Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
You can run around a baseball court several times; punish yourself with the most arduous workouts; or engage in the most mundane, and energy-draining tasks… but the exhaustion you’ll feel won’t even come close to what a CFS (Chronic-Fatigue Syndrome) patient has to soldier through.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome treatment is more than just treating “extreme tiredness”. People who are suffering from CFS feel so worn and washed out that living their lives normally becomes an uphill struggle.
Keeping up with their professional and personal lives becomes almost impossible. There are some CFS sufferers who are severely disabled and even bedridden!
As if that’s not enough, people with this disorder also have to put up with the following CFS symptoms:
- Feeling exhausted for more than 24 hours
- Unable to concentrate or focus even on simple tasks
- Easily forget things
- Chronic muscle and joint pains
- Sore throat and stronger headaches
And these are just a few to name.
And no, even a good night’s sleep of 8 full hours doesn’t seem to help!
Who Gets CFS? How Common Is It?
According to experts, at least one million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease. That said, only less than 20% of these cases have been diagnosed…and the percentage of patients that have fully recovered from it much lower.
CFS isn’t selective of its victims. No matter what ethnic group or race you belong to; which side of the world you’re at; or what your income level is, this disorder can take over your life without a moments notice.
Women especially, should be very wary as they are 4 times more likely to develop CFS as compared to men. Furthermore, it’s been observed to occur mostly in people between the ages of 40 to 59.
Keep in mind, no matter what age a person is, they can still develop CFS.
What Causes It?
Given that the medical field is always on the forward movement, and continues to break new ground, one might think that handling a disorder with symptoms very identical to the common flu should not be a problem. But alas! That’s not the case.
Surprising as it might sound; experts are still at a loss when it comes to the actual causes. Some say that it starts with an infection (ex.: cold, stomach flu, etc.). Others blame the Epstein-Barr virus.
There are people, both patients and experts alike, who believe that it develops after, or during times of great stress (ex.: major surgery, death of someone close, huge financial loses).
The main point is: no one, not even doctors and specialists, know for certain what causes this debilitating condition.
Are There Any Reliable Treatments Available?
Unfortunately, the medical industry is just as hard-pressed in providing a reliable treatment as they are in finding its exact causes.
Most of the ‘cures’ aren’t really cures at all. They focus on alleviating the symptoms, without actually getting rid of the underlying cause.
Let’s take a look at the most popular of the bunch:
If you decide to go down this route, expect your doctor to prescribe you a lot of medication.
Many of these drugs are meant to minimize the symptoms.
That said, there are doctors who believe that specific drugs lessen the severity of CFS. It’s based on the theory that CFS develops because of persistent infections that overwork the patient’s immune system.
There’s a lot of confusion as to which drugs work, and most patients need to try different combinations of prescription medication with the hopes of finding one that suits them.
Many doctors, as well as patients, believe that supplements that boost the immune system; increase energy levels; and enhance cognitive function can also help manage the condition and its symptoms. However, the evidences supporting this theory are mostly circumstantial… far from being scientifically tested.
And just like with drugs, it takes a lot of trial and error to find the right mix of supplements.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
People suffering from this disorder are often forced to make changes to their lifestyle. To accept that this disease is here to stay and to acknowledge that YOU are the one that needs to adjust to it, can be a bitter pill to swallow. CBT is aimed at tweaking your thoughts and actions so you can adapt healthier lifestyle changes, while eliminating the bad habits.
The use of CBT as a treatment method is very controversial. Some doctors use it as their main therapy for combating this condition, while others use it to compliment other treatments.
Bottom line is: CBT only helps you adjust to your condition, it doesn’t help you treat it.
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET)
This particular method is aimed at minimizing the symptoms, while enhancing overall health through regular exercise. It starts with low levels of exercise, which gradually increase in amount and intensity as you progress through the therapy.
While some research supports GET, it’s also a bit controversial like CBT. For one thing, even the mildest level of exertion can sometimes intensify the symptoms of CFS!
Are There Any Other Options Please?
As far as conventional CFS treatments go, the 4 mentioned above are the only feasible options available. Nevertheless, there are treatment programs published online that have brought significant positive results to those who have decided to adopt it. It contains:
- List of lifestyle changes that can significantly alleviate CFS symptoms
- Links to original research papers published by scientists and MDs that scientifically back-up the program
- Information on all possible causes of CFS
- Crucial information about exercise and its impact on CFS patients
- Important dietary improvements to make
- And more
It does sound promising, but I have to remind you: the last word on this topic is yet to come out. However, with traditional methods failing miserably in delivering positive results, there’s no harm in taking a closer look at alternative methods, which already have many strong advocates.
To get started on this new journey, we recommend checking out an e-book called “The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Solution” by Jennifer Nolan. We wish you great success!