Support Your Immune System
Chronic infections may be an underlying cause of chronic fatigue, but they are widely undiagnosed.
What to do: In addition to getting tested for underlying infections, consider blends of Siberian ginseng, samento, sarsaparilla, guaiacum, astragalus, resveratrol, and cat’s claw for their immune-strengthening properties.
How Can I Get A Better Sleep
If you suspect you may have a medical condition that interferes with your sleep, go to your doctor and have any concerns investigated.
There is no one way to get a good sleep – what works for one person may not work for another. In general, suggestions include:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat at regular intervals and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein.
- Use your bed primarily just for sleeping .
- If you are not sleepy, do not try to go to bed. Get up and read or do something quiet instead.
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco or alcohol – especially before bed time.
- Turn off the phone ringer and answering device speaker or phone notification.
- Ask family members to be respectful if one person is sleeping. Family members can use headphones for the TV and radio if necessary.
- Make the room as dark and quiet as possible. Use heavy, dark curtains, blinds, or a sleeping eye mask. Soundproof the room where possible or use ear plugs.
- Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Consider using an air conditioner or fan in the summer months.
What Helps My Fatigue
Even though nothing can completely alleviate my fatigue, there are some things that make it more manageable. If I dont treat it, it gets worse. To combat fatigue, my go-to habits include:
- Getting regular exercise and movement
- Eating healthy and stay hydrated
- Keeping a sleep routine
- Minimizing stress and keeping things simple
- Tracking my health and keeping a symptom journal
- Writing down things that are important
- Reminding others to remind me about things that are important
- Reading things three times over to understand or save for later
- Being kind to myself: I am fighting to climb an invisible mountain
- Taking certain vitamins and supplements like B complex, vitamin D, iron, and green tea
Dr. Barlett emphasized to me the importance of maintaining a sleep schedule. Ive spoken with many people who have experienced more fatigue during the pandemic, in part because they have felt more stressed, but also because their sleep schedules have become more erratic, she says. One of the best things we can do to ensure we stick to a regular sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time each night and get enough sleep. Too much screen time in the evening, heavy meals eaten late at night, and even strenuous exercise shortly before bed can also make it more difficult to fall asleep.
You can get creative with chores, she says. Dont pile all the laundry into one overflowing basket. Use it as an opportunity to make two trips and get a few more steps.
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Diagnosis Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Laboratory tests to exclude other causes of symptoms
At least one of the following manifestations is also required:
Feeling of light-headedness or dizziness when standing up that is relieved by lying down
The frequency and severity of the symptoms should be assessed by a doctor. If people do not have these symptoms at least half of the time with moderate, substantial, or severe intensity, doctors reconsider the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome .
Criteria for diagnosis are important mainly because they help doctors communicate clearly with each other when they study a problem. However, when treating a specific individual, doctors focus more on that person’s symptoms rather than the criteria.
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
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.
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Get Your Candida Imbalance Under Control
Your body might also be under the influence of a candida imbalance. Candida is a common type of fungus normally found in your mouth, in the intestines, and on the skin in small amounts. But if candida grows uncontrollably, it could cause an infection and lead to the disruption of your immune system.
This can then spiral out of control and lead to a bunch of other side effects, like a greater susceptibility to illness.
The best way to treat a candida imbalance is to adjust your diet. Avoid high lactose dairy products, refined sugars, and carbs, as these foods are the primary fuel for the candida fungus. At the same time, consume more probiotics found in certain types of yogurt and other products. These helpful bacteria can push out the candida and bolster your digestive tract.
How To Overcome Fatigue
A patient named Josie recently came to Parsley Health with a long-standing history of fatigue. She had symptoms since graduating from college 7 years ago and clearly qualified for the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome/systemic exertion intolerance disease.
In conventional medicine, the treatments that are recommended for chronic fatigue consist of cognitive behavioral therapy, anti-depressant pharmaceutical medications, graded exercise therapy, sleep hygiene, discouraging over-sleeping, and referrals to support groups. Unfortunately, none of these treatments effectively address the root cause of what the fatigue is. Its no wonder that more than half of patients with chronic fatigue dont improve after a year of therapy.
