Thursday, April 18, 2024

What To Do With Chronic Fatigue

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Diabetes Obesity And Being Overweight

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes And Risks

Chronic fatigue syndrome is often associated with viral illnesses, such as Epstein Barr virus, coxsackie virus, cytomegalovirus or human herpes virus 6 . But Dr. Klimas said, it can also happen after any neurological illness, like Lymeor you were really exposed to pesticides, like farmers or pesticide workers.

There also appear to be genetic reasons for chronic fatigue. Dr. Klimas noted, the detoxification pathways are part of the issue of whos more vulnerable. It partly has to do with how well you can clear and deal with toxins and then women have a much more vigorous inflammatory cascade that is triggered more quickly, and theyre more prone to chronic inflammatory illnesses.

Move To Motivating Tunes

Listening to music while you work out is an effective way to boost the enjoyment factor. “An upbeat rhythm increases endurance,” says Liesel Gillies, MD, a family physician based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada who specializes in caring for patients with complex conditions, such as ME/CFS.

Many people with ME/CFS may find it hard to concentrate on a certain task music can increase your dopamine levels, which in turn improves focus and motivation, she explains. And as a result, your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol will also decrease. “This will improve sleep, which will improve fatigue, appetite and eating well,” Dr. Gillies says.

Read Also: Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Anxiety

Eliminate Sugar And Processed Or Packaged Foods

Eat a candy bar and your energy will usually plummet soon after. Sugar and other refined carbohydrates give you a little shot of energy, but at a huge expense: Those blood sugar spikes nosedive quickly, leaving you feeling drained. If eliminating sugar completely is too challenging, gradually trade it for lower-sugar foods, like berries, to transition off sugar. Eat nuts instead of chips or cookies.

How To Cope With The Mid

Treating the Problem of Chronic Fatigue with Good ...

Most people feel drowsy after lunch. This mid-afternoon drop in energy levels is linked to the brains circadian rhythm and is hard wired into the human body. Prevention may be impossible, but there are ways to reduce the severity of the slump, including:

  • Incorporate as many of the above fatigue-fighting suggestions as you can into your lifestyle. A fit, healthy and well-rested body is less prone to severe drowsiness in the afternoon.
  • Eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates for lunch, for example a tuna sandwich. Carbohydrates provide glucose for energy. Protein helps keep your mind attentive and alert.
  • Get moving. A brisk walk or even 10 minutes of stretching at your desk improves blood flow and boosts energy.

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Allow Yourself To Rest

While being productive matters, resting when you need to is more important.

Efficiency, not intensity, is the goal. Knowing how to deal with chronic fatigue mostly centers on being gracious with yourself and honoring what your body needs!

A spin on the classic Pomodoro Technique for productivity is a good idea. Switch it up to do what works best for your body!

When a full day of work is too much, focus on just 20 minutes of productivity. By making those 20 minutes truly productive and then resting, youll probably accomplish even more than you would have in pushing through for 3 hours.

After 20 minutes of work, check in with yourself. If you need to rest, set a timer for an hour and rest. Once the hour is up, try to work again for another 20 minutes. If you can still only accomplish 20 minutes, thats fine! Or, if you can accomplish an hour, thats even better.

Resting guilt-free prevents burnout and keeps your work consistent.

On that same note, dont forget to reward yourself!

Whether you have worked for 20 minutes, hours, or not at all, rewarding yourself makes rest feel like a celebration and not something to be ashamed of.

Be gentle to yourself! Youre dealing with something overwhelming, and showing up to make an effort is something to be proud of.

When youre wondering how to deal with chronic fatigue and be productive, these tips are absolutely essential!

Alternative Or Complementary Medicine

Since there is no standard treatment for CFS/ME, people often consider alternatives to traditional medicine or use non-traditional treatments to complement their other medications. Commonly used alternative and complementary treatments include:

  • Mind-body treatments, like qigong, tai chi, and meditation
  • Massage
  • Trigger point therapy, called myofascial release
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic treatments

Complementary therapies have received mixed results when scientifically studied. Before beginning an alternative or complementary treatment, talk with your doctor to ensure that you arent trying something potentially dangerous.

Read Also: Chronic Fatigue And Stomach Problems

How Me/cfs Might Affect Your Ability To Exercise

“One of the key features of ME/CFS is what we call post-exertional malaise ,” Dr. Holladay says. “That usually means when people with ME/CFS overdo it, they ‘crash,’ or in other words, their symptoms get worse the next day or over the next several days.”

Some of the early signs of crashing are increased brain fog, fatigue, pain and sensitivity to light and sound. “Sometimes if patients pay attention to early signs of crashing, they can lie down and avoid making themselves worse, but they don’t necessarily always have warning signs that will tell them before they’ve gone too far,” Dr. Holladay explains.

That’s why it’s so important for people with ME/CFS to learn their own boundaries and work with a doctor who can help them develop goals based on their specific needs and limitations.

“Although people with ME/CFS have notable limitations, there is a huge range of severity in illness,” Dr. Holladay explains. “People at the better end may be able to work part-time or even full-time, albeit with limitations. On the other end, a patient may be so ill that they cannot leave their bed and must be isolated from excessive light, interactions with other people, etc.”

