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I am sure you recall a time when you must have experienced immense weakness, lethargy, and tiredness after a hectic day, but after a good night sleep felt recharged and ready to begin a new day. But what if this tiredness and fatigue continue day after day, despite a hearty night’s sleep? This is termed as chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a group of symptoms which are long lasting and debilitating in nature. CFS is characterized by extreme tiredness that doesn’t improve inspite of bed rest. It can’t be explained by an underlying medical condition, as no blood tests or imaging tests can pick up anything wrong in the body. Chronic fatigue syndrome is often referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).

What are the signs and symptoms experienced in Chronic fatigue syndrome?

The most common symptom is fatigue that’s severe enough to interfere with your routine activities. The symptoms may vary in frequency and intensity from individual to individual. However, the underlying exhaustion is a common complaint across age groups. Women tend to be at the receiving end of this disorder much more commonly than men, although it’s not clear why.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed clinically by your doctor, with the chief symptom being extreme tiredness that has been persisting for at least six months and incurable with rest. Along with fatigue, you must have at least four other symptoms of those listed below:

Other symptoms of Chronic fatigue syndrome may include:

  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Feeling sleep deprived
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Pain in muscles and joints
  • Frequent episodes of headaches.
  • Dizziness and sick feeling.
  • Frequent sore throat without inflammation.
  • Lymph node swelling and tenderness in neck and armpits.

Some people are affected in cycles, periodically getting worse after improvement and better again. Relapses are possible and common despite treatment. Currently, no clear permanent cure is known to conventional medicine for chronic fatigue.

How to cope with chronic fatigue naturally?

Home remedies and lifestyle changes can make a great impact in relieving chronic fatigue. Focus on improving your immune system and vitality instead of paying too much attention to your symptoms.

  • Dietary changes you can inculcate:
  • Avoid artificial and synthetic food coloring agents, preservatives, food additives.
  • Avoid habit forming substances like caffeine, cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol, etc.
  • Reduce sugar and processed foods intake.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet including lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
  • Drink adequate water and fluids to maintain hydration.
  • Have herbal teas and concoctions that help in relaxing the body.
  • Take necessary vitamin and mineral supplements.

(Note- Consult your doctor for choosing right herbs and tablets that are needed for your body impairment.

  • Exercise and yoga can help too:
  • Practice light to moderate exercise, yoga and meditation.
  • Avoid stressful and strenuous activities.
  • Avoid over exertion by maintaining your pace at work or any other activities.
  • Pamper yourself with relaxing massages that act as a muscle toner and a great stress buster. Massage improves blood circulation and drains lymphatic system.
  • Physiotherapy is helpful to relieve muscular tension and create a routine, designed exercise as per your body and your preferences.

 

– Avoiding mental stress is vital to treating chronic fatigue syndrome-

  • Avoid undue emotional stress.
  • Indulge in activities that keep you cheerful and motivated. Pick up a new course or hobby, be creative.
  • Play games, read good self-motivating books, health books, spiritual books, etc.
  • Listen to mindful and relaxing music.
  • Meet friends and family often to have a relaxing conversation.
  • Have a good night sleep. Maintain a routine. Try sleeping early at night and waking up early morning refreshed. This will give you a longer day to pursue your activities.
  • Seeking professional counseling help has proved to be effective in improving overall mental health and symptoms of chronic fatigue.
  • Opting for an alternative mode of treatment like homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc. might be helpful too in the long run. Taking pain killers repeatedly to get by the day might harm the kidneys in due course of time.

 

Have you suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and recovered? Are you still looking for ways to get over it? Share your thoughts in the SyncH community and help others, or seek help.

 

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

About the Author

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Dr. Rachita Narsaria

Poet, bookworm, tech-worm, nature lover, entrepreneur