Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex condition that causes extreme fatigue and the inability to do your normal daily activities. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light, frequent headaches, and trouble with concentration. Although there’s no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, there are things you can try that may provide relief for certain symptoms. It’s a complex illness and not one treatment plan works for everyone, but you can try these remedies for chronic fatigue syndrome to see if any of them help.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, causes extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months. Symptoms worsen with physical or mental activity, but don’t fully improve with rest. It’s a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems. People with chronic fatigue syndrome are often not able to do their regular activities and are sometimes confined to bed. They’re not able to function the same way as they did before they got sick and in some cases, the condition can last for years and lead to serious disability.
9 Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, but it’s speculated that contributing factors include:
- Genetics – CFS appears to run in some families, so you may have a higher likelihood of developing it if someone in your family has it.
- Viruses- some people develop CFS symptoms after recovering from a viral or bacterial infection.
- A weakened immune system.
- Physical or emotional stress.
- Hormonal imbalances.
- Problems with energy usage in the body- some people with CFS have problems converting the body’s fuel, primary fats, and sugar into energy.
There are also certain factors that make it more likely for you to get CFS:
- Women are more likely than men to develop chronic fatigue syndrome
- It’s most commonly seen in people in their 40s and 50s, although people of any age can get CFS.
- People who have other complex medical problems, such as fibromyalgia may be more likely to develop CFS.
11 Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Sensitivity to light
- Frequent headaches
- Fatigue and weakness
- Muscle and joint pain
- Frequent sore throat
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
- Trouble with concentration
- Depression, stress, and anxiety
6 Remedies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
While there is no magic cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, there are ways to naturally improve your energy levels and help with the physical and mental symptoms you may be experiencing.
1. Update Your Sleep Habits
People with CFS often feel less refreshed after sleep than they did before they became ill. They also often experience sleep issues such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, extreme sleepiness, or nighttime muscle spasms. Good sleep habits are key. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool, remove electronic devices from your bedroom, and avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. You can consider seeing a sleep specialist if you’re unable to sleep well on your own.
2. Increase Essential Fatty Acids
People with chronic fatigue syndrome tend to have imbalanced levels of essential fatty acids (omega-3s and omega-6s). This can contribute to symptoms like fatigue and body aches. Since the body doesn’t manufacture essential fatty acids on its own, it needs to get them through nutrition. Dietary sources of omega-3s include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines, avocado, flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, seaweed, and algae. You can also consider omega-3 supplements like fish oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, or algae oil.
3. Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome, but they can also become heightened in those with the condition. If you have CFS, you may benefit from techniques like deep breathing, meditation, massage, and movement therapies like stretching, yoga, and tai chi. These can reduce stress and anxiety and make you feel better both physically and mentally. Figure out which activities and techniques work best for you and work them into your regular routine.
4. Pain Management Methods
If you experience deep pain in your muscles or joints, try pain management methods such as stretching, gentle massage, heat therapy, toning exercises, and water therapy, like baths, for healing. Acupuncture can also help with pain for some people. If you experience headaches, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
5. Find Balance
It’s important to be mindful of your personal limits when living with chronic fatigue syndrome. This helps you find balance between activity and rest, making the condition more manageable. Finding ways to make activities easier can be helpful. For instance, sitting while folding laundry, taking frequent breaks, and writing things down you need to remember. Also make sure to pace any mental activities like phone calls or reading and writing emails. Monitoring your own activity limits will help you live better.
6. Seek Support
Consider joining a support group with other people who have CFS. It can be helpful to talk to others who are experiencing the same thing as you, and these groups are a good source of information and tips for what to do to feel better. You can also consider going to counselling to learn to cope with CFS. It can be helpful to talk to a professional who specializes in CFS and can give you the proper advice.
If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, we hope these tips and remedies help you feel better.
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