Overall health problems can affect your CFS. The better you are overall, the easier it will be to manage CFS. The following may be helpful additions to your treatment plan:
A balanced diet can help you feel better. It gives your body the fuel and building blocks for recovery. On the other hand, a poor diet will make you feel more tired and sore.
Don’t skip meals, even if you only eat small amounts. Focus on meals high in fiber, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can cause fatigue.
Talk to your doctor or a dietitian if have trouble eating enough food. Supplements may help you get better nutrition. However, some can interfere with medicine. Talk to your doctor before starting supplements.
Limit or avoid alcohol. It has a tiring effect on the body.
Physical activity is an important part of CFS treatment. It can help your body work more efficiently, so daily tasks aren't as exhausting. Make your workout fit how much energy you feel that day. This may mean having a plan for low energy days and better days. Don't push too hard, it may make your symptoms worse. Track your activities and how long you did them. This way, you will be able to make a plan ahead of time.
When starting any activity, do so slowly. Build up your activity level over a period of time. Talk with your doctor or a trainer for help.
There are many different types of counseling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a one option. CBT allows you to examine your feelings and thought patterns. Once you are aware of them you can develop better coping skills for them. This may include changing your focus to what you can do rather than what you can't.
Some people find comfort in joining a support group. Family therapy may also help if CFS is affecting others around you.
Your body needs sleep to recover. However, you may have problems sleeping. Many times, making small changes can help. For example:
Not every method works for everyone. It will take time to adjust. Be patient and try different things. If nothing seems to work for you, talk to your doctor.
Relaxation techniques can help to manage stress and pain. Common approaches include:
These methods can help you pay attention to tension in your body. Releasing that tension can help to quiet your mind.
Chronic fatigue syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115094/Chronic-fatigue-syndrome. Updated September 10, 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Chronic fatigue syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/special-subjects/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/chronic-fatigue-syndrome. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Treatment of ME/CFS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/treatment/index.html. Updated July 12, 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Yancey JR. Thomas SM. Chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012;8(68):741-746.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD Last Updated: 2/8/2019