Not only did Josie suffer from fatigue, she was also suffering from chronic digestive issues, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune thyroiditis and hypothyroidism , insomnia, body aches, cystic acne, weight gain, PMS, anxiety, and depression. In a standard conventional model, she probably would have been referred to a rheumatologist, sleep specialist, psychiatrist and dermatologist, in addition to her endocrinologist.
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How Can A Workplace Address Fatigue
Fatigue can be addressed through the workplaceâs safety management system, or as a separate fatigue management program. Creation of a program that addresses both workplace and personal factors may include to:
- identify the hazards and conduct a risk assessment for factors associated with fatigue
- develop and implement the organizationâs response to when a person is experiencing fatigue
- document of the steps to take to report fatigue in self or others
- design the work area to have appropriate lighting, temperature, and noise levels.
- develop administrative practices such as maximum hours of service, appropriate shift rotation, extended workdays, reducing or eliminating the need to do high risk activities between certain hours , etc.
- assess physical and mental job demands.
- provide appropriate work, where possible. For example, try to offer a variety of tasks that vary in interest and movement throughout the shift.
- provide lodging or areas to rest or sleep, where appropriate and necessary
- educate and train about fatigue, including recognizing signs and symptoms of fatigue, how to gauge alertness, or steps to help achieve better sleep
- provide medical screening for health issues that may affect sleep
- provide mental health services, including employee assistance programs , as needed
- include fatigue as a possible factor and related causes of fatigue when investigating incidents
For more information, please see the following OSH Answers documents:
Manage Your Stress Levels
Your stress levels can play a big role in how tired you feel and in how healthy your immune system is. Some recommendations for managing your stress levels are:
- Getting enough sleep every night.
- Intellectual stimulation .
- Practicing meditation, yoga or tai chi to increase mental wellness.
- Fostering and maintaining a strong social support network.
- Avoiding tobacco and alcohol overconsumption.
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Manage Stress And Increase Restorative Sleep
Doesn’t it feel like life gets busier every year? These hectic and stressful lives we live are doing a number on our sleep.
What to do: Start and end your day with mindfulness meditation. An amino acid called theanine has also been shown to improve sleep and allows you to feel rested and rejuvenated when you wake up. Low-caffeine teas like white tea or decaf green tea are great sleep-promoting options, as well.
Study Sheds Light On Origins Of Diabetes
An international study unprecedented in both scale and scope has provided some important answers to the mysteries of how diabetes developsnot least of which is the answer to a century-old debate about whether genetic differences are shared and common, or rare and individual.
Led by researchers from the United States and England, more than 300 scientists from 22 countries used DNA from 120,000 individuals to pinpoint genes and their variants.
The collaboration brought together two research projects: GoT2D and T2D-DENES. The research teams completed whole-genome sequencing of more than 2,600 people and exome sequencing of 12,940, as well as genome- or exome-wide array genotyping of 111,548 people. Unlike most previous studies, which involved only people of European ancestry, this study included people with ancestral origins in Europe, South and East Asia, the Americas, and Africa.
The conclusions seem clear, agreed Mark McCarthy, Group Head of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. He noted, he evidence is increasingly stacking up in favor of the view that most of the genetic risk of T2D can be attributed to common alleles that are widely shared within, and between, human populations.
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Fatigue Never Goes Away
Like others with chronic fatigue, I have better and worse days. But chronic means that fatigue doesnt go away with time or treatment. Ive probably spent thousands of dollars over the last decade over-caffeinating myself and trying various exercise regimens, diets, vitamins and supplements, and other products claiming to crush fatigue with shiny marketing messages and bogus health claims.
Eating healthy and regular exercise help to some degree but theyre not a cure-all. Im still perpetually tired.
When I do have short moments of clarity, I know fatigue is always waiting in the wings. If I try to do something that I used to take for granted something as ordinary as laundry or emptying the dishwasher fatigue can rush in and leave me bedridden or stuck on the couch for the rest of the day or even up to a week.
