Guide: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
Apr 06, 2023
Do you feel so exhausted you can’t seem to function? Do you experience pain, dizziness, restless sleep, or other similar symptoms regularly? You may be living with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Today, we’re examining this disease, what it is, its symptoms, and chronic fatigue syndrome treatment methods that may help you along the way. As an unpredictable illness, it’s important to consult your doctor to make a treatment plan with actions that yield results for you.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
First of all, what is chronic fatigue syndrome? Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a long-term illness that can render its effect on various systems of the body. Its causes are unknown, and there is currently no definitive test to diagnose it. It’s a debilitating illness that may leave you unable to manage daily tasks during flare-ups.
Because there is no test for CFS, your doctor will put you through a series of other tests to rule out other diseases or illnesses. Once those have been ruled out, they may officially diagnose you with chronic fatigue syndrome. With so much mystery surrounding the cause of this illness, the focus then tends to be on managing symptoms using a variety of chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options.
While some people misinterpret chronic fatigue for chronic fatigue syndrome, the two are, in fact, very different. Chronic fatigue is a result of ongoing energy deprivation (typically lasting longer than 6 months). This could be a symptom of many underlying conditions such as fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, or arthritis. Other factors that may contribute to chronic fatigue are sleep deprivation from common sleep disorders like insomnia, poor diet, or medications you may be taking.
Chronic fatigue syndrome, however, is characterized by its lack of apparent cause. The absence of a diagnosable underlying health condition is the primary indicator of CFS.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
To come up with an applicable treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s important to identify its symptoms and which are impacting you. Because the illness is so mysterious in origin, learning how to treat chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms is often the most that can be done.
Some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:
- Tiredness and exhaustion
- Light sensitivity
- Muscle and joint pains
- Insomnia and other sleep complications
- Feelings of depression
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes
- Headache or mild fever
Because CFS overlaps with so many other health conditions, it’s important to get an official diagnosis from your healthcare professional to rule out any other catalysts before treating it. Finding a beneficial chronic fatigue syndrome treatment will depend on which symptoms you’re experiencing.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment Methods
With so little known about CFS, what helps chronic fatigue syndrome? The good news is that because the symptoms of this illness overlap with so many others, we’re able to identify a plethora of chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options to try. Each person reacts differently to managing their symptoms, so you may need to try a variety of different methods until you find the combination that works best for you.
When it comes to treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, you might try:
- Exercises, including yoga or tai chi
- Meditation or other mental health exercises
- Massage sessions
- Talk therapy
- Physical therapy
- Herbal supplements
Exercises and Physical Activities
As you start to learn how to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, you might turn to ways to boost energy levels through physical activity. While this illness can sap you of all your energy and leave you feeling exhausted, exercising boosts endorphin production within your body, which can increase energy levels and improve your overall mood. These natural hormones may also help with relief from any pain symptoms you’re experiencing.
Low-impact exercises like yoga and tai chi are especially recommended as chronic fatigue syndrome treatment methods because they incorporate both physical and mental well-being. These activities keep the body in motion without overexertion.
Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Next on our list of what helps chronic fatigue syndrome, we’re looking at meditation and breathing exercises. Mindfulness-based meditation and breathing exercises may help with stress reduction and alleviate feelings of anxiety that some people experience with CFS. A controlled study of women participants showed the importance of complementary mindfulness-based treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome as a way to make improvements.
Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment methods include getting a massage. Massage is not a vanity treatment, but is a vital self-care activity that positively impacts many areas of health. Massage has been shown to be effective in stimulating blood circulation, alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety, helping the body heal faster, and even elevating energy levels.
As flare-ups for CFS can happen at any time, many people have recognized the benefits of owning a massage chair over making traditional massage therapy appointments. The ability to experience the benefits of at home massage on your schedule, when you need it, and on a regular basis makes it ideal for ongoing complementary treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Today’s massage chairs offer a wide variety of different types of massage programs and bonus features such as chromotherapy, heat therapy, and zero gravity reclining capabilities. They also make an ideal conduit for pairing multiple chronic fatigue syndrome treatment methods such as massage and meditation.
Some studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of talk therapy, may also serve as an effective way for how to treat chronic fatigue syndrome. Its aim is to alleviate stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression, all of which are common symptoms of those living with this illness. While CBT may help as chronic fatigue syndrome treatment, more studies are needed to cement these observations.
Physical therapy is another potential treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, but it may not be for everyone. Similar to how exercise might help, physical therapy treatments may be effective ways for those living with CFS to commit to physical activity without overdoing it.
The downside, however, is that some report experiencing worsened “post-exertional malaise” after exercise, which is a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome. Each individual responds differently, so be aware of how you’re feeling and remember to keep a close watch on your symptoms.
While the medical world still intently studies chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options, some studies have shown that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) might be beneficial. These are common antioxidant supplements for heart health but may also contribute to treating symptoms of CFS.
These two nutrients increase ATP production within the body, which is a major source of energy production for those with chronic fatigue syndrome. Researchers say adding these supplements as a complementary treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Finding chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options that work for you relies on assessing your symptoms and trying different options to see which works best. This long-term illness can have a major negative impact on your daily routine, but learning how to manage symptoms will increase your quality of life and may help reduce the number of flare-ups.
Interested in pairing massage chairs with treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome? Compare massage chairs and see which model meets your needs.