Working out with ME/CFS is a delicate balance of doing the appropriate kind of exercise and doing it only when you’re feeling healthy enough.

“Those who are severely ill may not be able to safely do any regular exercise,” Dr. Holladay says.


Is It Like Long Covid

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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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Get 7 9 Hours Of Sleep Nightly

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Some questions you can ask yourself to see if you are not sleeping enough include: Does it take me a long time to fall asleep? Do I wake up often or am I restless? Do I feel sleepy when driving? Do I need caffeine to get through the day? Answer, yes, to any of these indicates you may not be getting enough quality sleep.

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.

Read Also: How To Combat Diabetes Fatigue

Find Out If You Have A Mthfr Genetic Mutation

Methyl-tetra-hydro-folate reductase is an enzyme that your body uses to convert folate into the active form of folate used by the body. This process is methylation.

There are a few common genetic mutations that can influence how effectively your body is able to make this important conversion. Poor methylators commonly experience symptoms such as sleep disturbances, anxiety, depression, fatigue and/or chronic pain. Here are some of the most common versions of the MTHFR genetic mutation, and how much it influences your body’s ability to convert folate from food and supplements into methyl folate, the form that is useable by your body:

  • MTHFR C677T = heterozygous mutation estimated up to 40% loss of function
  • MTHFR T677T = homozygous mutation estimated up to 70% loss of function
  • MTHFR A1298C = heterozygous mutation estimated up to 20% loss of function
  • MTHFR C1298C = homozygous mutation estimated up to 40% loss of function

You used to be able to find out if you have a MTHFR genetic mutation by taking a 23andme ancestry test and then accessing the resulting raw genetic data, but rumor has it they no longer include MTHFR in the raw genetic data, so the best bet is probably asking your doctor to run genetic testing.

How To Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Treated

This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of medical research experience, Dr. Matsko was awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Matsko earned a Research Writing Certification from the American Medical Writers Association in 2016 and a Medical Writing & Editing Certification from the University of Chicago in 2017. This article has been viewed 60,219 times.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating condition which leaves the afflicted individual with an ongoing feeling of exhaustion. Persons with CFS may be unable to perform even mundane activities which under normal circumstances present no problem. There is no cure for CFS, and there are no medications developed specifically for the condition. Fortunately, there are a number of treatment options available which can alleviate the symptoms associated with CFS.

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Fatigue After Covid Is Way More Than Just Feeling Tired Five Tips On What To Do About It

People are often surprised by how fatigued they are during a COVID-19 infection.

Fatigue is more than being worn out or sleepy. It’s an excessive tiredness that persists despite resting or good sleep. It’s likely a result of our body’s strong immune response to the virus.

But in some people the fatigue drags on even when the infection is gone. This can be debilitating and frustrating. Simply resting more makes no difference.

Here’s what we know about post-COVID fatigue, and what can help.

Exercise Tips For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Physical activity can be very difficult for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Even a small walk to the bathroom or the mailbox can leave them completely exhausted and bedridden, let alone 30 minutes of exercise.

Dr. Klimas explained that chronic fatigue patients have an extremely low aerobic threshold, and understanding this is key to creating an exercise regime that doesnt leave them with a chronic fatigue flare up. Theyre much better doing short, but frequent exercise than to try to go longer on endurance.

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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.

Request An Iron Panel From Your Doctor To Check For Low Or High Iron

About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Did you know that both low iron and high iron levels can cause fatigue?

While checking your iron levels for iron deficiency or iron-deficiency anemia is pretty standard when fatigue is present, making sure your iron levels aren’t too high doesn’t get nearly as much attention. Approximately 10 million people in the United States have iron deficiency, including 5 million with iron-deficiency anemia. On the other end of the spectrum is hereditary hemochromatosis or milder forms of iron overload, which impacts approximately 1.5 million Americans. Excess iron acts as a rusting agent in your body and can accumulate in tissues, particularly in the liver, pancreas, heart, joints and the brain. Too much iron also increases the aging process and puts you at a much higher risk for vascular disease, cancer, as well as a shortened life expectancy, making it essential to know your iron status.

From what I’ve heard from some in the medical profession, an iron panel is inexpensive and used to be a pretty standard part of annual blood work up until 1997, but no longer is.

To learn more about your own iron levels, you can simply request an iron panel from your doctor, or you can always order one yourself and self-pay from somewhere like this for about $48. Then you’ll of course want to work with your doctor or naturopath who can guide you on how to interpret the results and direct you as needed.

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What Can I Expect

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:

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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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

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated

New chronic fatigue syndrome test is 84 percent accurate

Treatment is determined by your healthcare provider and based on:

  • Your overall health and medical history
  • Extent of the condition
  • Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference
  • Medicine, including corticosteroids, antidepressants, and others
  • Light-intensity aerobic exercise
  • Dietary supplements and herbal preparations
  • Psychotherapy and supportive counseling

Also Check: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Vs Fibromyalgia

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