, CDC, and private foundations dedicated to ME/CFS, I expect a lot of progress in the coming decade. Instead of doctors saying, The tests came back normal, there is nothing wrong, they will say, Tests showed us what was wrong, and we have treatments to fix it.
And doctors will recognize the wisdom of the wise advice we all learned in medical school: Listen to your patient. The patient is telling you the diagnosis.
What Home Remedies Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Physical activity performed at a comfortable pace is important for everyone to maintain good health, including people with chronic fatigue syndrome. People with CFS need to learn how much activity is helpful and when to stop, so they do not increase their level of fatigue.
In general, people with CFS should pace themselves carefully and avoid excessive physical or emotional stress. Remember, the goal is to avoid increasing fatigue or pain. Maintain a regular and manageable daily routine to avoid a relapse or increase of symptoms. Exercise should be supervised by a knowledgeable health-care provider or physical therapist.Total rest should also be avoided as it may make your fatigue worse. You should maintain physical activity at a comfortable pace. If you increase your level of physical activity, do so gradually.Decreased consumption of alcohol and caffeine at night may help you sleep.Try to minimize social isolation.
Always ask your doctor about any new treatment, including herbal supplements.
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.
Putting It All Together
Accept that your local doctor can diagnose your chronic fatigue syndrome, however he will not be able to offer you a cure. Be your own health advocate and seek out the help you need from alternative medicine. Its important to get help from a naturopath/ functional medicine practitioner experienced in treating chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.
When Should I Call The Doctor About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People seek medical care when the fatigue and cognitive difficulties of chronic fatigue syndrome affect their quality of life. People who have questions about a particular treatment should contact a qualified health-care provider, local medical society, or university medical school for additional information.
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Find A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Healthcare Provider
The more you know about chronic fatigue syndrome , the better prepared you’ll be when trying to find a healthcare provider. It’s a difficult process, and you may need to educate a few health-care professionals along the way. Be sure you know the list of symptoms and become familiar with the various ways ME/CFS is treated.
The crux of the problem is that no medical specialty has “claimed” ME/CFS, so finding a knowledgeable healthcare provider isn’t as easy as with most illnesses. Even fibromyalgia, which is considered closely related to CFS, falls under the auspices of rheumatology. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not well understood, and many health-care providers have a hard time recognizing it. Some don’t even believe it is an actual condition.
All this means that the burden of finding someone qualified to treat you falls squarely on your shoulders. However, you have a number of resources to use in your search.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Although the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still not clear, there are certain risk factors which have been associated with the development of chronic fatigue syndrome including age, sex and stress. CFS can occur at any age, but it commonly affects people in their 20s and 450s. With females typically being diagnosed more than males. Finally, chronic stress may contribute to the development of CFS.
Doctors simply do not know the direct causes of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there are certain factors that could make you more likely to develop chronic fatigue syndrome like viral and bacterial infections, weakened immune system, hormone imbalances, mental illnesses and genetic factors. There are some studies showing that the bodys immune response to glandular fever is greater in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Get The Care You Need
Visit your doctor every few months to help track your symptoms and check for any need to change your treatment.
Get specialized care if you need it. For example:
- A rehabilitation specialist can help you treat pain and improve your ability to do your daily tasks.
- A pain management specialist can offer a number of pain treatments.
- Some specialists work with experimental treatments such as antiviral medicines.
Sign “release of information” forms so that your doctors can work together as a team.
What Are The Symptoms Of Me/cfs
The most common symptom is ongoing, unexplained overwhelming tiredness or fatigue which worsens after exercise or mental effort. This is known as post-exertional malaise . The level of activity that triggers PEM will vary from person to person and can depend on how severe their condition is. PEM is sometimes delayed and can last for a few days. A more serious relapse can last for weeks or months.
A common misconception is that people with ME/CFS have ‘chronic fatigue and are just very tired. Persistent and profound fatigue is just one symptom of ME/CFS.
Other symptoms may include:
Some people may experience only mild symptoms, but others may develop more severe symptoms.
But Things Are About To Get Worse
You go home and collapse into bed, not only completely exhausted but feeling like theres no hope of ever getting better. How on earth did you get this chronic fatigue syndrome thing? None of this makes any sense, you cant be expected to live like this.
Being no longer able to exercise you are piling on weight. And its becoming very difficult trying to hold on to your full time job as you have used up all your sick days. Going to work every day is seeming impossible, maybe you need to move to part time work.
It seems like your health is deteriorating slowly day by day and your symptoms keep increasing and the feeling of walking through wet cement every single day isnt going away..
You spend a lot of time hoping to find a doctor who can treat this annoying chronic fatigue syndrome thing. You start asking around your group of friends , and searching online, but keep drawing a blank. This is so hard to accept, there must be some doctor out there who can help you recover.
Off you go to another local doctor for a second opinion. Your friend recommends him and assures you is very reliable. Maybe that first doctor was a dud, there must be someone who can help you.
This new doctor asks if youre depressed, he can give you a prescription for antidepressants? You think, well wouldnt you be depressed if you had to spend most of the day in bed, because you cant summon enough energy to do anything else?
Treat The Worst Symptom First
Start by listing your worst symptomsthe ones that make it hardest to get through the day. With your doctor, focus first on treating those symptoms. Decide whether a specialist might be helpful for any of them.
The most common ME/CFS symptoms can also be the most treatable.
- Symptoms worse after activity .
Learning how to manage your activity can help you be as active as possible without causing your symptoms to get worse. This includes:
- Estimating how much energy you have on a given day. This is sometimes called your “energy envelope.” You spend only that much energy, and not more.
- Estimating how much energy an activity takes and how long you can do that activity. You stop when you reach that time, and then take a break.
- Not pushing yourself to get more done on days you feel well.
- Adapting activities to make them easier. One example is sitting down while doing the dishes.
Good sleep habits can help improve the quality of your sleep. If you also try medicine for sleep, it’s best to start on a low dose. Certain antidepressants help with sleep, mood, and chronic pain, so your doctor may suggest trying one.
What Is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is persistent and crippling fatigue lasting 6 months or longer. People living with ME/CFS often experience other symptoms, like unrefreshing sleep and muscle aches. The condition is also sometimes called chronic fatigue syndrome.
Doctors do not know what causes ME/CFS, and there is no cure. You may be able to manage symptoms with cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise, and medications, like antidepressants and sleep aids. The goal of treatment is to make symptoms as manageable as possible to increase your quality of life.
Articles On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Thereâs no simple blood test or X-ray to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome â also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis . And many of the symptoms of the illness — deep tiredness, unrelieved by rest or sleep, feeling worse after physical or mental exertion, trouble concentrating, feeling worse after standing and remaining on oneâs feet and other symptoms– are also seen in other conditions, too, making the diagnosis of ME/CFS more difficult.
Tests To Confirm A Diagnosis Of Me/cfs
Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to ME/CFS, so your doctor may do more tests to confirm the diagnosis. These may include:
- Orthostatic testing.
- Two types of tests may be done to see if you have symptoms after being upright for long periods of time. The tests may include a 10-minute standing or leaning test after lying down and a 30- to 45-minute upright tilt table test. The doctor will have you stand or sit upright for a period of time. He or she will ask you to report any symptoms or change in symptoms as they happen.
- Neuropsychological testing.
- This may be done to see if you are having problems with your ability to think, concentrate, or remember.
- Cardiopulmonary exercise test .
- This may be done to see if you recover after physical activity. Often the test is done and repeated about 24 hours later.