Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is defined as a long-term fatigue that makes it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks. The fatigue is often extremely debilitating and resistant to normal treatments. Currently, medical professionals are unsure of the specific causes of CFS but it’s possible that the condition is more of a symptom of another problem. Patients should be thoroughly tested for other conditions before being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
If your physician diagnosed you with chronic fatigue without ruling out other ailments through extensive blood testing and examinations then you may want to see a chronic fatigue doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Often there is another underlying condition that could be causing the fatigue.
Whatever the cause of CFS, it’s clear that patients will need more than just a cup of coffee to beat it.
Lifestyle Changes for the Treatment of Chronic Fatigue
If you’re suffering from chronic fatigue and nothing seems to improve it, don’t despair. Many patients from around the world have reported significant relief or even complete reversal of their fatigue after taking a natural, whole-body approach to treatment. It’s important to understand that every part of the human body works in harmony. When there’s an unbalance in one area, it will likely cascade to more problems in other areas of the body. By bringing everything back into harmony, you can experience real relief.
1) Assessing Diet
While modern medical professionals rarely acknowledge how diet influences health, it’s clear that making poor food choices has an adverse effect on your body. Patients should undertake an elimination diet which involves the removal of certain foods from your intake for at least 3 weeks. This helps you detect certain food sensitivities and then you can adjust your diet accordingly.
This is also a great time to identify the difference between food sensitivities and food allergies. If you had a food allergy, it’s usually pretty obvious. For example, patients who are allergic to peanuts will know right away when they consume one as they often break out in hives or worse, go into anaphylactic shock.
Food sensitivities, on the other hand, are not so obvious. In fact, it’s very possible that you’ve been consuming a food you’re sensitive to your entire life. Food sensitivities can cause problems that are more discrete in nature: brain fog, acne, gastrointestinal distress, mental illness, fatigue, and more. Patients often do not link these symptoms to the consumption of their favorite food, which means the sensitivity goes undiagnosed for a long period of time. Foods that can cause sensitivities can include dairy, wheat, shellfish, plants in the nightshade family, corn, soy, and much more. For more information on food sensitivities and allergies, see here.
In addition to an elimination diet, patients should strongly consider watching both their macro and micro nutrients through an online nutrition calculator like Cronometer. Cronometer allows you to key in what you’ve eaten for the day and see if you’ve met all your nutritional goals. It’s actually very challenging to obtain all your vitamins and minerals for the day – I encourage you to try entering what you’ve eaten for today and see if all your needs have been met.
While exercising may be the last thing on your mind when you have chronic fatigue, it’s an important part of any CFS treatment plan. Exercise boosts your immune system and can help regulate autoimmune conditions – a potential cause of chronic fatigue.
As humans, we’ve been on our feet for millions of years. Exercise wasn’t just optional – it was absolutely required for survival. Although our ancestors weren’t on treadmills, they did stay active throughout the day. Now, many people consider exercise as optional. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth – exercise is absolutely critical to good health and there’s no instance where a lack of physical activity could be considered healthy.
If you’re struggling with severe fatigue, try keeping your workouts short and with low-intensity until you build up stamina. Swimming and biking can both be great ways to stay fit easily.
3) Seek out a Health and Wellness Center
Most wellness centers employ an integrative or holistic approach when it comes to treating a condition. Many sufferers of CFS report considerable relief when treatment involves a whole-body approach. Just make sure the center has a chronic fatigue doctor who understands how to treat the condition.
4) Nutritional Supplementation
Patients should consider using a comprehensive multivitamin formula designed to cover all their nutritional needs from micronutrients to minerals. In some cases, an additional B-complex can be used for further support. Other supplements that may help include D-Ribose and Panax Ginseng.
Don’t Go at It Alone – Managing CFS with Support
Chronic fatigue is a challenging condition that’s often misunderstood and very difficult to treat. If you’re suffering from CFS, don’t go at it alone. I strongly encourage patients to have a primary chronic fatigue physician and a therapist to support their journey through treatment. Having a support group is important and can make your recovery experience much more pleasant than being by yourself.