Chronic fatigue syndrome cure: Does one exist?

chronic fatigue syndrome cure

Nope. There is no chronic fatigue syndrome cure . But there are some things you can do about it. Let’s first look at what it is, who gets it, and how it effects us. Then we’ll tackle some treatment options. By the way, if you have fibromyalgia, you can also have CFS separately. Keep reading….we’ll get to that too!

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Well, it’s complicated. But the good staff at the Mayo Clinic describe it as a “disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition.” Essentially, we’re talking about incapacitating weakness and fatigue. You’d think you could just take a nap or sleep really well during the night to fix it, right? Sadly, that doesn’t work at all. Because as they add, “The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.” So, basically, you know how when you tell your doctor that you just have no energy? Then they tell you, “Oh, you need to exercise!” Yeah, well….that doesn’t work with CFS. In fact, CFS is sometimes referred to as a “systemic exertion intolerance disease.” That means your body kind of has nothing left. Have you ever been at work and taken a medication that kind of knocked you out? Then you tried to function at your job, barely able to keep your eyes open and even think about what you’re doing? Yeah…CFS is kind of like that. Only it’s all the time.

Like fibromyalgia, no one knows the cause of CFS, which, if you don’t know what causes it, it’s really hard to find a chronic fatigue syndrome cure. There is speculation that ranges from viral infections and psychological factors that trigger it, to certain kinds of bacteria, immune system problems, and hormone imbalances. But again, those are just theories.

Who Gets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Believe it not, fibromyalgia and CFS are considered separate but related disorders. They both share the common symptom of fatigue. And interestingly, they both often include insomnia. It’s mind-boggling to think that health disorders that cause extreme and debilitating exhaustion are also the very things that keep you from sleeping at night. Also like fibromyalgia, CFS tends to effect women more than men for unknown reasons. CFS also usually hits people in their 40s and 50s.

A word of caution: just because you feel exhausted all the time and you’re in your 40s or 50s….that doesn’t mean you have CFS. It’s actually really important to visit your physician. They also need to check for some potentially big issues like anemia and your thyroid. Indeed, you could also be suffering from fibromyalgia instead.

How Does CFS Effect You?

The Mayo Clinic lists some of the main symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
  • Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise

But wait, not only is there no chronic fatigue syndrome cure there’s more…and it gets worse.

Remember how I said CFS is also called systemic exertion intolerance disease? That actually came from a 2015 report based on the way CFS effects the brain and muscles. You see, in addition to extreme fatigue, the report adds that chronic fatigue syndrome is

“an organic disease—one rooted in the body rather than in the mind—with clear physiological markers, including diminished cardiovascular function, even after exercise; slowed information processing in the brain; and orthostatic intolerance (lightheadedness, blurred vision, and other symptoms that develop when a patient stands up). People with ME/CFS, the report noted, are more “functionally impaired” than those with Type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and congestive heart failure—diseases that we know to be very grave indeed [emphasis added].”

Folks, having chronic fatigue syndrome is serious business. Unfortunately, many people dealing with it encounter some of the same issues as fibromyalgia patients when seeking medical attention: doctors often do not understand it and sometimes tell patients it’s in their head. Thankfully, more healthcare practitioners are becoming aware of the pervasive and debilitating nature of this condition, even if they don’t yet have a chronic fatigue syndrome cure.

If there’s no chronic fatigue syndrome cure, what can I do about it?

First off, don’t take a nap. As badly as you want you, napping only increases the insomnia later. And you need every bit of sleep during the night that you can get. And when you get in bed, just relax. Don’t stress. In fact, that leads to a second remedy: reduce stress. If you have fibromyalgia, then you’ve heard these ideas a thousand times, but they work for CFS too. Yoga, meditation, visualization, and even biofeedback are excellent therapies for everyone, especially in our crazy, chaotic Western lifestyle. Lastly, don’t forget about some basic lifestyle changes like cutting back on (or cutting out completely) alcohol, caffeine, and smoking.

Do you have CFS? Do you have it in conjunction with fibromyalgia? Have you found a particular therapy, remedy, or method, or supplement that helps you? Share it with us please!

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