Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
If you’ve suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, you know that it can be debilitating and exhausting. And there are many people who think that you don’t look sick and don’t have empathy for you.
The medical community has very little help for people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as CFS – but there are many things you can do to get some natural relief.
There are some helpful ways you can treat chronic fatigue syndrome naturally and get some energy back. If you’ve been struggling and you haven’t found that medicine is offering a solution, these tips can give you hope. But first, let’s look at understanding what CFS is.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition marked by a set of possible symptoms. Unlike other illnesses, you won’t be able to take a specific medical test in order to verify it. Instead, your healthcare provider will look at your symptoms and rule out other illnesses.
This disorder can cause you to feel exhausted, even after you’ve had plenty of sleep. People with this syndrome also can have problems with muscle pain, joint pain, and headaches.
You may look like there’s nothing wrong, but you can find it difficult to get up each morning and go about your business. People with CFS often experience depression as well.
No one knows the exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, but it’s thought to be related to inflammation in the body. Researchers think that it might be related to infection by a virus or it could be related to physical trauma.
CFS can affect every area of your life. It can make it difficult to complete your daily tasks, strain relationships, and impact your self-worth. And it can be really frustrating to find that there’s no medical cure.
But when you work on natural remedies that can help reduce your symptoms, you can find relief and you can have hope. You don’t have to accept that you’ll never feel good again. But you may have to accept that life will be different from now on.
Eat Your Way to Better Health
What you eat is critical to your good health. Chronic fatigue syndrome is an inflammatory condition that can be exacerbated by poor nutrition. It’s especially problematic when you eat foods that cause inflammation such as:
• Refined sugar
• White flour
• Artificial flavoring
• Artificial colors
• Saturated fats
Eliminating these foods and eating whole foods will help reduce inflammation in your body and can do wonders to bring relief to your chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
Eating whole foods means eating foods in their most natural state. A diet high in whole foods will include:
• Whole grains
• Lean protein
• Healthy fat from oils and nuts
You’ll also want to eat as many organic foods as possible. Foods that aren’t produced organically often contain toxins from pesticides, herbicides, and preservatives. These toxins cause inflammation in your body, which exacerbates your CFS symptoms.
Shopping around the perimeter of the supermarket and sticking to fresh foods goes a long way toward making your diet healthier. It’s best to avoid foods that are prepackaged or filled with preservatives.
In just a few weeks of eliminating inflammatory foods, you’ll begin to see some relief from your symptoms. You’re likely to have fewer aches and pains, fewer problems with sleep, and an increase in energy.
Fatigue Fighting Supplements
Supplements can also help you have relief from your CFS maladies. It’s important to make sure that any supplement is appropriate for you by checking with your healthcare provider.
But most of these supplements are free from side effects and will help your body naturally heal itself.
L-carnitine – L-carnitine is known for helping the body to increase energy. Studies have shown it to be effective for people with CFS and has reduced problems with muscle weakness.
Coenzyme Q-10 – Coenzyme Q-10 has been proven effective at helping people fight fatigue. This supplement is an antioxidant that has helped people to reverse the signs of aging and reduces inflammation in the body.
Ginseng – If you’re looking for a supplement that can increase your energy and boost your immune system, ginseng is a natural choice. Studies have shown it can reduce fatigue and help your body to fight off illness.
Fish Oil – Fish oil is a supplement that contains essential fatty acids. These can help reduce inflammation throughout your body. And fish oil has been shown in research to help fight depression – which is common for people with chronic illness.
Cetylated Fatty Acids – these are Omega 3, Omega 5 and Omega 9 anti-inflammatory nutrients which underwent “cetylation”, a process that makes that fats bioavailable or easily absorbed and utilized by the body.
Magnesium – Magnesium is a critical mineral that your body needs to help maintain healthy tissues. It’s been shown to be valuable for treating problems with the nervous system and many people with CFS have experienced relief.