Where Can I Get Support
Even in its mildest form, chronic fatigue can have a significant emotional and financial impact on your life. A lack of understanding and awareness about CFS/ME means patients can experience disbelief, and even discrimination, from friends, family, health and social care professionals and employers.
People need wider support in order to continue to manage aspects of their life. Information on entitlements to welfare benefits, accessing health and social care and others sources of support for patients and carers are available from Action for M.E.
Action for M.E. has a number of booklets that may be useful for people living with CFS/ME, their families and their health professionals. They also offer resources and services for children and young people affected by chronic fatigue and their families.
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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.
What To Expect At Your Provider’s Office
There is no laboratory test for chronic fatigue syndrome. But your health care provider may use tests to rule out other illnesses. Your provider will go over your symptoms, check your medical history, and do a physical examination.
If you have CFS, your provider may prescribe drugs to treat your symptoms, or suggest herbs, vitamins, or dietary changes to help you. Get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and learn to pace yourself. Often this combination of treatments will help you get better.
If the usual treatments do not work, your provider may check for other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to those of CFS.
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The Epidemic Of Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue is when you are tired, worn out, drained and depleted most of the time. This profound and unrelenting exhaustion typically develops over time and it can be hard to pinpoint when it first started . It impacts your physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
Many people consider chronic fatigue normal and a necessary symptom of having a busy life. The fatigue has persisted for so long that they do not remember the last time they had energy or felt well.
At least 30% of American adults have chronic fatigue . Fatigue is a common complaint of a third of patients who go to their primary care doctors in the United States . Fatigue is more common in women than in men. It is associated with adverse health outcomes such as mortality, morbidity, and disability.
Causes Of Chronic Fatigue
Many factors can play a role in chronic fatigue. A specific cause of fatigue is only found in about 5% of people suffering from fatigue. For the other 95%, there is no specific cause.
In addition to CFS, chronic fatigue is a main symptom of fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread nonarticular pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
Additional underlying health conditions that can cause chronic fatigue include iron deficiency anemia, chronic infections or inflammation, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. Too little or unrefreshing sleep, lack of or excessive exercise, chronic stress, anxiety, and depression are all linked to fatigue .
Perhaps the biggest contributors to fatigue are poor diet and lifestyle factors. Fortunately, these factors are within your control. Lets look closer at the importance of diet.
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S To Overcoming Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Naturally
Getting well requires undoing the things that contributed to your misery in the first place. Once you minimize or eliminate the root causes , amazing things happen. Cells are reenergized. Normal communication pathways become re-established. Immune system functions rebound. Adrenal and thyroid functions normalize. Nerves and neurotransmitters calm, and the brain starts functioning again.
Healing can take place, and symptoms, including fatigue, gradually resolve.
But to get well, you must want to be well more deeply than anything you have ever wanted. Ultimately, becoming well is your responsibility, and you alone must put the effort forward to make your recovery happen. This doesnt exclude having positive relationships with healthcare providers, family, and friends, which are all much to your benefit. But when you leave behind a total dependence on others to rescue you from misery, and take a stand to regain wellness that is rightfully yours to enjoy, you become a new person with a renewed purpose in life. That renewed purpose will carry you back to wellness and beyond.
Even with renewed spirit, however, youll need a plan to follow. The following guidelines provide the basic outline for the strategy I used personally to recover wellness, and that Ive since shared to successfully help thousands of others. You can follow in their footsteps.
S To Overcome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a chronic illness characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for more than six months. This fatigue cannot be explained away by an underlying medical condition. In fact, one of the diseases principle challenges is that its impossible to diagnose with laboratory tests. However, some professionals believe it is closely related to adrenal fatigue or system wide inflammation of the body.
The process for diagnosis usually begins with ruling out possible underlying diseases and chronic conditions until the only choice left is chronic fatigue syndrome. Left untreated, it decreases stamina, memory and concentration.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can result in strained relationships with friends and family, especially when it remain undiagnosed and/or untreated. Guilt, anxiety and anger are all common emotional responses for those fighting chronic fatigue.
Currently, over 1 million Americans are suffering from this debilitating illness that manifests with a lack of energy and motivation, and women are 24 times more likely than men to be diagnosed.
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