Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The demands of modern life can leave us feeling tired and drained and it has become normal to need that 3 o’clock cup of coffee to make it to the end of the day. However, constant and consistent levels of exhaustion and feelings of ill health are not normal and could be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome. This article will discuss some of the ways in which your symptoms may improve if you live with the condition.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue is a complex and complicated illness, it is characterised by extreme and prolonged feelings of exhaustion and there is no known cause for it. Anyone can be affected by the illness, but it is most commonly women in their mid-20s to mid-40s who live with it. In 2016, it was estimated that around 250,000 people in the UK were living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
While the most common symptom is extreme exhaustion with no known cause, there are a number of other common symptoms, including:
- Sleep problems
- Muscle or joint pain
- Sore throat
- Cognitive problems such as difficulties thinking or remembering
- Flu-like symptoms without the flu
- Feeling dizzy or nauseous
- Heart palpitations
If you think you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you should speak to your doctor. However, it can be difficult to diagnose as there is no one definitive test for it. It is diagnosed by eliminating other conditions. There are a number of conditions which could lead to you developing chronic fatigue syndrome, ranging from bacterial infections to stress. If you have been diagnosed with it, or think you may suffer from it, read on for some natural treatments that could help to alleviate your symptoms.
General Treatments & Lifestyle Changes
Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be difficult due to the range of health complications you may suffer. Depending on the ways in which Chronic Fatigue Syndrome manifests itself for you, and the symptoms you suffer with, there is a range of treatments that may be suggested for you. If you suffer from headaches or muscle and/or joint pain, you may be prescribed medication to alleviate the pain. Similarly, you may be prescribed something to remedy any sleep problems you may have.
If your chronic fatigue may be the result of stress or trauma, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) could have huge benefits for you. Similarly, CBT should be offered to everyone living with chronic fatigue. It can help individuals accept their diagnosis, and address any issues they may have that would affect their chances of getting better.
Other treatments include Graded Exercise Therapy, where you will be given a programme of activities to do to gradually increase your activity levels. It is important to pace yourself, to ensure you do not push yourself further than is comfortable as it could hinder your recovery. Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome do get better, while it could take weeks or months.
Supplements for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Along with lifestyle changes and ensuring you eat a healthy, balanced diet, there are a number of supplements which have been proven beneficial in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and a number of its accompanying health problems. Speak to your doctor before you undertake sudden changes in lifestyle, and ensure any supplements you want to take are safe for you. The supplements listed below may be worth speaking to your doctor about.
An essential vitamin and a member of the B Vitamin Complex, B12 is water soluble which means that the body does not store excess amounts. It has been known as an effective treatment for proper metabolism of energy for decades. Recently, studies have found that people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome responded well to injection of Vitamin B12.
95% of all cellular energy produced in the body is dependent on Coenzyme Q10. Therefore, it makes sense that a slight deficiency of coenzyme q10 could lead to feelings of fatigue. Not only does coenzyme q10 provide us with energy, it also rids our bodies of toxins and free radicals. A 2013 study found that coenzyme q10 supplementation had huge positive effects on patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
If there’s a supplement that the majority of people will have heard about, that supplement is Omega-3. It is an essential fatty acid, which has a range of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular and joint health. While our bodies can produce Omega-3 fatty acids, it is a long and complicated process which requires our bodies to use a lot of energy. By supplementing omega-3s, our body can store this energy.
Magnesium balances out the electrolytes in the body and has been known to improve energy levels in the body. While it can be found in kelp, seaweed and cashews, it is unlikely that the majority of people will not consume the recommended amount daily. In 1991 Lancet published a study into the effects of magnesium supplementation for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The study concluded that magnesium could improve symptoms of chronic fatigue, and has been backed up by the findings of more recent studies.
Vitamin C has long been used to alleviate the symptoms of colds, flu and tiredness. It is also known as an immune boosting vitamin, which has a myriad of other benefits for health. It rids our bodies of free radicals, thus ensuring we have as few toxins roaming around our blood stream as possible.m Vitamin C injections have been known to increase energy levels after 2 hours, and the results can last up to a day.
Asian ginseng is known as ‘panax’ ginseng, which in Greek means ‘all heal’ because of its ability to alleviate the symptoms of a number of different health problems. One study found that ginseng can have anti-fatigue effects on patients, and could, therefore, be used as a treatment for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there are a number of different varieties of ginseng, and some could potentially worsen your symptoms, so it is advisable that you speak to a professional before taking a ginseng supplement.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to live with due to the various different ways in which it can impact on your health and life. However, the symptoms can be managed with the right balance of diet, exercise and treatment options. Before you embark on any sudden or intense changes in diet or lifestyle, be sure to speak to your doctor as sudden disruptions in your way of life could worsen your condition.
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