Move Your Body Carefully
When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, the idea of exercising can be almost incomprehensible. You’re already exhausted. How can you even consider getting exercise into your routine? The good news is that it doesn’t take much to begin seeing improvement.
With chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s important to exercise – but it’s also important to pace yourself. Start very slow. Even taking a five minute walk is enough to give you benefits and it may be all you can do.
After taking a five minute walk every day for a week or two, you can try adding more time to your walk. Even moving up to seven minutes can help you build more strength and stamina.
You’ll also want to incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises to tone up your body and reduce inflammation and aches. Lifting five pound weights is sufficient to help you get started.
You might also want to try stretching and yoga to help ease your symptoms. Yoga, in particular, has been proven to help reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. If you’re suffering from aches and joint pain, yoga can provide relief.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may struggle with sleep. Even though you’re exhausted, you may have a really hard time getting appropriate sleep. It could be that you want to sleep at inappropriate times or that you have insomnia.
There are things you can do to improve the quality of sleep that you get and help you to maintain a better sleep routine. Sleep can help reduce inflammation in your body and can help you reverse the symptoms of CFS.
First, it’s important to get on a routine. This means going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. It can be hard to make yourself do this, but eventually, establishing this routine will help you get the sleep you need.
If you struggle to fall asleep at night, you might get relief from the supplement melatonin. Melatonin is the body’s natural sleep hormone – and when you take it daily, it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
It’s also important to create a comfortable environment for sleep. That includes a supportive mattress, pillows, and bedding that are comfortable for you. The temperature in your room should also be on the cool side.
If you’re bothered by noises in the night, using a white noise machine can help drown out sounds that might wake you up. You can also use a fan that makes noise for this purpose.
Some people also find a digital clock display to be very distracting. You probably need an alarm clock, but you should try to turn it around so that you can’t see the display every time you open your eyes.
You should also keep other distractions in the bedroom to a minimum. It’s not a good idea to have a television or other electronic devices in your bedroom. These can keep you from falling asleep at night.
Your bedtime routine actually begins hours before you go to bed. You need to do things that will help you wind down and relax so that sleep comes more easily. Some examples of ways to wind down include:
• Lowering the lights during the evening hours
• Taking a warm bath
• Listening to relaxing music
You should also avoid drinking caffeine at least three hours before going to bed. Watching television or keeping lights bright can also stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
If you’re still struggling to sleep, you may consider requesting a sleep study. This can help you figure out if you have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, that can be treated so that you can get better rest.
Relief Through Acupuncture
Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that has been shown to improve chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. This is an ancient practice that uses thin needles to help energy flow throughout the body.
Most people find acupuncture to be painless and very relaxing. It can help you:
• Have more energy
• Experience fewer aches and pains
• Sleep better
• Improve your mood
• Boost immunity
You need to make sure that you go to a licensed acupuncturist who is able to treat you professionally and competently. You may also want to work with someone who practices Chinese medicine and can also prescribe Chinese herbs and other treatments.
With acupuncture, you’ll notice that the treatment is based on the whole body rather than trying to treat specific symptoms. You’ll find that your overall health improves.
Research has shown acupuncture to be very effective for relieving chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms and improving energy levels. Acupuncture is often covered by health insurance plans. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, you can sometimes purchase package deals that make it more affordable.
Stress can be a major trigger for CFS. It’s important to accept that you may not be able to do everything you’d like to do or did before you developed these symptoms. Managing your time and saying “no” to extra responsibilities can help.
It may be important to educate others about chronic fatigue syndrome and ask for help when you need it. The more you can accept that you need to take the time to care for yourself, the better off you’ll be.
It’s impossible to eliminate all stress. But you can learn to reduce the stress in your life and manage what’s left. Deep breathing and meditation can help you let go of physical stress.
Taking care of yourself with diet, exercise, sleep, and additional supplements or alternative medicine practices will also lower your stress levels and help you fight the effects of stress.
While there’s no cure for CFS, you can feel relief by taking good care of yourself. You’ll also find that for many people, the symptoms eventually run their course and you can get back to normal.